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Horseshoeing Part 1B

A Text-Book of

Horseshoeing

Part 1B

by A. Lungwitz and John W. Adams, copyright 1897

This is the first part in what will be a complete reprint of Lungwitz & Adams’ important ‘Textbook of Horse-Shoeing’ originally written in the 1880’s and containing some remarkably modern information. This volume goes into the greatest detail on the subject and with a intelligent clarity that belies how old it is. Coming as it did at end of the first horse era, and well before anyone might have reasonably predicted the advent of the automobile and tractor, it is apparent how important the equine was to the whole of society. The authors, of Germany and Pennsylvania, compiled what was, at the time, to be the ultimate word on the subject. As with all of the reprints we have offered over forty years time, we trust that readers will be triggered by these words to complete their education with diligence and introspection. Just because something is old doesn’t always make it right, and of course just because something is new doesn’t make it the true culmination. LRM

THE FOOT

Horseshoeing Part 1B

A. The Bones of the Foot

Since the horse is useful to man only by reason of his movements, his foot deserves the most careful attention. The horse-shoer should be familiar with all its parts. Fig. 3 shows the osseous framework of the foot, consisting of the lower end of the cannon bone (A), the long pastern (B), the two sesamoid bones (C), the short pastern (D), and the pedal bone (E). The lower end of the cannon, or large metacarpal bone (A) exhibits two convex articular surfaces (condyles) separated by a median ridge running from before to behind, and all covered by articular cartilage. On both the external and internal aspects of the lower end of the cannon are small uneven depressions in which ligaments take their attachment.

The condyles of the cannon articulate with the os suffraginis (long pastern) and the two sesamoids (Figs. 3, C, and 4, B) in such a manner that in the forefeet the cannon makes an angle with the long pastern of from one hundred and thirty-five to one hundred and forty degrees, and in the hind feet of from one hundred and forty to one hundred and forty-five degrees.

Horseshoeing Part 1B

The long pastern (first phalanx) (Fig. 4, A) is about one-third the length of the cannon; its upper and thicker end presents two condyloid cavities (a) (glenoid cavities), separated by a median groove, which exactly fit the condyles and ridge at the lower end of the cannon. The lower end of the long pastern is smaller than the upper, and is provided with two condyles, between which is a shallow groove (e). The anterior face of the bone is smooth, rounded from side to side, and blends into the lateral borders. The posterior face is flatter, and shows a clearly marked triangle to which ligaments attach.

The two sesamoid bones (Fig. 4, B) are small, and somewhat pyramidal in shape, and, lying against the posterior part of the condyles of the cannon bone, increase the articular surfaces at the upper end of the long pastern.

Horseshoeing Part 1B

The short pastern (second phalanx) (Figs. 5 and 6) lies under the first phalanx and above the os pedis; it is somewhat cubical in shape. Its upper articular surface (Fig. 5, a) presents two glenoid cavities to correspond with the condyles of the first phalanx. The lower articular surface (Fig. 5, d) resembles the lower end of the first phalanx. The upper posterior border of this bone is prominent and prolonged transversely (Fig. 6, a), to serve as a supporting ledge for the first phalanx, as a point of attachment for the perforatus tendon, and as a gliding surface for the perforans tendon.

Horseshoeing Part 1B

The lowest bone of the limb is the third phalanx or os pedis (Fig. 7). In form it is similar to the hoof. The anterior or wall-surface (a) is rough, like pumice stone. Above and in front is the pyramidal eminence to which the tendon of the anterior extensor of the phalanges attaches. Behind, the bone extends backward to form the inner and outer branches (c, c) or wings of the os pedis. The upper, articular surface (b) slopes backward and downward. The lower, solar or plantar surface (Fig. 8, a) is slightly concave, and presents posteriorly a half-moon-shaped excavation, with a roughened border called the semilunar crest (c), to which the perforans tendon attaches; just above this crest are two small holes (e) known as the plantar foramina, through which the plantar arteries pass into the bone. The surfaces of wall and sole come together in a sharp edge, which is circular in its course. It is easy to tell whether a pedal bone is from a fore or a hind limb; the os pedis of a hind leg has a steeper and more pointed toe, and a more strongly concaved solar surface than the same bone of a foreleg. Not only is the outline of the sharp inferior border of the os pedis of a front foot more rounded at the toe, but when placed on a flat surface the toe does not touch by reason of being turned slightly upward, much as a shoe designed to give a “rolling motion.” The os pedis of a hind foot is narrower from side to side (pointed), and does not turn up at the toe.

The right and left hoof-bones are also, as a rule, easily distinguished by variations in the surfaces of wall and sole. The shape of the os pedis corresponds to the form of the horny box or hoof, and therefore a knowledge of this bone is absolutely necessary.

Horseshoeing Part 1B

The navicular bone (os naviculare, nut-bone, Fig. 9 and 10) is an accessory or sesamoid bone to the os pedis. It is a small bone, transversely elongated and situated behind and below the os pedis and between the wings of the latter. It adds to the articular surface of the pedal joint. Its under surface is smooth, and acts as a gliding surface for the perforans tendon which is quite wide at this point.

The long axes of the three phalanges (os suffraginis, os coronae, and os pedis) should unite to form a straight line, when viewed either from in front or from one side; that is, the direction of each of these three bones should be the same as the common direction of the three considered as a whole.

B. The Articulations of the Foot.

There are three articulations in the foot – namely, the fetlock, coronary, and pedal joints. All are hinge-joints, the fetlock being a perfect hinge-joint, and the other two imperfect hinge-joints. Each has a capsular ligament, and also several funicular or cord-like ligaments which are placed at the sides of (lateral ligaments), or behind (on the side of flexion) the joint.

Horseshoeing Part 1B

I. The fetlock

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