The Horses of Assateague Island_flat

The Horse's of Assateague Island


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Much has been written about the hooves and feet of wild horses of the west, but now, for the first time ever, you have the chance to see the hooves and feet of the wild horses from the Assateague Island National Seashore – a wet environment located along the southern border of Maryland and the northern border of Virginia. Examined in this detailed 24-page photo essay is a collection of 12 wild horses that died of natural causes or accidental death at the hands of humans between 2006 and 2014. Some things to look for and compare are:

  • Sole thickness
  • Wall thickness
  • Frog size and its relationship to the heels
  • The position relative to the tip of P3
  • Hoof capsule distortion and bone remodeling

The feet were collected by Allison Turner, a biological technician for the Assateague Island National Seashore, and handed over to Allie Hayes of Horse Science in West Boxford, Mass. to be freeze dried and turned into hoof models that you see in this report. Steve Kraus, CJF and the head of Farrier Services and senior lecturer in the department of Large Animal Surgery at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, provides commentary highlighting special points of interest on various views of the feet.