Blood Pumping Mechanism of the Hoof

Blood is pumped from the heart through arteries to the hoof and is assisted in its return through a “pumping mechanism” in the hoof. This mechanism is necessary due to the position of the hoof in relation to the heart. There are no muscles in the lower leg or hoof to aid in the return of venous blood to the heart. Thus, the hoof has to pump venous blood back to the heart.

An extensive network of veins called a …

Evaluating the Hoof and Trim Job

Ensuring that a horse’s hooves are properly trimmed and balance can help to prevent lameness. This article discusses how to evaluate the hoof and how it is trimmed.

To evaluate the hoof, watch the horse move, and look for limb interference and faulty movement. Observe the position of the hooves when the horse is standing squarely on the ground. The hooves should be uniform and balanced. There should not be any flaring in the quarters or curling of the toe.…

Bones of the Hoof

Labelled bones of the Horse's hoof


Long pastern bone. The long pastern bone is located between the fetlock and pastern joint. The long pastern bone should be about one-third the length of the cannon bone. The function of the long pastern bone is to increase the flexibility of the fetlock joint and reduce concussion. The length, flexibility, and slope of the pasterns strongly influence the smoothness of the horse’s gait.

Short pastern bone. The short pastern bone is located between the long pastern bone and …

How a Horse’s Hoof Grows

Hoof growth is one of the most important considerations in hoof physiology. Hoof growth occurs from the coronary band down toward the toe. The average hoof grows 1/4 to 3/8 inch per month. Since the average hoof is 3 to 4 inches in length, the horse grows a new hoof every year.

Rapidly growing hooves are considered to be higher quality and easier to keep properly trimmed and shod. Factors that effect hoof growth are age, season, irritation or injury …

Sensitive Structures of the Hoof

The sensitive structures are so called because they contain many nerves and blood vessels. Injury to them will cause pain and bleeding. Sensitive structures are located under every part of the horny hoof. Each hoof structure has a corresponding sensitive structure.

Sensitive coronary band. The sensitive coronary band is located around the upper border of the hoof under its junction with the skin. The function of the sensitive coronary band is to provide hoof growth. It is also the primary …

Understanding the Equine Hoof

Image:Hoof feature.JPG
In this video, Nate Allen, of Allen Farrier Service-Juanita, NE and Central Community Technical College-Hastings NE, helps viewers understand how the equine hoof functions and gives suggestions for managing horses’ hooves to maintain long term soundness. 2008 Equestrian Academy, University of Nebraska


Horse's hoof

Healthy, sound hooves provide an important foundation for a working horse. In this video, Nate Allen, of Allen Farrier Service-Juanita, NE and Central Community Technical College-Hastings NE, helps viewers understand how the equine hoof functions and …

Basic Horse Hoof Care

Many different hoof problems can occur in horses. Having a good working relationship with a farrier and veterinarian is essential to solving and preventing some of these problems. This article discusses common hoof problems as well as basic hoof care procedures throughout the year.

Caring for a horse’s feet and hooves will safeguard its long-term soundness. Following are some tips to keep a horse’s feet healthy.

Shoeing or Trimming Interval


In the summer, horses should be trimmed or shod …

Cleaning a Horse’s Hoof

Cleaning out Hoof


Cleaning out your horse’s hooves is a task that should be done daily. Cleaning out the hooves can alert you of any problems in your horse’s hooves and can also help to prevent common hoof problems such as bruises, corns or abscesses.

A hoof pick is used to pick debris out of the horse’s hooves.

To pick up the front foot, stand side by side with the horse facing the rear; place the near hand on horse’s shoulder; slide …