Dealing With A Low Heel, Long Toe Syndrome

Hooves with a low heel and a long toe are a big problem here in Russia. These hooves are characteristic for Thoroughbred and Quarter Horses. Experience in trimming some of these adult horses shows that bringing a hoof to the normal state requires the exclusion of the horse from racing for at least 1 year.

Some 60% of this syndrome in foals is due to genetics while the other 40% is due to feeding, maintenance and training.

Since low heel and long toe concerns are common in Thoroughbreds, this suggests that it is directly linked to human impact. Abundant feeding of foals and turnout on wet pastures with fresh grass leads to rapid weight gain, intense hoof growth and a considerable burden placed on the rear of the hoof.

When a young horse goes into training, elastic tissues, which have not yet had time to develop, can provide a strong shock in the heel area during a gallop. These repetitive shocks lead to bending of the tubular horn hoof capsule, which makes the sole thinner and offsets forward movement of the hoof mass. As a result, the heel becomes low and the toe extended.

Training and testing of horses is part of the selection process, and selection according to the figurative expression of the known scientist represents macroevolution at an accelerated pace.

When this system is applied for decades, acquired qualities will be passed on by inheritance. Developing a normal hoof is…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.

Top Articles

Current Issue

View More

Current Issue

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings