Correct Angles of the Horse's Front Hoof

The angles shown above are baseline angles from which to trim the horse's front hooves to its natural conformation and wear. Please keep in mind that each HOOF as well as each horse is an individual entity and must be trimmed as such. 

--The 45 degree angle of the wall can range anywhere from 45 - 58 degrees.

--The hairline will vary slightly, (22-28*)  according to the length of the heel needed by the individual horse.  The hairline should be a straight line all the way around with no waves or dips to it. Dips in the hairline indicate excessive pressure inside the hoof at the point of dip.

--The coffin bone should be allowed to rest as parallel to the ground as possible to minimize stress and pressures on the tip of the hoof. However, a completely ground parallel CB will cause a negative palmar angle when hoof loads on soft ground. This strains the DDFT and other supportive tissues. Best to have some angle to the bottom of the coffin bone to allow for proper and comfortable functioning of the hoof and its supportive parts. Allowing up to a postive 5* solar angle of the bottom of the CB to the ground plane is most ideal.

--The Arched Quarters allow for the hoof to expand when weight bearing which, in turn, allows the frog to also be weightbearing. The frog can then function adequately as the circulatory pump and shock dissipator for the hoof and lower leg.

--The walls should not be higher than the sole callous and of equal thickness around the hoof. Walls should also be of equal height for balance side to side (medial/lateral)

--The slightly rockered toe (which is a 10 - 15 degree angle and actually less than depicted on the illustration) allows for the horse to land heel first. When a horse lands heel first, the concussive shock of the step travels up the rear and sides of the leg where the soft tissue can absorb the shock. If the horse is landing toe first the concussive shock is forced up the front of the leg through the bones. This is extremely stressful on the bones in the leg, shoulder and back.

--The dorsal toe wall should be around 3 - 3/12" long from coronary band to ground.

--The major weight bearing load should occur in the back 2/3rds of the hoof.

--Heels should be about 1/8" - 1/4" long. In other words, about 1/8" - 1/4" higher than the seat of corn. They should also be trimmed back towards the widest part of the frog to allow the frog to have ground contact during movement. They should be of equal height, one to the other for balance.

REMEMBER: What might be ideal for one horse
is not necessarily true for the next.
Always allow for the individuality of each hoof
on each horse.

PENZANCE ... Naturally! and The Progressive Barefoot Trim
200 South Street, Douglas, MA 01516 USA Tel: (508) 476-1317 /

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