Re: Underslung heels & hoof photos was One of my barefoot experiences

John Stewart

Hi Nancy,
These crushed heels occur in feet when the hoof wall and the bars are relatively weak.
If the bars are taken out too much, there is even less support for the heel so it would collapse more. 
I don't think a poor digital cushion will affect the collapsing, but the strength of the lateral cartilages might.
Shoes are not good for these collapsing heels, but the Thoroughbreds over here are almost all shod.  Otherwise, I am sure you are right about the footing.
I have put up 4 more photos.
1. Collapsing heels with curved bars.  2. Then the same foot with the bar trimmed to try to give support. 
You will see that the bar curves further forward on the medial side, with the heel curving in more, and there is a flare opposite the collapse.  The lateral bar folds very near the heel and there is less heel collapse.
3. A Clydesdale foot that is collapsing the same way.  Not strong enough for the weight of the horse.
4. The foot of a thoroughbred in the UK that is raced barefoot.  It is said that it had never beaten any horse when shod but, when it went barefoot, managed to win!

----- Original Message -----
To: ECHoof
Sent: Sunday, March 18, 2007 9:26 PM
Subject: Re: Underslung heels & hoof photos was Re: [ECHoof] One of my barefoot experiences

Hi John -

Can I see if I have this right, please?  :-)

The heels become underslung b/c the other structures – most notably the bars - are either weakened or not there?  Allowing them to roll over (curve or collapse) would weaken them.  What other way might this happen?  And if a they were being were removed or over trimmed regularly, it sounds like this might also contribute to underslung heels.  I’m guessing a poor digital cushion and lateral cartilage would as well?

If you had to reduce the bar to a level of support for the heels, presumably the footing would be really important for recovery.  IOW, if the bars had to be taken well below the heel, then ideally a footing that would get up in there and support the lowered bars is what you would want?

Am I close?

Thanks very much

Nancy C and Beau and Gabe in NH

>The heel has to be taken down to a level that isn't bent underneath.  If the
>bar is curved and collapsed, I would reduce it until it was straight enough
>to actually give some support to the heel.  The breakover at the toe has to
>be brought back.  It is the flare of the foot that pulls the sole flat, so
>the flare must be reduced.

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