Hoofcare & Information for Barefoot Soundness

Linda Cowles Hoof Care - Serving the greater SF Bay Area and Northern California

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The Natural Hoof is All About Movement…


A hoof shaped by a loose rock environment has a pronounced scoop in the sides, a hoof shaped by work on flat surfaces (like carriage horses) have minimal scoop.


The sole has a hard callous, particularly at the edges, because the sole is weight bearing, particularly when the hoof expands on impact to absorb concussion & increase traction.

In soft, wet environments, abrasion doesn't occur easily so the natural hoof wall flair's& chips off, the frog gets soft & the dead sole becomes white & chalky so that minimal activity will result in shedding.

When living conditions don't include dozens of miles of movement over rock & dirt each day, trimmers can shape a natural hoof manually, and riders then finish the trim by riding over such terrain, or by providing a hoof-building environment that includes rock, pea gravel or other abrasive materials.

When a shod hoof has cracks, white line separation, flair, coronet distortion & chipping, the hoof wall is trying to get to a natural length.
Linda Cowles Hoof Care
Serving the greater SF Bay Area & Northern California
Copyright 2008 Linda Cowles
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