March 16, 2016

Identifying and Managing Quarter Cracks

A horse that is at risk of developing a Quarter Crack may have one of the following characteristics:

  • Long toes
  • Heels that lack angles
  • Crooked coronary band or hairline
  • Strikes one part of the foot repeatedly
  • Feet are not flat on the ground
  • Predisposed to condition because of genetic features such as carpus valgus or varus

Signs that a horse may have a Quarter Crack:

  • Vertical crack from the ground-up at the widest part of the hoof wall
  • A crack is bleeding at the hairline
  • The horse appears lame
  • Crooked coronary band or hairline 

Managing Quarter Cracks to recovery:

  • Identify the cause of the crack(s) with a hoof care professional
  • Limit activity level (riding and exercise)
  • Trim hooves so the feet are balanced and weight is distributed evenly to reduce stress on the crack
  • Have a farrier or veterinarian clean and treat the crack to heal
  • If appropriate, have a farrier apply adhesive to cover the crack

How farriers prevent Quarter Cracks:

  • Trim the horse’s hooves consistently
  • Apply pour-in pads to provide support
  • Utilize pour-in pads to distribute a horse’s weight evenly across the entire hoof bottom