The main reasons (non exhaustive list, but most common):

Trimming imbalances or lack of hoof care: picture of an abandoned horse, no care since he weaned. The wall was so long, that were it could not break, it cracked. If the hoof is trimmed regularly but has a flare, if left too long without a trim or the flare is not properly addressed, this is often at the flare that the wall will crack. Simple mechanical result.

Diet: try cooking spaghetti bolognese without bolognese. That’s just plain pasta. That’s still serves the purpose but there is absolutely no extra to it + it’s no longer pasta bolognese. Same goes with horse feed & forage: they are ingredients for the body to use to create perfection. If the body lacks the necessary ingredients, it will just be able to cook the downgraded version of the recipe. If the body doesn’t get the right supplements, it will produce a downgraded hoof wall. That also entails WLD & Seedy Toe.

There’s no crack present here but you can see how dry and brittle the lower half of the foot looks. Much more risk of cracks on this type of hoof wall quality than with the new growth. Diet was changed 5 months prior to this pic.

Coronary band injuries: the coronary band is where the hoof wall is produced. If it’s been damaged, chances are it will produce damaged wall, hence weaker, hence more prone to cracks.

Excess of pressure at coronary band: it can happen that the shoeing job is not ideal and creates extra pressure on the wall. Often, the wall will “burst ” open from the excess of pressure and crack from the coronary band (which is soft and weaker than the wall). The same can happen with a massive abscess at the coronary band.

Energetic imbalance: I’m absolutely no practitioner, but it’s an observation we’ve had with other podiatrists and Shiatsu practitioners that in some cases, the cracks match with a weak ting point (traditional Chinese medicine). So that’s just another lead for you to explore.

(not my trim)


They can lead to infections, bigger cracks, wall breaking off, worst cases: injuries of soft tissues because the wall is not longer protecting as it should.


Remove the reason! I know, easier said than done. Start by removing one potential reason at a time. All in all, it’s just an indication that something is not quite right, so it’s worth investigating 😉