Instructions for effective hoof photographs

Clear and detailed still photographs of the hoof are very useful for the initial assessment.

  • Remove any debris such as hay, dirt, etc. then wash the hooves and dry. Moving any obstructing hair out of the way to obtain a clear picture of the entire hoof.
  • Avoid taking the photographs in direct sunlight as this can create unwanted shadows or underexpose the picture masking or bleaching out important details. Take them in a shaded area and use a flash while avoiding any shadows cast on the hoof.
  • Keep the camera lens between in 50cm-80cm (20-30 inches) away from the hoof, it is imperative to keep the lens parallel with the hoof wall to avoid distorted pictures.
  • Take pictures of all sides of the hoof, the sole, both sides, the front view.
  • Take pictures that include both the left and the right front hooves frontal view in the same frame for visual comparison as well as a full frontal shot of the entire horse.
  • Photographic copies of preexisting x-ray images are very helpful, simply hold up the original x-ray against a cool-to-the-touch lit background or a simple white background.

You may send these via email or CD to your local hoof orthopedist or directly to Jochen Biernat.