Esco Buff's Professional Farrier Service, LLC
Retracted Soles
I have talked about this issue since the early 1990's.  I presented a Powerpoint lecture
on Retracted Soles at the 2012 International Hoofcare Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The
article from that lecture was published in the September/October 2012 issue of the
American Farriers Journal.

Retracted soles are a condition that several equine professionals have seen, but has
yet been defined or described in any equine medical dictionary.  There are only a few
published or electronic references to retracted soles that can be found  and only one
source for pictures and radiographs.  

Medically, retraction or retracted is the act of drawing back, or a condition of being
drawn back.  The soles of a horse with retracted soles are drawing back or rather up
and away from the ground.  The soles appear to be being sucked up into the hoof.  
During this process the soles become overly thin causing the horse to be very sensitive
to the slightest sole pressure.  Therefore, a good definition for retracted soles may be
soles that are thin and abnormally cupped.  The appearance cannot be mistaken for any
other sole issue.  Instead of having a nice sole concavity, the sole appears to drop off
from the white line.  Retracted soles that go unnoticed by a farrier during the trimming
process can result in overly trimming the hoof wall thus causing the horse to become
extremely painful due to sole pressure.  

Please click on the pdf link to the article from the American Farriers Journal.

Retracted Soles Article  
Picture of a retracted sole.
Picture of a retracted sole.
X-ray showing what a retracted sole looks like and how overly thin the soles can be.
Picture of a retracted sole.