The coffin bone is surrounded by a matrix of blood vessels and connective tissue called the corium. The corium produces the external structures of the hoof.
As the picture below shows, there are different zones of the corium that make the different parts of the hoof. The structures that grow from the corium are:
- hoof wall
|Photo from ABC Hoofcare|
Since the hoof wall grows out of the coronary band at the top of the hoof, there needs to be something to connect it to the coffin bone all the way down to the ground- that's what the laminae are for. When magnified the laminae looks a bit like feathers, with many little "fingers" that grow along the edges. Because of this, the corium's laminae can grab onto the hoof wall laminae like velcro, locking the hoof wall and the coffin bone tightly together. Unfortunately the laminae tend to break under pressure or otherwise adverse conditions, something I'll write about more later.
If you've picked up a hoof you've seen laminae- at the sole level laminae become the white line.
|hoof wall showing laminae extending towards the corium|
|magnified view of the laminae|
This post marks the end of the information that everyone agrees on. Where I go from here might be a bit... um... controversial. Buckle up!