Hoof Dissection

I cannot stress enough the importance of attending a barefoot clinic if you want to learn the basics, the anatomy, the trimming and everything else you need know to become a trimmer of any level. Hands on experience is an absolute must for you to understand more and more as you are exposed to the hoof.

Below is an account of the first Hoof Dissection I ever saw. Regardless of the many cadavers I have cut up, this still stays the best way to see exactly what all there is inside the horse’s foot.

So let’s get into it and while you cannot see this in real life, I certainly hope you will get a lot out of seeing it presented like this!

All credit goes to Dan Guerrera of Barehoof.com for bringing this knowledge to us!

Hover over any of the pictures to enlarge it.

The start….removing the bottom rim of hoof capsule with nippers to expose the sole joint…

All the way around…

Then it’s time to put the scalpel to work!

Removing the Sole from the Inner Structures requires team effort…in case you thought the sole was just going to pop off!

More team effort…

While some watch and one licks his lips!

The struggle continues as bit by bit the sole is uhhmmm….. torn off!

Time to hit the ground!

Then dig in deep!

Until finally…success!!!

Dan holding up the sole showing the inside, where the sole corium attaches the sole to the Pedal Bone, Lateral Cartilages, bars and frog.

Nice picture as Dan explains how and why the outside of the foot is an exact replica of the inside of the foot.

The Sole Corium, which attaches the sole to the Pedal Bone and is also responsible for the growth of the sole.

Next Dan starts pulling the hoof capsule from the hoof, tearing the Dermal and Epidermal laminae apart is no easy task!

And again requires some ground work!

Fast Forward…The Hoof Capsule finally came off exposing non-sensitive Epidermal Laminae inside the hoof capsule and sensitive Dermal Laminae around the Pedal Bone.

While the hoof capsule is passed around for inspection, Dan starts cutting the Coronary band loose.

Once removed, we see how the Coronary band runs all the way around and extends into the frog.

More explanations on how all this works…

Then it’s time to skin the cadaver…

To expose the ligaments, tendons and joints…

Passing the cadaver around I noticed how some men were more squeamish than the women…lol

Everyone had a chance to see how the inside of their horse’s legs work.

Some wanted a closer look…

And an even closer look!!!

Eventually, all the bones, tendons and ligaments were removed and in the picture below the Lateral Cartilage on the far side can be seen as well as the Navicular bone and the top of the Pedal Bone. Notice the Dermal Laminae around the Pedal Bone in Dan’s left hand.

I sure hope you learnt something through these pictures. As always, if you have any questions, please email us!