Initial navicular hoof trim

Posted: March 9th, 2008, by Melanie Merrow

This is an initial trim I did on an older navicular mare. This mare is outside 24/7 with a herd on good land and is on a hay only diet with no sugars or starches. She has a good sole thickness of 3/8″collateral groove in the back and a little over 1/4″ in the front. The mare was walking with less pain after this trim.


The back of the heels (digital cushion) are flat and she has a very long toe with forward heels. The hoof wall was rasped very high in the quarters and toe before my trim, so she has thin walls. See how the heels are more full and the weight is placed back after the trim? The toe has been backed up placing the break over point back and relieving the outward pressure on the white line.

She has a nice solid sole with a “building” ridge at the toe along with a wonderfully thick, strong frog and no thrush. The frog was starting to shed at the lateral side, but I left it alone as this entire frog will naturally shed in the spring. The hoof shows some white line stretching at the toe and quarters. Her bars were laid over the seat of the corn. I trimmed the heels back to the widest part of the frog and relieved all of the flare at the toe by backing it to 1/8″ past the white line.


The digital cartilages are quite skinny and she does have some contraction. You can see after just one trim how the back of the hoof “plumps” up and becomes fuller with a good balanced trim. She now has good frog support and that should help expand the palmar side of these hooves.


I only have an after shot of this view, but it shows the good frog support and start of a nice concave sole. Her sole depth was 5/8″ in the back and a little over 1/4″ in the front – overall not a bad hoof. I believe that the white line stretching was a result of the excess pressure from the long toe and unbalanced quarters. With regular proper trimming, I hope to have this mare moving comfortable by the summer. She has a wonderful owner who is educated about diet and is already set up with hoof boots to keep her moving.