Q: What is a ‘bullnosed’ hoof?
A: A true bullnosed hoof occurs when the dorsal wall of the hoof takes on a convex shape, typically due to the coffin bone having a negative palmar/plantar angle inside the hoof. A negative palmar/plantar angle means that the coffin bone is tilting upwards at the front and downwards at the back, which is the exact opposite of what it should be doing. This situation can cause remodelling of the dorsal wall due to the front of the coffin bone pressing up against the inside of the wall. What you end up with is a wall that bulges outwards in the middle. Bullnosed walls on the front feet are generally associated with heels that are too low, underrun or collapsed, as it is the problems in the back of the foot that tend to cause the negative angle to occur. However, bullnosing is generally though to be more common in the hind feet, where it can be the result of leaving the toes too long. It can also be a symptom of poor conformation or can be associated with lower back/hock/stifle problems.