Front Hooves: What parts of the horse’s body are being negatively impacted when the front hooves aren’t balanced???
Let’s review, when the hoof is not consistently landing heel/toe, damage to bones of the hoof and lower/distal part of the leg), ligaments, tendons, and more can occur.
If the improper balance is causing heel pain, your horse’s body will naturally determine a better way to move to avoid the pain. For the front end, we are primary talking about the thoracic cavity including the shoulders, sternum, and ribcage. If your horse has under run heels, or a Negative Palmer Angle, the lower leg will be slightly caudal (back). This will cause your horse to lean forward to rebalance their body. This leaning forward action creates excessive tension in all the muscles throughout the entire thoracic sling. It causes the ribcage to drop, which makes is really hard to lift their back, and encourages the back to hollow out. This also causes incorrect use of the tendons and ligaments in the leg which can lead to tears and strains. Not to mention the havoc it wrecks on the fascial system (which can also affect the visceral system!)!
So, what are some performance issues you might see or feel from this?
If your horse continues to perform in an unbalanced state, their body will develop a strong compensation pattern. When this occurs, it is important to have a team of professionals working together. This will involve your vet, hoof care professional, and body worker. With teamwork, your horse can become healthy and whole again.
Stay tuned for:
No Hoof = No Horse, Hind Hooves!