The volar (bottom) surface of the horse's coffin bone is cupped or concave in appearance.  Horses with healthy feet that are allowed to function as intended will develop an amount of concavity relative to their terrain and the degree of concavity in their individual coffin bones

While one could carve a hoof into a concave shape, this does not make it healthy!  Hooves sometimes come out of shoes with chalky, soft and often stinky sole.  As Gene Ovnicek says, you want to remove the shoes but keep the socks on.  I try to help the horse to exfoliate some of the gunk to see where I need to bring the walls down to, but leave the horse with some protection (even though it's not the callused ideal yet!)  I can always go back in a few weeks and re-asses how they are doing and make changes if necessary.  There is a fine line between taking too much and not enough, but it's almost always best to leave hard packed sole alone.  Fixing the horse's life style and trimming their walls to a more healthy length will set their soles up to make the changes necessary to move it toward a healthier form.

Concave left front hoof - I haven't TOUCHED this horse's soles with a knife!:

 

 

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