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Corns are a bruise which develops on the sole of the foot in the angle between the wall and the bars and they usually occur on the inner aspect of the horse's front feet.


A horse that has a corn may show slight or severe lameness which is increased when worked on a circle with the affected foot on the inside. The horse will react to hoof testers that are applied to the seat of the corn and a red area of bruising is usually visible when the shoe is removed and the horn is lightly pared.


Corns are caused by:

1. Leaving the horse's shoes on too long, so when the hoof grows the heels of the shoe move inside the hoof wall and press on the seat of corn.

2. Unbalanced hooves caused by incorrect trimming or using a single road stud.

3. Your farrier fitting shoes that are too small for your horse's feet.

4. Poor hoof conformation - low heels and flat feet are susceptible to corns.


To treat a horse with corns:

1. The farrier or vet will pare away the area of discoloured horn to relieve any pressure.

2. Tub or poultice the affected hoof twice a day until the horse becomes sound. If the corn has become infected, pus will be released and treatment should be applied as per pus in the foot.

3. The horse should be rested and not reshod until it is completely sound.

4. Before the horse is reshod the area where the corn was should be hardened up with a gentian violet and antibiotic spray. Care should be taken to avoid the reoccurrence of the corn and ensure your horse is reshod every 4 - 6 weeks.

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