Thehorse.com - Full Article
by: Erica Larson, News Editor
May 03 2011, Article # 18195
Your equine athlete's performance hasn't been blue ribbon-worthy as of late. Or maybe your broodmare's gaits are looking a little off kilter. Could long toes on the hind feet be to blame? According to the results of a recent study, the answer in some cases is yes and sometimes the solution can be very simple.
"The hind limb stance in (horses with long toes) is one in which the load-bearing surface of the hoof appears to be too far forward in relation to the coronary band and to the fetlock and cannon bone," said Richard A. Mansmann, VMD, PhD, hon. Dipl. ACVIM, professor emeritus at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, where this study was completed, and owner of the Equine Podiatry and Rehabilitation Practice in Chapel Hill. "These horses tend to 'stand under themselves' with their hind feet, meaning that at rest the foot is placed further forward than normal in relation to the vertical axis of the limb and the main mass of the hind quarter, giving the horse a sickle-hocked appearance."
Armed with that information, the research team set out to determine if long toes could be a cause of gluteal (the muscles that run along the back of a horse's hindquarters on either side of the tail) pain in horses, and if corrective trimming and/or shoeing could correct the problem and eliminate the pain...
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