“No hoof, no horse!”
We seem to hear that phrase a lot in the horse world. Taking care of your horse’s hooves are essential for your horse’s livelihood. Daily hoof care benefits more than your horse’s hooves; it can give you early clues to potential problems and so that you can address the issues.
- Daily clean out: Cleaning out your horse’s hooves daily not only keeps them as clean as possible, but can set a precedent for what is “normal” in your horse’s hooves. Be sure to note the temperature of the hooves and check the frog over. If you establish what is normal for your horse, you will also notice if there is a time where your horse’s hoof feels too warm.
- Look for common hoof problems: look for thrush, punctures, cracks and abscesses. Thrush is a dark, foul smelling bacterial condition that is usually caused by standing in moist environments. Pick up some thrush remedies at your local tack shop. (My personal favorite is “No Thrush” which is a dry powder. I have had great luck with it!) If you notice a puncture, large crack, or abscess, be sure to contact your vet or farrier for advice on what the next game plan to solve the problem would be.
- Schedule regular farrier visits: if your horse is like mine, I have to have the farrier come out every 6 weeks on the dot. Some of my friend’s horses are around the 8-week mark, but there is no standard interval for trimming or shoeing. It really just depends on how your horse’s hooves grow. Your farrier can always suggest if he should come earlier or later than he is.
If you follow these easy tips and take care of your horse’s hooves daily, you will have a horse with hooves that are healthy and strong! Like the old saying goes, “no hoof, no horse!”