Common Horse Hoof Problems

Hoof Problems

“No hoof, no horse.” It’s such a simple statement, but it holds so much truth. Your horse’s hooves provide the foundation for everything you two do together, so it’s important to know the horse hoof care that will keep them healthy and sound. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Some common horse hoof problems and hoof diseases can happen to the healthiest hooves, so it’s important to know what to watch out for, and what to do in case a problem arises.


Quarter Crack

  • How to spot it: A quarter crack is a vertical split that occurs in the side (quarter) of the hoof. These cracks usually occur between the widest part of the hoof and the heel. Depending on the severity of the crack, the horse may or may not be lame.
  • How to treat it: Treatment varies according to severity. Minor cracks may be resolved with increased maintenance and attention to balance, while serious separations may require stabilization. As a result, you should always work with your vet and hoof care professional to determine severity and treatment.
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Hoof Bruise

  • How to spot it: A hoof bruise is similar to any other type of bruise – hemorrhage within tissues usually caused by blunt trauma, often times visible as discolored patches on the sole or hoof wall. Bruises can have a variety of causes, from acute trauma to concussive exercise to improper trimming/shoeing. Depending on the severity, a horse with a hoof bruise may be sensitive or even lame.
  • How to treat it: Like many other types of bruises, often the only treatment is rest, and possibly providing additional protection and cushioning through the use of shoes, pads, boots, or wraps. However, more serious problems can often be mistaken for simple bruises, so it’s important to work with your vet and farrier to evaluate your horse and set up a treatment plan.
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Horse Hoof Abscess

White Line Disease

Laminitis & Founder

Navicular Syndrome

SmartPak strongly encourages you to consult your veterinarian regarding specific questions about your horse's health. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, and is purely educational.