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When asking a farrier about his or her philosophy on any number of hoof-care tasks — trimming protocol, shoe fit, even shoe or nail choice — the answers are largely unpredictable because they vary widely. However, when asking farriers how they regard the periople, they fall into one of two camps — those who avoid it and those who remove it.
According to an American Farriers Journal survey, 67% of farriers say they avoid removing the periople while 33% do not avoid it.
The periople, or limbus, is an enveloping layer of membrane “between the skin and the hoof that forms the softer horn of the stratum externum.”1 In the early stages of development, this protective covering is soft to help prevent the coronet band from becoming bruised during the weight-bearing phase of stride2 and holds moisture in the foot.3
While it serves multiple functions, its role in preserving the integrity of the…