This 1977 photograph shows a pony call King. The Shetland pony is being taken into the care of the SPCA. The pony has extremely over-grown hooves, turning upwards at the toe. This image shows clearly how the constant growth of a horse's hooves can become a serious health and welfare problem if he are not properly maintained.
Equids such as horses, ponies and donkeys require regular hoof-rimming to avoid their hooves over-growing as shown in this picture.Generally horses should be seen by a farrier every few months, or more frequently as required. Overgrown hooves are commonly found in groups of horses that have not been shown adequate care, such as horses sent to slaughter.
Correction of over-grown hooves can be a very difficult process, and in some cases the animal cannot recover and must be euthanized.
An animal in this conditions has clearly been severely neglected. So if you see anything like this, a report should be made to local law enforcement or a humane agency.
Some show horses are encouraged to grown extra long hooves and may have tall stacked shows added. Longer hooves encourage an exaggerated high-stepping gait in breeds such as the Tennessee Walking Horse.
Animals like horses, and also swine and cattle, may develop overgrown hooves whilst being kept in close confinement.or on surfaces that do not allow proper hoof wear.
- Doughty, A., N. Cross, A. Robins, and C. J. C. Phillips. "Origin and foot condition of horses slaughtered in Australia for the human consumption market." Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Equine Veterinary Journal (2009) p8 (2007).
- Parmar, J. J., P. B. Patel, and B. G. Kag. "Incidence of hoof affections in cattle of North Gujarat." Indian Journal of Veterinary Surgery 35, no. 1 (2014): 61-63.