Equine Boney Structure Horse - Conical Shaped Hoof - Natural Trim Mustang Hoof - Naturally Worn - Jaime Jackson Mule Hoof - Cylinder Shaped Hoof - Natural Trim Mule Hoof - Natural Trim

Why Barefoot?

Hoof Structure & Form

Most horses don't have the structure required in the back of the hoof for a comfortable heel first landing. They will compensate by going to a toe first landing. Toe first landings have been proven to have very detrimental affects on the horse and has been found to be the main contributor to "Navicular Syndrome" and "Navicular Disease".

Shoeing, confinement, general lack of movement, poor environment, can all contribute to problems in the hoof.

Restricting movement causes a lack of conditioning of the lateral cartilages and digital cushions. Lateral Cartilages along with the digital cushion make up the rear 1/2 of the hoof. The horse must have movement on uneven terrain and side to side flexion to fully develop the hoof.

During the time a hoof is shod, the digital cushion loses its toughness and cushioning quality. It will gain toughness when the foot lands heel first. Hind feet are generally not symmetrical in their medial-lateral (inside to outside) outline. The outside is generally wider due to different forces in the way the hind leg moves. We don't want to try to make them symmetrical. This equally applies to the front hooves. It is not necessary that the hooves look identical. Each hoof is unique. A good example of this is the club foot. One hoof will be steeper than the other. Generally, this is not a hoof problem but rather an adaption to another problem elsewhere in the body of the horse. This hoof form develops as a result of compensation.

Bare hoof trimmers do not utilize pastern angles or their relationship to the hoof angle influence hoof trimming. If the individual horse really is genetically steep and in need of a more upright hoof, the barefoot method of trimming will show us the perfect hoof for the existing conditions for the individual horse. Why should the hoof be bound to a static position in time as if they were always standing on concrete. But rather, a bare hoof trimmer is taught to visualize the internal structures of the hoof and trim the hoof according to its own unique needs based upon the live sole plane, while using the collateral groove depth as a meter to determine sole thickness or the lack thereof.

Hoof Mechanism - Theory of Hemodynamics

We must look to the research of Robert Bowker, VMD, PhD, and Professor Chris Pollitt – BVSc (Massey) PhD (Qld) regarding the Theory of Hemodynamics (meaning literally "blood movement", is the study of blood flow or the circulation) and how the hoof dissipates energy. We must have good structure in the hoof for hemodynamics to function properly. The hoof functions as a:

  • Spring for storing energy
  • A shock absorbing system for the dissipation of energy (locomotion)
  • Aids in blood circulation within the equine limb.

"Heel placement and breakover control the timing of the shut off of blood followed by the disbursement of the blood. Upon loading of the heel, the capsule expands, sucking approximately 1/4 of a cup of blood into the foot.The weight descends onto the sole. The hoof sucks blood into the hoof as impact is beginning.

At peak impact there is a moment in time that the blood can't move. It gets pinched off and pressure builds. At breakover, the horse takes the weight off the sole and all the pressure is released back up the leg. This is a very important part of how movement is helping to circulate the blood. If you don't have a heel first impact and sole pressure, this function is greatly diminished."

Equine Boney Structure Horse - Conical Shaped Hoof - Natural Trim Mustang Hoof - Naturally Worn - Jaime Jackson Mule Hoof - Cylinder Shaped Hoof - Natural Trim Mule Hoof - Natural Trim