Long-Toe, Low-Heel Hooves: Let Them Grow Naturally?

Would a horse with long-toed, low-heeled conformation benefit from allowing their hooves to grow out naturally?

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Long-Toe, Low-Heel Hooves: Let Them Grow Naturally?
Long-toed, low-heeled horses might benefit from having their shoes pulled to let the feet grow out naturally, with frequent farrier care. | Photo: Alexandra Beckstett/The Horse

By Stuart Brown, DVM, Rhonda Rathgeber, PhD, DVM, and Martha Rodgers, VMD

Q: I’m looking at a horse that has the long-toe, low-heel conformation. My instinct is to throw him out in a field and give him some time. I’d also like to pull his shoes and see how his feet grow out naturally and send my farrier pictures of his feet as he goes

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