For the good working and good aging of the horny foot.
To maximize the good working and good ageing of the horny foot, some basic principles must be respected to optimize each structure’s functions.
This is even more true with horses with weaker feet, in less favorable conditions, and in relation to the kind of work they do and the kind of grounds they work in.
First of all, one of the most important things in my opinion is to be able to make the distinction between the length of the hoof wall (distance between the coronary band and the plantar end of the wall) and the height of the wall (vertical distance between the coronary band and the ground).
The length of the wall refers to the leverage, which means that as the wall length increases, leverage forces increase, causing compressions and tensions.
This being said, let’s talk about the horny foot. Horses with a bad quality of sole (thickness) will lack support on the external part of the sole, thus having an overloaded wall.
This will cause the foot to lose height and the sole to collapse. We will get short feet relatively to height but long in leverage, which is the opposite of what we seek for.
The objective is to get the foot to be good enough in height but short in leverage (hoof wall length).
We can achieve this objective by considering these different aspects : First, the horse needs to have a well-balanced alimentation to insure a good growing.
This is primordial. A good sole thickness is, to me, the key to success because it’s the core of a healthy foot.
As long as we have a regenerating sole, we can keep it and use it to create a solid weld that will unite the hoof wall, the white line and the external part of the sole.
The unity of these three surfaces will create a pallet that will support the coffin bone and, at the same time, lower the stress on the laminae.
The result: a hoof wall that grows more vertically, offering a maximum protection and support to P3 and lowering the leverages.
To summarize, the growing of the sole plays an extremely important role. It has to be of good quality to fulfill its functions. To reach that, the horse owners must make sure to provide a good alimenation as well as an adequate environment and appropriate daily hoofcare.
The farrier’s role will be to make a proper trim by not weakening the sole, the frog and the bars uselessly.
No matter if the horse is shod or barefoot, the basic idea of trimming remains the same.
To get a strong and healthy hoof wall, sole must first grow.
A better growth is the first sign of improvement.
The foot must grow to be healthy, especially during times where the horse’s activity is more demanding