Anatomy of a horse’s foot
A horse’s hoof is composed of the wall, sole and frog. The wall is the part of the hoof that you can see when the horse is standing up. It covers the front and sides of the third phalanx, or coffin bone. The wall consists of the toe (front), quarters (sides) and heel.
When you pick up the horse’s hoof, the frog is immediately obvious. It’s the tough, thick, V-shaped structure that points down from the heels. It protects the digital cushion beneath it, improves traction and circulation in the hoof, and partly acts as a shock absorber when the horse moves.
Like human nails, horse hooves don’t have any pain receptors, so nailing a shoe to a hoof doesn’t hurt. An improper mounted horse shoe can hurt. When a horseshoe is put on incorrectly, it can lead to lameness.