Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Sheared Heels, Coronet Not Same Height at Heels or Quarters of Hoof

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

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

  • Even if the horse does not appear to be lame to you.

Looking at your horse’s foot from behind, you notice one heel appears higher than the other. In other words, the coronary band is not level and the sheared heel is higher than the normal heel. This condition results from unbalanced forces being applied over a long period of time to one side of the ground surface of the hoof wall or another. It can occur in either hind or front feet.

Unbalanced forces often result from limb conformational abnormalities (angular limbs). An example might be a horse that toes out significantly and bears more weight on the inside of the hoof. In this case, the tendency might be to drive the coronet band higher on the inside.

Talk to your vet and your farrier when you notice this problem because, in some cases, it may be associated with lameness, and some treatment and long term management is needed. Your farrier and vet may recommend a shoeing or trimming prescription to reduces upward forces on the affected heel.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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