What is on my horse's leg?

No need to stress, the odd growth on the bottom of your horse’s fetlock is normal. On this week’s #TackTipTuesday we take a closer look at your horse’s ergots!

Did you know that ergots is a variation of the French word for “rooster spur”. Not all horses have ergots, so if your horse doesn’t have them no need to worry either. However horses with feathers tend to have the larger ergots.

Ergots are a similar texture to chestnuts. Some will grow fast and others don’t grow at all. You can peel ergots off or get your farrier to trim them, however don’t try to twist them off as there is lots of nerves and soft tissue just behind them.

The ergot is thought to be a vestigial sole pad of ancestral multi-toed Equidae and extant members of Perissodactyla, such as the tapir and rhinocerous. It is generally accepted that ergots are the vestigial "toes" of Eohippus, an early ancestor of the modern horse that lived roughly 50 million years ago.