Frog Size: Something to Think About

Copyright 2014 by Maureen Tierney (

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I think we need to think about the frog more, consider it with regard to soundness, and do some research on it.  It has become clear to me that good frogs help horses be sound and that many cases of "ouchiness" are the result of poor, contracted, or infected frogs.  Today, it dawned on me that frog size and shape probably matters more than even I thought. 

With the help of some client x-rays (different horses - different owners) I have made a comparison. I think the following photos really give us something to think about.


This frog is narrow. It's contracted and so are the heels. the frog corium is actually attached to the bottom of the digital cushion.  The digital cushion cannot be any wider than the frog. 

Ask yourself, what does it feel like to land on that frog?  Does it really feel like a cushion, or does it feel more like a rock or hard lump?


This frog is wider and offers a larger cushion.  While not being like a "lump" under the bottom of the foot, still is does not offer as much support as a full-sized frog. 

While many think the frog should be half as wide as it is long, the truth is it should be almost as wide as it is long.


I don't have an x-ray of this frog from the back, but even from this angle it is clear it fills the back of the foot.  When this horse lands on that frog he is totally sound, on any terrain. 

Not surprisingly.



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