Differentiation between fore and hind hoof dimensions in the horse (Equus caballus)
Abstract. The aim of the study was to define differences between front and hind hooves in dimensions and proportions of the measurements in horses of various breeds. 77 mares four to thirteen years old of four breeds belonging to different origin types were evaluated: Purebred Arabian horses, halfbred Anglo-Arabian horses, primitive Polish Konik horses and Polish Cold-Blooded horses. The dimensions were measured after trimming. Means in particular groups and differences between fore and hind hooves were estimated with the least square analysis of variance performed separately in each breed.
In the four breeds studied, the fore and hind hoof dimensions from the lateral view of the hoof capsule have come out to be similar. The toe to heel length ratio approximates 2 : 1 in both hooves. Viewed from the solar surface, the hind hoof is wider at the heel buttress relative to the fore hoof. The greatest difference between the fore and rear hooves occurs in the capsule width, hence while recording this parameter, it should be defined which foot it concerns. The hoof width is the most highly correlated with other dimensions, as well as the correlations between the fore and hind hooves in this parameter are the highest. The hoof capsule width is the most characteristic parameter of the hoof.