Courtesy Killjoy Productions.
Training the eye to see negative changes in the hoof can be difficult but there are obvious signs not to be overlooked. There are distractions, for example, polishing the entire hoof by excessive sanding to give the best aesthetic presentation. The signs that show you there is problem developing are hidden by buffing and clear coating. It is easy to miss the subtle changes that are occurring. Erasing the cracks, flaws and lines make the feet seem perfect to the client and trainer. We should know better. There are pressures from the trainer, owner, judges and many others to make the hoof look perfect. The hoof does give insights into problems in other areas of the body but do not disregard the bends, coloring and wall that is crushed and maybe missing. Determining the flaw in the gait or soundness involves the hoof, but it can help isolate problems in other parts of the horse. Perfecting the hoof includes assessing the entire horse. You cannot blame the hoof inadequacies for all of the problems in the rest of the horse Try not hiding the flaws in balance and wall quality and watch the changes that happen over time. If you have or suspect an issue, check in on the horse in between shoeings or have pictures and the client can send same views you thought were important. Question the health and soundness of the entire horse along with scrutinizing the hoof. Start concerning yourself with the question, for example, why is this sole continuing to appear thin every time I re-shoe this horse. There are more questions under the obvious surface. Look outside to see inside.