The phrase “no hoof, no horse” was coined in England in the middle of the 18th century. Anyone who owns or works with horses has heard this phrase and adheres to a myriad of techniques to ensure that their horses’ hooves are always in excellent condition. As nearly 80 percent of all lameness issues stem from problems in the hoof, the amount of attention directed to this anatomical structure is certainly warranted. “When considering the relative size ration between the hoof and the rest of the horses’ body, it is amazing that something so small can have the biggest impact on the total animal,” wrote S.E. Blackwell for a 2007 presentation at the North American Veterinary Conference. “From the continuous adjusting structure, to the shape and construction, the equine foot remains one of the greatest mysteries in animal science.” Inside the Hoof The equine hoof can be compared to a…
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