The hoof's external health affects the bones and soft tissues within, and vice versa.
by Christy West
Many horse owners go their whole lives caring for horses’ hooves with little knowledge of the hoof capsules’ inner workings—the interaction of the bones, tendons, ligaments, and other parts that lie beneath. They might be aware of how the hoof’s outer condition reflects its external health, but the hoof’s appearance also provides a wealth of information on its internal well-being. It’s much more than just a covering for the end of the limb or the equine equivalent of the human fingernail. Long-term hoof imbalances put excess strain on the bones and soft tissues, potentially compromising the structures’ shape and sturdiness long-term. Conversely, damaged or misshapen internal structures can effect congruent changes in hoof shape.
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