ABC HoofPrint Trim

The easiest and most proficient trimming method available.
Presented by Cheryl Henderson

Question: Am I right that if bar is too high and growing forward, you will see corresponding flare in the wall on the other side of sole on that side? I think I have read that in some form, but looking and assessing the other day, a lightbulb went off like DUH-UH, that bar needs to come back.

Answer: Yes and No.   I like to break each problem issue created to the sole and capsule by what the pressure is and how long excess bar has been problematic.

The bar tubules when they exceed the normal bar wall region will displace the heel purchase forward of the baseline. Excess bar length in the heel purchase is crushed and tilted forward out onto the sole. The inner half of the heel purchase is created by bar tubules that emerge there while the outer half comes from the capsule wall.

The capsule wall generally doesn’t grow in excess like the bar wall but wears down to the sole plane on a balanced hoof. As the bar wall lengthens it moves the heel purchase forward and outward connecting to the capsule wall. Everything depends on a “recipe” shape of the capsule, comfort in the hoof, weight of the animal, terrain, moisture and movement and how long the foot has been in a certain condition. The “recipe” influences the results that excess bar pushed out toward the heel quarters will do individually to each horse, individual to each hoof on the same horse and individual to each side of the same hoof.

Pressure to the outer heel quarter from a repositioned heel purchase varies depending on the “recipe”. You commonly see wall tears at the bottom of the wall that will swell. There can be significant flare deforming the shape of the lower area like a bell. When the capsule wall experiences this type of force eventually it will be damaged and weakened at that location allowing fungus to migrate up inside the wall.

  1. When the rim top of the bar wall is aiming off the heel quarter towards the frog, it can force the capsule wall to bow outwardly and add stress up the heel quarter. The weight of a forward heel will begin to drag the tubules of the heel quarter in a crushing low angle.
  1. The tips of the tubules that comprise the heel purchase emerge adjacent to the back of the frog with the point of the heel touching the baseline. This allows the tips to be compressed at foot fall and standing. It is the pressure to the heel purchase tubule tips that develop pigment.
  1. When bar tubules exceed the bar wall area their excess lays over the angle of the sole and down the side of the front half of the frog. The excess bar tubules are now getting pressed into the sole plane. The sole beneath is being damaged.    

Any excess capsule wall and excess bar wall will cause something to yield beyond normal.

A weak hoof capsule is one with too much unpigmented (white) tubules within the matrix of the capsule and bar wall. The weak wall will flare, tear and provide an avenue for fungus to enter the capsule wall from the ground. The worst problems to capsule shape come from a high ratio of unpigmented tubules.

You need to trim the excess capsule wall to the sole plane. This way the capsule wall will stay conical and straight. When the capsule wall grows beyond the sole plane the weak walls will bow and flare between the weight of the horse and the ground. On the other hand when the matrix of the capsule wall is mostly pigmented tubules you don’t see the bowing and swells as often in the wall.