The shape of a horse’s conformation often dictates the form a hoof takes. A “cow hocked” trotter is one example. The hind toes are turned outward and the cap of the hocks are turned inward toward each other. This type of conformation will cause the hind feet to land wider than normal when the horse is in motion.
Phil Hartley tells clients he’s always available to check the feet of new horses before they are purchased. The San Jose, Calif., farrier has done this free of charge since it makes his life easier later when dealing with conformational concerns.
Laterality is the term used to describe any animal’s propensity for using one side of the body predominantly and the preference for one limb over the other opposing limb. Put simply, we can call it “one-sidedness.”
This landmark study examined correlations between hoof shape and laminar morphology. The hypothesis was that hoof shape would be related to the shape and orientation of the lamina at the cellular level and that this relationship would vary between breeds.
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