Gauteng Smallholder October 2015 - Page 41

From page 38 HOOF CARE allow the animal its range of motion. The structure of the equine foot is very similar to the cloven-footed hoof anatomy described above, but there are a few differences. Firstly, the hoof of the horse consists of one continuous structure. The outer wall is the same as that of a cow or sheep. However, the sole is slightly different. In the middle of a horse's sole is a V-shaped cleft, called the frog. This frog serves as a cushion, weight bearing surface that absorbs shock and aids in pumping blood throughout the hoof and up the leg. On either side of the V there are deep clefts, followed by ridges called the bars. The bars are a continuation of the hoof wall from the heel. The general bone structure of Donkey’s hoof with injury a horse's hoof is like that be more flexible as the of a cow, except that the animal moves. The front horse only has one set of region of the sole is called the bones, as opposed to the two toe, and the two bulbs at the claws of a bovine hoof. opposite end of the foot are A well-maintained routine of referred to as the heel bulbs. cleaning and trimming Inside the hoof, there are animals' feet will lead to a far bones that play a key role not lower incidence of discomonly in forming the shape of fort and lameness in the the hoof, but also in serving animals. Nutrition also plays as a support structure for the a key role in hoof health and leg and the rest of the body. maintaining proper growth However, the bones in the rate. hoof do not entirely formuBy keeping an animal well late the movement of the foot fed with the proper nutrients and the leg. Several tendons Continued on page 40 makes up the sole is produced by the corium of the sole, and is suppler than the horn of the hoof wall. The point where the hoof wall is bound to the sole is called the white line. The white line is a somewhat flexible junction between the sole and wall, allowing the hoof to Sheep’s forehooves 39 www.sasmallholder.co.za