Does this picture make you realize how much blood and blood flow there is in the blood supply to the hoof?
Did you Know?
The horse’s Pedal Bone (P3) is the ONLY bone ever found in any animal that has an artery (Circumflex Artery) running through it? That would be the two fat ones you see at the top, going in and coming out!
In the drawing below you can see how the Circumflex Artery runs through the (grey) Pedal Bone…
And here’s what they look like in a cross-cut of the Pedal Bone…
What does that tell us?
That there is a lot of blood going all the way into the foot from the heart and back up to the heart.
How does it do that?
Through contraction of the hoof as it lifts from the ground and expansion when weight bearing as it loads onto the ground again…every step the hoof is helping the flow of blood from the heart to the hoof and back to the heart….this is very important, not only when the feet are being rehabilitated but also to keep healthy feet healthy, as it is nutrients and oxygen that is carried with the blood to the feet.
This does not mean that the horse has to move to move the blood from his heart to his feet, as when he is just standing, but that when the horse is moving and needs more blood to the hooves, that the expansion and contraction helps the blood move.
Check out the Cadaver Picture on the Inner Structure page to see the Circumflex Artery.
Below are sketches from Dr Chris Pollitt and others for your further reference…