The Common Sense Hoof Blog

Hoof Function: A LOOK Inside

Hoof Function:   A LOOK Inside

Look inside your horse's hoof wall to see the delicate balance of structures and get an idea of why horseshoes have been utilized for hundreds of years and why we think The Black Pads enhance the function of horseshoes and further protect your horse.

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Hoof Function: Thank goodness for the advances in Photography!

Hoof Function:   Thank goodness for the advances in Photography!

Especially at any gait faster than a walk, your horse should land on his or her heels first – period! Even at the walk, most horses will land on their feet with a heel-first motion, that motion continues and the toe should be the final part of the hoof that hits the ground. This motion allows for the foot to perform as it has been so perfectly designed by Mother Nature with the back third of the foot absorbing the majority of the impact.
It is very difficult to see the heel landing with the naked eye but, with advanced cameras and slow motion video, we are finally able to actually see how the horse's foot impacts the ground to initiate his/her forward progression.   So, you might ask: why is it important for horses to be able to land pain-free on their heels?
  • 1. The heel is the part of the hoof that first impacts the ground on landing. If your horse’s heels hurt, they will try to compensate to alleviate the pain.
  • 2. The heel is the part of the hoof that is designed to expand upon landing with the digital cushion absorbing the impact. Landing correctly allows the foot to function properly.
  • 3. The hoof itself is the base for all of the structures above it – enabling them to flex and to absorb the impact of a 1000 lbs. horse. If a horse doesn’t or won’t land on his feet correctly, the whole gait changes and all of the associated joints, tendons, ligaments, etc. are in jeopardy of being injured.
  • 4. Without a level, pain-free landing, a good break-over cannot be executed.
                           
I actually had a conversation with a friend of mine, not long ago, about how horses land – he was certain that they landed on their toes and then pushed right off of their toes. I asked him to just try to walk that way himself – land on your toe and go forward – it was a lightbulb moment for him, when he tried to walk toe-first, he actually went backwards! Yup, heel-first unless you want to go in reverse!
The Black Pads from Doc Foal's - a cushioned landing for your horse!

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Hoof Function: Heads Up! Heels First!

Hoof Function:   Heads Up!  Heels First!

Heel-first landing:  Especially at any gait faster than a walk, your horse should land on his or her heels first – period!  Even at the walk, most horses will land on their feet with a heel-first motion, the motion continues and the toe should be the final part of the hoof that hits the ground.  This motion allows for the foot to perform as it has been so perfectly designed by Mother Nature with the back third of the foot absorbing the majority of the impact.  This being said, I’d like to address another issue:  Why it’s important for horses...

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Hoof Conditions: NO HOOF, NO HORSE . . . . Again?!?

Hoof Conditions:   NO HOOF, NO HORSE . . . . Again?!?

By now, we have ALL heard the adage “no hoof, no horse” and it is SO true but, how many of us actually believe it?!?  What I’d like to address here is my belief that: long before a horse is lame enough to fall into this category, their ability (and willingness) to do their job is compromised. You can easily relate this to yourself:  if your feet hurt, are you willing to go out and run – how about even take a long walk?  Pain is subjective and, in my experience, most horses who are in any degree of pain...

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Pad Comparisons: Flip Whaaaaaaaaaat?!?

Pad Comparisons:   Flip Whaaaaaaaaaat?!?

A customer called to purchase more of The Black Pads and, in our conversation, mentioned something to the effect of “the thing I like about your pads versus the other flip-flops is” – whoa!  Since he wasn’t the first person to make this comparison, I thought it’s about time I try to clarify the difference between The Black Pad and a Flip Flop because they’re about as similar as a conventional horseshoe and a mushroom shoe. One reason that I think people tend to confuse the two pads is that they both utilize a conventional horseshoe clip in the toe...

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