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Re: Barefoot/hoof angles

>So is the old rule of matching the line of the hoof to the line of the 
>pastern no longer any good?  I thought "arbitrarily" changing the angle
>was  to invite problems.  Is is really OK to talk about and/or trim long
>or short toes w/o considering the structures above the hoof?  Or am I
>missing something?
>Lif Strand
>Quemado NM  USA

Ok, ok--I know I said I was done, but...

The important thing is that the bottom surface of the horse's coffin bone
is parallel to the ground, and as a rule this means that the hairline must
be at a 30 degree angle.  So the slope of the pastern doesn't have
much to do with the position of the coffin bone (though there is some
disagreement over whether the slope of the SHOULDER may have more bearing
on hoof angle).  With my horse, at least, I've found that a 30 degree
hairline slope puts the angle of his hoof right in line with his pastern,
which is about 45 degrees.  The argument in favor of this is that pastern
angle is a flexible measurement that depends on the hoof angle, not the
other way around; so you can change a horse's pastern angles by changing
the hoof angles.  I don't know whether this is true or not, having
relatively few horses to observe, and I don't think it's a direct
correlation--i.e., I know a horse who has almost horizontal hairlines,
high heels, and steep pasterns, but his hoof angle is still steeper than
his pastern.  Ideally, before we mess around with our horses by changing
their hoof angles drastically, we should get a set of side-view X-rays to
determine the exact hairline angle that individual horse needs for a
ground-parallel coffin bone, and that goes for shod or barefoot horses.
At the least, we should use Robyn's technique of finding the "magic dot"
which will allow us to find the horse's natural breakover point. Everything
in front of the breakover point is toe that is less important--obviously
you wouldn't want to take it ALL off, but backing it up so the horse is
comfortable and balanced shouldn't have any effect on his hoof angles,
unless they were way too low to start.  Having too long of a toe will
strain the laminar connections in the front of the hoof, causing white
line separation, "dished" toes, and soreness.  My horse has worn the
bottoms of his toes so that they round up from the breakover point to the
front hoof wall, so his hoof rolls over the breakover point when he takes
a step.  Works well for him, and I only touch the toe to keep the length
down (by backing it up from the front, not underneath).  I should think
this would all apply to shod horses as well, and I'm sure most good
farriers are well aware of how to find the breakover point and what a good
toe length is.  My farrier looked at me like I was reciting the alphabet
when I told him how I was trimming my horse--he was waiting for the "new

I'm with Robyn, in that I'd be very wary of leaving too long of a toe on
any horse that was supposed to do anything but go around a sand ring.  I
wonder if this is something that came directly from Dr. Strasser, or
whether it's a result of new barefoot people being inclinced to "leave
some hoof" on the horse to somehow protect against soreness.  There is one
diagram in particular in Dr. Strasser's book that I'm thinking of, where
she has a picture of a girl's feet in high-heeled platform shoes that are
too big, and the caption reads, "the equivalent of high heels and long
toes".  That makes me think that this long-toe thing came from somewhere
other than Strasser herself.

Abby (now I really am done)
& R.C. Cola (get off the internet, and come ride me!)

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