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Video: Horse Hooves, Grooming And Shoeing
The hoof consists of bones, tendons, ligaments, elastic crumbs, the base of the skin with vessels and nerves passing through it, and an insensitive horn shoe. The coffin bone is the base of the hoof, it determines its shape. On the front legs it is rounded in front, and on the hind legs it is roundly pointed. Accordingly, the front hooves are more rounded and wider than the hind hooves.
The hoof horn is produced by the superficial layer of cells at the base of the skin, which is shaped like papillae and leaflets. The papillae produce the tubular horn, and the leaflets produce the lamellar. The presence of papillae and leaflets significantly increases the area of the junction of the horny shoe with the base of the skin and thereby increases its strength. Horn cells constantly die off and renew themselves, while the horny shoe grows back. The anterior (toe) part of the hoof wall is completely renewed in 10-14 months, the shorter middle and heel parts, respectively, faster. Since the horn has a low thermal conductivity, the hot shoe can be fitted with normal sole thickness to the hoof without causing burns to the underlying skin.
Hooves come in very different shapes and sizes, depending on hereditary factors and the environment. Breed characteristics play an important role. Heavy horses often have large, wide hooves. On the contrary, in lungs, especially in high-blooded horses, small, narrow, and sometimes oblique hooves are often found. A horse's constitution, especially the stance of its legs, is reflected in the shape of the hooves. Due to changes in the position of the horse's legs, as well as under the influence of the environment, the shape of the hooves can change throughout the life of the horse. The conditions in which the foal and young horse grow up are extremely important for the development of the hooves, especially the quality of the soil. Wet ground encourages the development of wide hooves, while on dry, hard ground the hooves become narrower.The shape of the hooves also depends on the nature of the movements performed by the horse during work. Regular training with sufficient stress prevents hoof deformation.
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Signs of a healthy hoof
All parts of the healthy hoof wall expand downward. The crown edge, if viewed from the side, goes from front and top to back and down and, rounded, passes to the crumbs. The plantar edge has no defects and does not rest on the ground throughout. The surface of the hoof is covered with a thin layer of glaze, smooth and shiny, without cracks or splits. The stratum corneum should be concave, without red-blue or yellow spots (traces of hints). The horny arrow is well developed, has no sharp edges, breaks and cracks. The arrow grooves are wide and deep. The heel angles are not curved. There is no change in the white line (where the hoof wall meets the sole) (eg, divergence). The crumbs have a round, regular shape, clearly separated by an inter-abdominal groove.
The mechanism of the hoof is called the change in the configuration of its individual sections (expansion, narrowing, rotation) when the leg rests on the ground and then lifts it. At the moment of bearing, the corolla drops slightly, the hoof wall in the heel parts expands, the sole becomes flatter. After release of the load, when the leg is raised, the shape of the hoof is restored. The movement of the heels of the hoof leaves a friction mark on the upper surface of the shoe. The rhythmic stress on the base of the hoof skin causes the blood vessels to expand and the blood supply to be improved, which contributes to better horn growth. Therefore, hammering should not constrain the hoof mechanism.
The maintenance of the horse's performance depends on hoof care. It includes timely trimming and re-shoeing of hooves. Both shod and barefoot horses need skillful proper care.
Maintaining a horse's health requires not only hygienic conditions for its placement, but also daily regular movement. Long standing in the stable, lack of movement leads to deformation of the hooves. Hooves must be cleaned of dirt every day. The hooves are washed at least 2-3 times a week. After washing, in order to avoid skin diseases (biting midges), it is necessary to wipe well the putas, especially their back surface. Broad hooves with soft or loose horns need to be washed less frequently than narrow hooves with dry and hard horns. To prevent rotting, the arrows and grooves are lightly smeared with tar in wet weather. Lubrication of hooves with various fats, autol, etc. leads to destruction of the glaze and can cause disease.
Hoof shoeing serves to protect against excessive wear when working on hard ground, to treat bad or diseased hooves, and to correct improper positioning of the legs and movement of horses. Typical reforging time is about six weeks. Horses whose horn grows quickly should be reforged more often. If the horseshoe is not replaced in a timely manner, the toe part of the wall will grow too much, the angle of inclination of the finger will change, and as a result, tendons and ligaments will overload. Every day, during the cleaning of the horse, as well as before and after work, it is necessary to check whether the horseshoes are loose, whether the ends of the nails bent onto the hoof wall are not bent - the lambs, whether nails or other foreign objects have fallen into the hooves, whether the thorns are loose. For sport horses, it is better to turn the horseshoe spikes in the stable.A horse whose horseshoe has come off must not be ridden under any circumstances.