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The Hoof Project

Question & Answer Center

This section is designed to answer specific questions regarding either the normal or diseased foot. Where possible, the answers will include references to publications for further readings regarding the topic in question.

For answers to the Frequently Asked Questions, sign up today! Your membership gives you 24-hour access to The Hoof Project's findings, answers and research resources. You'll also receive the annual hard copy publication of The Hoof Forum.

Sample FAQ

Should the horse with acute laminitis be walked to increase blood flow though the feet?

(click on the question to see the answer)

Questions are grouped by subject for easy reference:



  • Are white hooves weaker than dark colored hooves?
  • Is it better to leave a horse barefoot or shod?


Foot Problems

  • What causes the white flaky appearance sometimes seen on the upper part of the hoof wall?
  • What causes a frog to fall off?
  • What can be done about feet that will not grow at a normal rate?
  • What is "white line" disease?
  • What causes white line disease?


Laminitis and Founder

  • Are nitroglycerin gels effective in prevention or treatment of laminitis?
  • Should a horse with chronic laminitis be treated with pain controlling drugs?
  • Is isoxsuprine a useful drug for the treatment of laminitis?
  • How soon should a horse that has recovered from an episode of laminitis be returned to use?
  • Should the horse with acute laminitis be walked to increase blood flow through the feet?
  • How can it be determined if a horse is foundered?
  • Is it safe to buy a horse that has had laminitis?


Foot Conformation

  • Is the long toe, under-run heel foot conformation caused by farriers?
  • Should a foot be trimmed so that both heels land simultaneously when the horse is at the walk?

Foot Biomechanics

  • Does increasing the length of toe cause a horse to take a longer stride?


Hoof Nutrition

  • What is the most critical nutrient to normal hoof growth?

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