Farriers' Roundtable

Q: How serious is sole bruising? How can I best determine its cause and if there might be an underlying condition that might require a veterinarian’s assistance?

 — Ohio Farrier

Summit attendees enjoy their meals during Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center’s Hospitality Night. Two lucky winners walked away with prize packages that included Delta Mustad products, as well as a trip to next year’s International Hoof-Care Summit. The evening also featured musical entertainment by the Fort Worth, Texas-based band Trash.  


A: Sole bruising is a fairly regular occurrence. While it can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, most times it’s just an incidental finding (though I mention any bruising I see to the owner).

Determining whether we need to worry or involve a veterinarian is something that each farrier needs to decide based on the condition of the horse and its soundness level.

When encountering a slight bruising or discoloration in a horse not exhibiting lameness, nothing more than mentioning it to the owner is necessary. More concern should be placed on any bruising that appears in a semi-circle pattern forward of the point of the frog, as this indicates the coffin bone is compressing the sole.


A mild bruise in the heel area.

When first evaluating a bruise, consider the following:

  1. Terrain. Is the horse being ridden in mud or on rocks? Pavement? Soft footing? The terrain can account for many sole bruises.
  2. Time of year. Has the horse had the winter off? Did the owner recently take…
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