One very basic concept of hoof function that I am always trying to explain is that the hoofwall is not the problem. It’s not a case of growing the hoofwall down when there’s a crack because, as I said, the hoofwall is not the problem.
I can understand that this statement could be a little difficult to believe because outwardly, it appears that if only the crack were to grow down then the hoof would return to it’s normal, healthy state. However, what I would like to clarify is that (in most cases) the hoofwall has not just cracked for no reason at all. The hoofwall cracks (or abcesses at the coronary band) because of inflammation INSIDE of the hoof capsule and the resulting infection and undue pressure from within the hoofwall which ultimately cracks from that pressure. And it’s PAINFUL!
So, this is the reason that I’m always preaching “the hoofwall is not the problem” and trying to get people to be more concerned with addressing the CAUSE of the crack – inflammation. And what causes that inflammation? It can be an injury, it can be metabolic but more often than not it is CONCUSSION. It is estimated that at a walk the pressure on each foot of your horse is ½ of their body weight – on EACH foot, individually! When the pace quickens, that pressure goes up to as much as 2 ½ to 3 times their body weight – on EACH foot! The repeated impact causes concussion which causes inflammation and bruising and so on!
It seems like a shameless plug but that is why we created THE BLACK PADS – it is my passion to help horses and give them an option that reduces the concussion, inflammation and pain in their lives and ultimately makes them more comfortable.