If your horse will stand quietly, try palpating (assessing through feel) your horse’s lateral cartilages, which can’t really be seen but can be easily felt above the quarters. They should have some give to them, but if they feel like bone, talk to your vet or hoof-care professional and get them assessed for sidebone. If they do feel pliable, monitor them occasionally to keep track of any changes.

In The Essential Hoof Book, authors Susan Kauffmann and Christina Cline provide easy-to-follow language, over 400 full-color photographs, and do-it-yourself exercises promise to empower horse owners and caretakers of all experience levels with the tools they need to accurately assess hoof health and keep their horses as sound and happy as possible.

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