I realized that I've posted a lot of sole shots of the Quarters' hooves but I haven't shown much of the top side. The reason for that is I believe if the sole of a hoof looks good then the top of the hoof usually looks pretty good too. But it has finally occurred to me that most people look at the casing of the hoof instead of the sole- and that's where the angles come in.
There's only one angle in the hoof that I really care about- the hairline angle. It should be around 30 degrees from the ground and it should be straight. If it's horizontal to the ground, curved around the heel, or is lumpy and bumpy you've got problems. If the hairline angle is around 30 degrees, you can be reasonably assured that the coffin bone is in the correct position inside the hoof.
I care very little about the toe angle. I know that many farriers go on about how the toe should always be around 55 degrees, but I don't go for that -because the toe LIES. If there's any degree of separation in the lamina that toe will stretch and the angle will grow shallow. If all you're looking at is that angle you end up letting the heels get higher and higher as you try to keep that angle at the toe. If you do that for long enough you end up with a lame horse at best and a foundered one at worst.
I feel about the same about the heel angle. If the heel is underrun the hairline angle will tell you anyway. If the heel is too high, the hairline angle will tell you that too.
Anyway, time to put my money where my mouth is:
|Gwen's left fore|
|Gwen's right fore|
|Gwen's left hind|
|Gwen's right hind|
|Coriander left fore|
|Coriander right fore|
|Coriander left hind|
|Coriander right hind|
Despite that, Coriander is trot-on-gravel sound and Gwen has never acknowledged the existence of gravel. She has Chuck Norris hooves: She doesn't need to watch out for rocks, rocks need to watch out for her.
Thoughts? Questions? Concerns?