The Horse's Hoof Anatomy - The Coronary Band

August 14, 2018

The Horse's Hoof Anatomy - The Coronary Band

Anatomy of the horse’s hoof - the coronary band!


The coronary band is the junction between the hair and the hoof. Seems simple enough, but the function of the coronary band is much more important. This is the source of hoof growth! Proper nutrition for your horse’s hooves starts here. 


When you go inside the coronary band, you will find a coronary corium. It houses many blood vessels to feed the hoof wall. New cells are generated here and pushed out to die. This creates the keratin hoof wall. 


There are also long projections of corium called papillae. These papillae bring nutrients to the hoof wall through a series of long tubules. 



Horse owners should inspect he coronary bands daily - as damage there can be dangerous and have soundness implications. You might find a vertical crack, and depending on the location, this might indicate a quarter crack which could travel all the way down the hoof. Injuries to the coronary band often result in disfigurement of the hoof wall. You might also see the remains of “gravel”. Gravel is a not so scientific term for an abscess that has made it’s way out of the hoof at the top. 


If you find an injury to the coronary band, your first step is to call the Veterinarian. Even simple and small injuries which you think might be just fine, could have damaged the inner layers which feed the hoof. The bones of the lower leg might also be affected.


More severe injuries of the coronary band might require a cast, to keep healing tissues from moving too much and creating more damage. Sutures are also a possibility. 


For some coronary band injuries, the hoof directly below the injury can be trimmed shorter so it becomes non weigh bearing to help the healing process. 



Don’t forget that the coronary band wraps around the hoof, so injuries to the heel bulbs also need attention. 



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