All foals should be trimmed from six weeks of age. This is the time to start trimming if you want the healthiest hooves possible.

AGE. 6 months
BREED. TB X Warmblood
ACTIVITIES. Joking around / chilling out / drinking milk !
HOOF CARE / HISTORY. Trimmed since 6 weeks old. Awesome hooves.


BREED. Thorough bred X
ACTIVITIES. Pasture pet / light work
HOOF CARE / HISTORY. Shod for many years. Hoof cracks. Under-run heels. Quater flares. Underdeveloped internal structures. Finds stoney terrain a challenge.

Benny is the foal of Izzy. Born 2007.
He was trimmed from 6 weeks old to keep him balanced and give his frogs LOTS of stimulation. He already has excellent structure in the back of his hooves ; frog / digital cushion of approximately 4.5cm thick to finger pressure. This will continue to develop so when he is a fully grown adult horse his hooves will be able to carry him around without any problems.

Left front
Left front
Left front
Right front

Izzy’s hooves are underdeveloped. The structure in the back of her hooves ; frog/digital cushion is approximately 3.5cm thick to the same finger pressure applied to Bennys. This is a very important area of the hoof and makes the difference between a healthy strong heal first landing or not. However it can easily be developed even in old horses but it takes a specific action plan and time to achieve results. The two horses explored in this case study are to demonstrate that there are many adult horses ‘running’ around on the digital cushion of a young foal because something has taken away the horses ability to develop his hooves. Steel shoes can impede the digital cushions development and may lead to contracted/under run heels and underdeveloped frogs... This problem is made worse when horses are shod at a young age before the hooves have had the opportunity to develop a digital cushion of thick fibro cartilage.

The more work a barefoot horse gets the better the hooves become. Work develops them just like it does the horses muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. Horses who are in regular work can develop amazing structure to the back of the foot. They are designed to do lots of miles so it makes sense to provide them with lots of miles. 

It is a great insight to have a feel at different horses internal structure to start seeing the pattern.

Right front
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