Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Scar on Coronet, Hairline of Hoof

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • For an assessment of how this will affect your horse's management and performance.
  • If you are considering purchase, be sure to have a purchase exam performed.

Wounds to the lower limb are common in horses. Sometimes these involve the coronary band, the hairline of the hoof where the vital tissue that create the hoof wall is generated. The coronet is the functional equivalent of our cuticle and, if damaged, the fingernail grows out abnormally.

In horses with a scarred coronet band, the hoof wall that grows from it will likely be abnormal. In some cases, this appears only as minor roughening of the surface. In more severe cases, there may be a severely deformed hoof wall that can result in hoof instability and lameness. Poor quality hoof wall produced under these scars are also likely to develop cracks, which can lead to infection.


If you notice any abnormality along the coronary band, discuss it with your vet. Assess the horse for lameness and feel the hoof for heat or a digital pulse. In a pre-purchase exam, a severely scarred coronet is a potentially serious fault worth discussing with your vet.


When evaluating a horse, an experienced vet will know whether a damaged coronet and hoof wall is likely to cause the horse a problem for a particular use. In addition, they will know how to minimize the impact of a damaged coronet through shoeing or trimming. In some acute (recent) cases of coronet wounding, a surgical approach may be very helpful in minimizing scarring.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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