We’ve all heard this saying at some point in our horse journey. However, we may not have all taken it to heart, and the fact of the matter is, we should.
I’m not a hoof care professional, so I want this to come from an equine integrated body worker’s perspective. The long and the short of it is, if the angles of the hooves are not correct, it effects the horse’s WHOLE BODY.
This week, I will dive into some details about what specific structures are affected in both the horse’s front end and then the hind end when the hooves are out of balance.
For now, let’s talk about what “out of balance” means. For this post, we are referring to the medial/lateral balance of the hoof as well as the bony alignment of the hoof. A happy hoof will land either flat, or in a heel first manner when moving more forward. The horse’s foot was designed to dissipate energy through the back of the hoof. If they are consistently landing toe/heel instead of heel/toe, damage to plantar bones (bones of the hoof and lower/distal part of the leg), ligaments, tendons, and more can occur.
Here’s a tip: video your horse with the Slo-Mo feature on your phone. Have someone lead your horse (gravel or concrete is ideal) at a pretty forward walk and take the video from the side. When you replay it, how is your horse landing? If they’re landing toe/heel, their body is not functioning properly.
In my next post, I will talk about the front hooves, what structures in your horse’s body that can be impacted from hoof imbalances and some ways your horse could be indicating through their body that problems may be present.