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Heart Hoof Care: Part VI - Laminae & Golden Line

Now that we have all of the pieces to our imaginary hoof it is time to learn how all of our pieces fit together!  We will start by learning how the hoof wall is connected to the coffin bone which will lead to how the hoof wall is connected to the sole since we already learned that the sole grows from the bottom of the coffin bone.

Attached to the coffin bone is one more corium known as the laminar corium; this corium grows a form of biological velcro known as laminae.  I am sure all of you are familiar with velcro, so we will use it to help you visualize how laminae works.  Velcro has two different types of fabric that when pressed together fasten to each other by the many small pieces of each type of fabric interlocking with one another. 

Just like velcro consisting of two different fabrics, there are two different types of laminae—sensitive and insensitive.  Sensitive laminae are filled with nerves and blood vessels while insensitive laminae do not contain nerves or blood vessels.  The sensitive laminae are located closest to the coffin bone and the insensitive laminae are located closest to the the hoof wall.  The many folds of the the sensitive and insensitive laminae interdigitate, securely fastening the hoof wall to the coffin bone.

Ok, so we know how the wall is attached to the coffin it’s time to learn how the sole region which grows from the bottom of coffin bone attaches to the hoof wall.  The papillae located at the very edge of the coffin bone on the sole corium are called the terminal papillae.  These papillae grow tubules which interdigitate with the insensitive laminae of the hoof wall; this union between the sole and inner capsule wall is called the golden line.  It is most commonly referred to as the “white line;” however, it is not white in is golden!, so to avoid any confusion it makes more sense to call it the golden line. 

Next, we will look at how the bars connect.  The bars have their own laminae which grow at the base of the lateral cartilage.  The sensitive laminae are closest to the lateral cartilage and the insensitive laminae are closest to the bar wall.  The sole tubules growing from the terminal papillae interdigitate with the insensitive laminae of the bar wall creating the bar’s very own section of golden line.  The bar tubules and wall tubules form a triangular union at the heels of the hoof which will be referred to as the “heel purchase”—the landing region of the heel.

Lastly, the frog!  We already know the digital cushion is attached to both the lateral cartilages and the coffin bone.  The frog tubules that grow from the sensitive frog corium on the bottom of the digital cushion simply have a union with the bar tubules towards the back half of the frog and a union with the sole tubules at the front half of the frog.  

Woohoo!...that completes our imaginary hoof!  Below is a quick summary of the internal structures we learned and the hoof capsule pieces which grow from them:

  • Bottom of Coffin Bone ⇨ Sole Corium ⇨ Sole Tubules (Soft, Flaky) ⇨ Sole

  • Coronary Band ⇨ Coronary Corium ⇨ Wall Tubules (Hard, Rigid) ⇨ Capsule Wall

  • Lateral Cartilage ⇨ Bar Corium ⇨ Bar Tubules (Hard, Rigid) ⇨ Bar Wall

  • Digital Cushion ⇨ Sensitive Frog Corium ⇨ Frog Tubules (Rubbery, Elastic) ⇨ Frog

That concludes this educational, hoof anatomy blog series! Watch the video below for a quick review of all the anatomy you've learned...

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


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