Re: crushed heels was Underslung heels

John Stewart

Hi Abby,

We will probably have to agree to disagree on this point.

With photographs of hundreds of horses and ponies, I thought I would try to divide them up into breeds, to identify different breed feet characteristics. This wasn't easy because I seemed to have large numbers of certain breeds but very few of others. There were also a lot of cross-breeds and some of unidentifiable origin.

What I was able to do was to identify those breeds at the two extremes - The Thoroughbred with the weak-walled collapsed feet and the Friesian or Lucitano at the very strong-walled upright end. In between there seemed to be breeds (or cross-breeds) which seemed to tend to distort in a consistent pattern, which seemed to depend on the strength of the hoof wall. This seemed to be the case regardless of what the horse was being asked to do or, for that matter, how early in their life they were being asked to do it.
Young Thoroughbred feet will generally collapse quickly after shoes are applied to them, either very early when they are shod for racing, or later if they are not.

I know that Dr Bowker talks quite a lot about the importance and the changes that occur in the lateral cartilages and the digital cushion, under different circumstances. They may well be of importance in how the foot functions and in the maintenance of shape, however, I don't think they are involved in the major distorting forces on the hoof and bars, of the horse's weight, via the hoof's attachment to the pedal bone, aginst the reactionary ground forces.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Abby Bloxsom" <dearab@...>

I'm inclined to disagree with you here John - I think the weak lateral
cartilages AND digital cushion are the origin of the problem. I think
that poor hoof mechanics (and racing/jumping are so hard on the
mechanics of the heel region of the front feet that they are a major
risk factor IMO) creates the weak/thin walled foot in the first place,
and then the thin-walled foot just isn't sufficient to hold the horse up
so it folds under.


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