From time to time we see horses developing unnatural wear patterns in their hoof, or hooves. This could be the consequence of a trim gone wrong. For example, systematically over rasping the toe wall in an attempt to keep it tight/straight/smooth and thin will eventually cause a, so called, “Bull-nose”.
The stimulated.. or let’s say.. aggravated growth coria will respond to this excessive trimming and alter the form of the hoof by developing a ‘rounded’ nose. Allthough this response is natural, the outcome is not. Form effects movement and thus the unnatural form will enhance unnatural movement. And so on..
Luckily this situation is completely reversible.
Another example of unnatural wear can be seen in horses creating this wear pattern them selves. We see this a lot on hind hooves. The exact reason for this wearing down of the toe wall can be hard to determine. One reason could be that the rider asking too much of the horse, another that the saddle simply doesn’t fit. Something is making the horse move differently in an attempt to compensate for tension or pain and this something needs to be remedied.
No matter how you look at it, any horse developing such wear patterns is not feeling well, physically and or mentally.
In these situations it is even more important to seriously examine the way you board your horse. Is there enough freedom to move, does your horse live in a herd, how is it fed, is he or she too fat? And so on..
You need to realize that everything is in relation to one another. The way we feed, board, trim and train our horse has great impact on their lives. Healing and destructive forces are constantly batteling it out out with each other in an attempt to find an ultimate balance within the boundries of domestication. As horseowners we need to be aware of these boundries and not mask possible symptoms that are offered to us for information.
55 million years of evolution deserves our respect.