Danny Love's Farrier's Corner /
|STRUCTURES OF THE HOOF|
|1 - Apex of Frog||2 -Duckett's Dot||3 - Tip of coffin bone|
|4 - Tip of horn growth||5 - Buttress of frog||6 - Coffin bone|
|7 - Navicular bone||8 - Short pastern||9 - Deep digital flexor tendon|
|10 - Digital cushion (Includes ungual cartilage)||11 - Coronary band|
|12 - Extensor process||13 - Heel|
For those readers scratching your heads over Duckett's Dot, it is located about 3/8" behind the apex of the frog and should be at the widest part of the foot.
The hoof wall made No Contact with the ground and was not, in that context, a direct weight bearing structure. The sole and four points made contact and bore the weight, typically along the bars and in "the white zone" (laminae / sole junction).
Thus the sole and corners of the toe were heavily calloused and in direct contact with the ground. In addition, the anterior portion of the frog was also in direct contact with the ground. In 50% of the horses, the frog extended about 1/4" below the heels (made ground contact first).
There is a pattern and logical mechanical progression to the breaking of the hoof wall which varies according to the terrain in which the horse lives. For example:
(Sketches will be drawn and scanned in.)
The soles and sensitive frog underwent constant natural exfoliation of excess material in the areas where contact was not important. With respect to the frog, the apex exfoliated first, then the median portion, however the anterior, or buttress of the frog did not exfoliate but rather was substantially calloused.
On horses which traveled between 5 and 35 miles a day, the hoof structures showed consistently similar attributes over a wide number of horses examined.
The hoof wall did not contact the ground and was not a direct component in "earth-hoof" contact, but was rather more of a containment, protection and to a minor extent an energy dissipation structure.
The sole appeared to be the most responsive structure on the bottom of the horse's foot and adapted almost immediately (within a few days) to changes in the environment.
Mud seemed to play an important part in supporting the horse's foot. The lips of the frog appeared to be designed to trap mud and mud packed into the sole appeared to help dissipate the force when the hoof struck the ground.
Thrush appeared to not be a factor even though the horses' feet were constantly caked with mud. This was attributed to the healthier condition of the tissues of the frog due to increased contact and stimulation, which was explained in better detail later in the lecture.
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