When I first saw my horse, Dane, come up with these raised areas around the frogs, he was well into transitioning.

I looked at it and thought this is wrong, he doesn’t need these raised areas here…well, guess what? Yes, he did! The hoof doesn’t grow to make more trimming work for us…it grows where and how much it needs it!

There’s a lesson in what I am showing you here (apart from never to cut into the sole). If something shows up, observe it and leave it alone…yes, of course you can send us a pic and ask if this is ok to be there, but I learned from these bar pools that cutting it away just make them come back each time.

Why is that?

Well, look at the pictures, especially the ones from the sides. It is my belief that they formed because the frog was still high (therefore making ground contact first at landing) at that point, so they were building up next to the frog to support the frog, which by now I was leaving to compact, as you can see from the pictures below the trimmed ones.

It’s just the same as the sole ridge which becomes the toe callous. It is there to provide adequate protection (sole thickness) for the rim of the Pedal Bone.

Don’t cut it! Don’t cut the sole at all!

Yes, I’ve learnt a lot since back then!

Ok, take a look at these pictures (from different dates/trims) and you can see where I cut the bar pools away at first so you get an idea of where I’m talking about.

Here are pictures where I marked the bar pools for you:

Here are pictures from medial and lateral views so you can see how the bar pools built up to support the frog during ground contact (my thinking…you’re welcome to write and tell me what your thoughts are).

See how the height of the pool is the same height as the frog?

And here is a picture from the front so you can see the height of the pools to the frog as well. Also notice the tick hard frog. I was riding Dane barefoot on the gravel farm roads and people could not believe it was the same horse that would go lame on grass every time before a competition. Notice also the Walls still not at sole level, to bring about a tighter connection and shorten the toes some more.

Oh! and just for good measure….(whisper) It’s a white foot!


My recently adopted OTTB gelding has one front foot that has developed bar pools just like your photo. I pulled his shoes as soon as he got home and I am transitioning him to barefoot. Is it correct to understand the bar pools are the way the hoof is transitioning to protect itself. His other 3 feet that are black do not have this, they appear to be developing concavity to them much quicker. This front white foot has been more pan soled than the others from day one. Thoughts? Thanks

Dawn Roth May 17, 2016


Hi Dawn,

Ok, first off, the white in the hoof is only pigmentation. I know there are the old wives tales that black feet are better/stronger/healthier/whatever (lol) than white feet, but this is simply not true.

There is a reason why the one foot is worse than the other, even though each foot is individual and has to be trimmed as such.

There are also the tales about TB feet being the worst…another untruth. Given the correct feeding/trimming/exercise/turnout any TB can have feet that’ll easily cope with gravel roads on outrides…I’ve proven that…the bar pool soles is from Dane, which was my OTTB.

Ok, the bar pools…yes, the foot needs that protection during transition and you should not/need not touch it. Even if you do, it’ll just grow back again. I’ve been there, done that! I know it looks high, I know it looks strange, but believe me, when the foot is healed, the bar pools will no longer be there.

I would however be in a better position to comment if I see pictures of the feet. Please click on “Taking Pictures” in the “Trimming” drop down menu to see how the pictures should be taken.

Once I have them, we can start talking about what you should do to heal the feet.

If you can’t add pics to your comment, please email them to and I will post them to the site so you have a record of what they were like once they are healed.

We look forward to working with you and helping you help your horse, so you can both enjoy your rides together!

Johan May 18, 2016