Hi Lavinia. I am curious about when and why to do heel ramping? I have seen that this has been discussed in other hoof forums, but not really sure why I would do this, in what instances and what biomechanically happens when the heel is ramped? How does it affect foot fall? or is it not done for that reason? Thank you for posting what it looks like too.
Dolly and Hope's Case Histories
Heel ramping/rockering/beveling is used to ease the roll-over upon landing; help the heels to stand up more vertically when they are underrun; assist weak frogs+digital cushions to achieve heel-first landings by allowing added heel height without contributing to hoof distortions.
When you ramp the heel, it mechanically allows the foot to roll up onto the heel and sole upon landing rather than impact solidly and tip over onto the bottom of the foot. This mitigates the forces that drive the heel forward as it lands, which is esp. helpful when you are working to get an underrun heel moved back into it's physiologically appropriate location. It will also set the weight bearing in closer to the center of the foot so helps when you have bars/walls that have flared forward/outward, reducing their support capabilities.
When the frog is weak, it allows you to add some more vertical heel height to the heel to protect the frog from too much weight bearing so that you can achieve heel-first landings while simultaneously engaging the frog and helping build it's strength.
Pete Ramey has some pix in his article on Heel Height. See esp. figures 2,3, and 4:
To get a better idea of how the external and internal structures are arranged, see Paige Poss' site:
Jan 2005, RI