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Which toe length do we talk about? What — there is more than one?
No doubt we all discuss toe length, but exactly what toe length do we mean? Most people will comment that feet are too long simply by looking at the dorsal aspect of the hoof.
There are actually three places to measure toe length; all are interconnected structurally and usually have minimums, which are required to have a hoof that is protective, mechanically optimum and strong. There are anatomical and mechanical strengths gained from that interconnection. A sacrifice of any one of those lengths will compromise the hoof and its function.
The first measurement — the most visual and one frequently referred to by veterinarians and horse owners — is the dorsal wall toe length, measured along the dorsal wall. Often done by sight (the complaint would be that “it just looks long”), it is generally considered the shorter measurement would be the better. For some reason, the concept that a horse…