Hoof Soundness

Walk your horse up, view from the side, front and behind

The Questions

1. Does the hoof land toe first ?

​2. If the hoof lands heel first when your horse is walking towards you, can you see the toe flick up as the heel lands?

​3. Does any one (or more) hoof land differently to the others? (it is possible to get all 4 hooves landing completely differently)

4. Do the feet land noticeably to the outside?

5. Is the hoof landing quiet?

Repeat in trot


If you’re struggling to see, take a video, with the camera low to the ground and the lens square on (not pointing down or up). You can then view the video in slow motion on your computer.

When looking for the flicking toe, it can be identified by seeing just a quick flash of sole as the hoof lands. (to be honest it’s more likely you’re seeing a shadow than sole, but it feels like you’re seeing the bottom of the hoof as it lands)

To spot a toe first landing, you can notice it from the angle of the fetlock. When heel first the fetlock will be extended on landing, toe first will be flexed to some degree.

Look at 1 foot at a time, walk up multiple times if you need to.

Make sure you have an active (but not over excited) pace.


For each 'YES' answer score 1 point.  If you only did walk then for each 'YES' score 2 points.

If your score is 0

If your score is 1-3

If your score is 4-6

If your score is 7-10