Horseshoes Impair Hoof Mechanism and the Circulatory Pump in the Foot

The feet of every equine are miniature blood pumps aiding the heart’s circulation through the establishment of Hoof Mechanism. Hoof Mechanism is the cyclical process of a weight bearing foot descending (on a hoof that is properly trimmed enough to leave concavity in the solar region of the foot), so that the sole flattens out as the hoof walls expand. This allows the coffin bone to descend and the solar corium to fill with blood. The blood is then expressed upwards when the foot is not weight bearing. Horseshoes inhibit–even prevent this process from occurring naturally in the foot. The result is poor hoof growth, no feeling and cold feet.

11_horseshoe_1_nail2The integrity of the white line is key to a healthy hoof. The white line is essentially the “glue” that holds the hoof wall to the coffin bone and it holds everything together inside a horses hoof. The white line is actually a transparent color not white as the name suggests. Changes in the diet, including a sugar over-load will cause the white line to stretch and weaken, often showing up as ripples down the hoof wall. Deterioration of the white line or white line disease seems to be fairly common in some domestic horses. The white line was never meant to be nailed into or exposed to the elements and I believe nailing into the white line to be very damaging. As you can see in this picture the nail goes up through the white line, only millimeters away from live tissue and the coffin bone (P3). This nail is only about 3/4 of an inch up the hoof wall.

11_thermal_rtfront_shodThermal image of shod right front hoof.

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.  ~ Winston Churchill