Hoof Anatomy


The foot of a horse is made up of bone, cartilage, joint surfaces and sensitive and insensitive laminae.  The coffin bone, navicular bone and the end of the short pastern bone comprise its basic support structure.

Hoof1A healthy front hoof should be round, straight, and open at the heel.  The front feet support more of the horse’s weight (about 60 percent).  The hind feet are slightly elongated.  

The hoof is the covering of the foot, including the bars, sole and frog.  The hoof does not contain the blood supply.  

The sensitive structure of the foot is referred to as the corium.  The growth of the corium initiates at the coronary band, which is located where the hair of the leg meets the top of the hoof.

Hoof2The sole of the foot is hard, it’s main function is to protect the inner sensitive part of the foot.

The frog (the V-shaped) portion of the hoof.  It is the circulatory receptor of the foot.  When the frog makes contact with the ground, it acts as a pump – helping to recirculate blood back up the leg.

The bars – separate the frog from the sole and helps to bear weight.

A horse’s hoof serves to protect it’s foot.  A healthy foot is the foundation for a healthy horse.

  • January 2018
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