Friday, May 25, 2012

The Chalk Test

I've been chatting with my trimmer about what to do with Lilly's left front hoof. Her conformation on that leg isn't the best and her hoof is attached to her pastern fairly crooked. Now that she's barefoot, it wears in a way that makes it difficult for me to trim her because the lateral side either isn't growing or she wears it as quickly as it grows . My trimmer wanted me to do a chalk test to see exactly which parts of her hoof are being worn as she walks, and that way we can come up with a better plan for trimming.

I went to the store and bought some sidewalk chalk. You can't just buy a couple pieces, so I ended up with a 16 piece pack, so I'll be able to do this test MANY times in the future!

I decided to use neon green so it would really show up, and I colored the entire bottom side of Lilly's hoof. I walked her around outside on the concrete for about 5 minutes, doing some circles and some turns. I have to admit, I thought more of the chalk would be gone after all that walking, so I'm not sure if the sidewalk chalk is maybe too thick for the test? Or maybe it worked just like it was supposed to!

I did the left front first and then went back and did her right front just to see if there was a big difference between the two. Here are the results:

Left front before...
Left front after...
Right front before...
Right front after...
Pretty interesting!


  1. This is such a brilliant idea. I can't believe I never thought of it...

  2. Interesting! Now I want to try it too...

  3. Wait a minute - what did you conclude?

    1. My trimmer suggested I lower the medial bar and heel to see if that helps her break over more evenly. It looks to her like Lilly is breaking over slightly more on the lateral side. :)