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Heart Hoof Care: Part III - Coronary Corium, Wall Tubules, and Periople Skin

Updated: Apr 5

If you grasped the concept of how the sole tubules grow from the sole corium in the previous blog you should be able to easily understand the concept of this blog which will cover the coronary corium, wall tubules, as well as periople skin.  The coronary corium is located within the coronary band.  Just like sole corium, the coronary corium is covered with many tiny papillae; however, these papillae produce capsule wall tubules instead of sole tubules.  Although they are both tubules, wall tubules and sole tubules create very different materials designed to serve different purposes for the hoof.  Sole tubules form a softer, flakier material to cushion and protect the bottom of the coffin bone while wall tubules form a harder, stiffer material to protect the entire hoof’s exterior and helping bear the weight of the horse.  If you need a refresher on the concept of tubules just revisit the previous blog covering sole tubules (remember they can be compared to hair or blades of grass to help you conceptualize them!).  The wall tubules grow diagonally down and forward from the coronary band to the ground surface; ideally following the dorsal angle of the coffin bone (angle of the front of the coffin bone)…remember that for later!

The outermost wall tubules are pigmented, meaning they contain color.  The innermost wall tubules are unpigmented, meaning they contain no color—making them white!  All of the wall tubules combined form the area of the hoof known as the capsule wall; therefore, the outer capsule wall is pigmented and the inner capsule wall is unpigmented.  I used to mistakenly confuse the inner capsule wall with the “white line” of the hoof due to its color, but the “white line” is actually the junction between the inner capsule wall and the sole which will be the subject of a later blog.

The last topic for this blog is the periople skin.  The periople skin grows from the perioplic corium located within the perioplic ring—a very thin hairless skin above the coronary band.  The periople skin is a flexible, tough skin that provides protection to the sensitive coronary band and emerging wall tubules.  The periople skin is thickest and most visible over the coronary band and emerging tubules, and it becomes thinner moving down the hoof wall eventually turning into the thin layer of material that creates the shiny, waxy appearance of the hoof.

The capsule wall is the second piece of the imaginary hoof we are building.  The next blog will give us the third piece to our you think there might be more tubules? We’ll learn how everything connects after we have all of our hoof pieces!

***All photos courtesy of Cheryl HendersonThe Oregon School of Natural Hoof Care***


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