One of the hardest parts of a horse’s body to maintain can be the hooves – especially if the horse is a thoroughbred. Many thoroughbreds have a tendency to have problems with their hooves. One common hoof malady that torments some horses is collapsed heels. The heels of a horse are simply the back of the bottom part of the hoof. Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that collapsed heels go hand-in-hand with improper hoof spread when the hooves are placed on the ground.
When a horse is running at high speeds, its feet experience a force that equals approximately two-and-a-half times the horse’s weight. When a horse has collapsed heels, the feet are unable to handle this heavy load. This heavy load on compromised hoof surfaces can affect the navicular bone and other structures, which can cause injury. Treatment for collapsed heels is still being studied.