QMy horse has a quarter crack on a hind hoof that starts at the top of his coronet band. He’s currently wearing heart bar shoes and sees the farrier every five weeks. All his other hooves are healthy. Is there anything else I can do to help the crack mend? Janice Durrell, Jersey Simon says... Quarter cracks originating from the coronet band are called coronary cracks or sand cracks. They are more akin to a fracture than the type that originate from the ground, which are named grass cracks. As the hoof lands with each stride, your horse’s bodyweight passes over the foot and weight is distributed through the hoof wall. With certain conformation, this means that the weight is unevenly distributed and the excessive loading makes the hoof crack. Most cracks of this type are predicated by the horse's conformation, so racehorses tend to get front quarter cracks to the inner heel because they ‘toe-out’ (the opposite of pigeon-toed, where the horse’s feet turn inwards). Sport horses, on the other hand, tend to get quarter cracks on the front outer hoof wall because they 'toe-in'. Hind coronary quarter cracks usually occur on 'base narrow' horses (a horse who stands with his hind feet together) because their weight loading is down the outside of the hoof.
Farrier options for your horse's quarter crack are threefold: First, a careful reappraisal of the foot to see if the hoof is in balance. Many of these cases are high medially, meaning that the hoof wall towards the inside is longer than it is on the outside. Second, a shoe giving greater stability to the hoof must be used — and with the heart bar shoe, your farrier is already doing that. It may be that fitting it a little wider, so that it projects laterally (to the outside). This will help the foot to balance and equalise loading. Third, the crack should be repaired. This will allow the new hoof generated from the coronary corium to grow down united. There are a number of methods to achieve this and, if your farrier doesn’t specialise in repair, ask him to refer you to one who does.
Hard ground and intensive exercise can lead to grass cracks in your horse’s feet