How to Determine The Parts of a Horse Hoof

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There are several different parts of the horses hoof and each serve a specific function in the health of your horse. Below I have listed the parts of a horse’s hoof and a brief description of each. This will assist as you learn to care for your horses hooves either by cleaning them or trimming their nails.

The hoof wall –

Most easily recognized as the nail of the hoof. The hoof wall is the weight bearing surface of the foot. It is a hard substance that should be straight and free from ridges or cracks. Your horse’s leg should have a continuous smooth line from the leg to the hoof wall. The hoof wall is not easily worn away therefore it protects the internal structure of the foot and helps maintain the necessary moisture of the foot.

The coronary band –

This is located in the area directly above the hoof wall. The coronary band is the source of growth for the hoof wall and is protected by a layer of thick skin and dense hair. The coronary band on a healthy hoof will product about 3/8 inch growth per month. However this can be affected by a change in food, exercise, or even illness. Typically the coronary band on horse’s hind hooves will grow faster than those on the front hooves.


The sole –

This is located on the bottom of the foot. The sole is a hard substance that protects the hooves inner parts. The sole is should be slightly curved in with a uniform texture and firm. The exterior sole surface has no feelings. Horse soles that do not curve in tend to show signs of bruising and injuries more than a horse with a curved inward sole. Likewise, horses with a dropped or protruding sole (possible from flounder) will bruise their sole more easily.Step 4

The frog –

This is located at the bottom of the foot and can be identified by the “V†shape. The frog will extend into the center of the sole. It is a flexible pad that will feel spongy. The frog is a weight bearing part of the hoof. The frog has two lines (called commissures) on each side of it helping to establish the beginning of the sole from the beginning of the frog. The condition of the frog is also a good way to tell the overall condition of the horse’s hooves. The frog should have proper ground contact, flexibility, and expansion to allow for proper blood flow and ground shock absorption.

Determine The Parts of a Horse Hoof

Determine The Parts of a Horse Hoof


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