A horse hoof is a structure surrounding the distal phalanx of the 3rd digit (digit III of the basic pentadactyl limb of vertebrates , evolved into a single weight-bearing digit in equids) of each of the four limbs of Equus species, which is covered by complex soft tissue and keratinised (cornified) structures. Since a single digit must bear the full proportion of the animal's weight that is borne by that limb, the hoof is of vital importance to the horse. The phrase "no hoof, no horse" underlines how much the health and the strength of the hoof is crucial for horse soundness.
Horse Hoof Anatomy
This is the first of many pages displaying horse hoof anatomy pictures. My goal is to begin with the basic external parts of the hoof and progress to the internal workings of the foot.