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Farrier Wisdom
First Posted: Sept 28, 2012
Updated: Aug 9, 2013

Horse Hoof Anatomy

Anatomy of the Horse's Hoof, part one, provided by eXtension

Anatomy of the Horse's Hoof, part two, provided by eXtension

Structures of the Hoof

  • Hoof wall: The hard, exterior "capsule" of the hoof.
  • Coffin bone (also called the third phalanx, P3, or pedal bone): The largest, hoof- -shaped bone within the hoof capsule.
  • Laminae: Velcrolike tissues within the hoof that suspend the coffin bone inside the hoof wall.
  • Blood vessels and nerves: These supply the hoof tissues with critical oxygen and nutrients and remove waste products.
  • Deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT): A tendon that attaches to the back of the coffin bone and runs up the backside of the hoof. The deep digital flexor tendon is a large component of how a horse flexes his foot each time he takes a step.
  • Frog: The v-shaped, calluslike cushion on the underside of the hoof.
  • Sole: The bottom of the hoof.

For More Information:

Hoof Care Winter Facts
Study of Changes of Hoof Wall and Hoof Morphology During Trotting Exercise in Horses
Horse Foot
Horse Hooves
Quarter Cracks

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