Complete And Useful Guides About Horse Hoof Anatomy

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Remember the famous words, “no hoof, no horse”? That is the absolute words to describe how vital the horse hoof is. Hoof is one of the most important body parts of a horse. It gives the balance of the horse’s body, supports the horse to move its huge body when it runs, jumps, and protect it from danger. The hoof-holds an important role in determining the life of horses.

Now, we are going to learn horse hoof anatomy, to find out each part of it. Generally, there are two anatomy groups of horse hoof, the sensitive parts or having blood vessels can give the feeling to the horse and the insensitive ones which function to protect the sensitive parts. The outer part of the hoof covers the sensitive part within by its hard and thick material


Horse Hoof Anatomy


horse hoof anatomy

The horse hoof is not a simple structure, but it is such an extraordinary and complicated system that supports the movement of the horse in which each part has its own responsibility. If one of the structures is malfunctioned caused by lack of nutrition or bad treatment, it can cause bad effects to the horse.


The Outside Part of Horse Hoof Anatomy


The Hoof Wall

Hoof wall (paries ungulae) covers the sensitive part inside the hoof for the bottom part. It is the thick, elastic, and tough with 6 to 12 mm thickness.  The wall is built up of three layers parts which are pigmented layer, water line, and white line.

the hoof wall
credit: Hoof Anatomy

The hoof wall is divided into three topographical areas, the front part is the toe, the side part is called quarter, and the back is the heel. It consists of Keratin which is a strong indissoluble protein.

The White Line

It is the separation line between the hoof wall and sole or inner layer of the wall.

horse hoof white line
credit: Rainier Hoof Rehab


This is the hoof part inside the white line which covers the bottom part of the hoof. It protects the sensitive part inside the sole and supports the balance of the horse’s weight.

horse hoof sule
credit: Horse Journals


There two bars in each hoof and placed on either side of the frog which has the function to improve strength to the heel.

horse hoof bars
credit: The Naturally Healthy Horse


The leathery and thick part that is placed between the bars. It is formed by the soft horn which is more elastic than the hoof wall and sole. This triangle rubbery object holds some important roles like pumping the blood back to the feet vessel and shock absorbers.

horse hoof anatomy frog
credit: AllHorseStuff


It is placed below the coronet band that works to protect the band when the shock is transferred from the hoof upwards the horse’s body, in which it merges with frog object.

horse hoof periople
credit: Horse Advice


It is also called a coronary band which is the separation line between horse’s foot skin and the hoof. The function is to add strength to the internal structures of the hoof when the horse runs or jumps.

horse hoof coronary
credit: sky-programmes88’s blog

The Inside Part of Horse Hoof Anatomy


The Bones

Inside, you will find some bones which are pedal bone, navicular bone, and short pastern bone. Pedal bone works to give strength and stability to the hoof and frames the inside structures in their place, and navicular bone support the moves of the horse on the bumpy surface, then short pastern bone support movement between the hoof and the leg.

Digital Cushion

It is placed below the pedal bone and above the frog which responsible as shock absorption.

hoof bone
credit: The Equine Podiatry Association UK

That’s all the brief description about horse hoof anatomy that can be useful for you to know more about one of your horse’s most important body part, or also for an educational purpose.