Horse Diseases > Anatomy of a horse hoof > The sole of the hoof

The sole of the hoof

The sole of the hoofThe sole is a thick plate of horn which, in conjunction with the bars and the frog, forms the floor of the foot. In shape it is irregularly crescentic, its posterior portion, that between the horns of the crescent, being deeply indented in a V-shaped manner to receive the frog. Its upper surface is convex, its lower concave. It may be recognised as possessing two faces and two borders.

The Superior or Internal Face is adapted to the sole of the os pedis. Its highest point, therefore, is at the point of its V-shaped indentation. From this point it slopes in every direction downwards and outwards until near the circumference.

Here it curves up to form a kind of a groove in which is lodged the inferior edge of the os pedis. In the centre of its anterior portion—that is to say, at the toe—will be seen a small inverted V-shaped ridge, which is a direct continuation of the same shaped prominence before mentioned on the internal face of the wall.

This Fleming has termed the toe-stay, from a notion that it serves to maintain the position of the os pedis. The whole of the superior face of the sole is covered with numerous fine punctures which receive the papillæ of the sensitive sole.

The Inferior Face is more or less concave according to circumstances, its deepest part being at the point of the frog. Sloping from this point to its circumference, it becomes suddenly flat just before joining the wall. Its horn in appearance is flaky.