Horse Anatomy: Frog

The frog is a part of the underside of a horse’s hoof. It functions as a shock absorber and part of the horse’s circulatory system. It is triangular in shape, the base of the triangle located at the heel and the top pointing toward the toe of the hoof.

It should cover about 25% or more of the bottom of the hoof and be in contact with the ground in order to cushion the force of impact to the navicular bone, coffin bone, and deep digital flexor tendon of the leg. Care of the feet should encourage keeping the frog as large, ground covering, and cushioning as possible.
healthy horse hoof

Blood located in the digital cushion of the hoof just above the frog is compressed with each step and pumped back up the leg, actually aiding the heart in moving blood.  A horse whose frog is healthy is less likely to experience leg problems and lameness. (see barefoot discussion)

Equine Thrush is a common bacterial infection of the frog which can cause lameness. (see Equine Thrush discussion)

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