Nerves and Bloodflow – Keeping the Hoof Alive

Last Updated on March 11, 2022 by Allison Price

Do you need some scientific jargon? Recently, I found a wonderful article by Dr. Robert Bowker entitled “Nerves and Nerves, Nerves, & Nerves: Why are They So Important to The Horse?”

This article provides a detailed description of the various nerves that run through the hoof. It also describes how horses feel through the feet. It also explains the effects one limb can have on the other and the preferred surfaces for horses.

Nerves and Bloodflow

Sometimes it is difficult to remember that the hoof contains sensory nerves. These include touch and pain receptors. The hoof looks like a hard, round capsule with a soft, squishy middle (the frog). It can also look as though there are very few activities just above the hoof, since there are no motor nerves or muscles in the lower limbs.

The hoof is a neurosensory organ, and the central nerves of the horse are extremely important. The horse’s veins pulsate blood back towards the heart/body, unlike humans. Horses have sensory nerves that affect the other foot. If one foot is stimulated, it will effect the change in the other foot. Horses that stand on one foot on a different surface or on ice will have their blood flow affected. This is according to research.
Horses should always land on their heels in all gaits, even if they are walking flat. This is due to the Pacinian corpuscle (among other places), which is a type of mechanical receptor that is used for proprioception. Horses can sense vibrations in the earth by their heels. Horses feel vibrations in the earth through their heels, and because Cavallo Hoof Boots have a counter-effect and Horse Hoof Boots allow the hoof to function properly, they also feel the vibration. Blood circulation continues unaffected.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!