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Proper Hoof Care


horse feetWhen it comes to caring for your horses, one of the most important aspects to put priority on is proper hoof care. A horse with bad hooves is inviting disaster, so taking the time to inspect and clean them is crucial. If you’re not actively helping improve your horse’s hooves, you’re doing something wrong. Here’s a little advice for proper hoof care.

Clean and Pick Frequently:

As your horse goes about its business of trotting about, it is going to build up some mud and muck under its hooves. That’s why it’s vital to its health that you thoroughly clean its hooves before and after every riding session. This will help promote a clean foot, but it will also make it much easier to spot a problem like a cut or a puncture. If you do end up finding something stuck in your horse’s foot, don’t remove it yourself. Rather, take it to your vet immediately and determine just how deep the object is and how to treat.

Go to the Farrier Often:

Having shoes that properly protect the hooves is another massively important part of caring for a horse’s overall foot, but the shoes aren’t magical. They can loosen and bend and can even be a source of big problems if left unchecked. Planning ahead and scheduling regular trips to the farrier is the best way to avoid any complications, especially during the summer when your horse will typically go from conditions that alternate between hot and cold and wet and dry. It’s a fairly good rule to make visits every month during the summer to have the horseshoes replaced, but knowing your horse’s needs are also important. Along with your routine checks of their feet during cleanings, see if the shoes are showing signs of coming loose much sooner than expected, and even have the tools and ability necessary to remove a bad shoe if the occasion arises.

Help the Hooves Grow Strong:

The best defense in any situation to avoid problems with the hooves is actually to take the offense by encouraging strong hoof growth. Much of this is done with simple diet and exercise, so talk with your farrier to determine just what will get the job done, specifically if a biotin supplement is recommended. The tricky part is, adding the biotin to your horse’s diet may not show any obvious results for six months to a year, so you’ll have to be ready to keep it going for a while before determining whether it’s working or not. Still, simply taking your horse for some exercise on good surfaces encourages better circulation in the foot and legs, making it easier to grow stronger hooves.

Taking care of those hooves should be one of your biggest priorities with horses, otherwise there’s a chance that they’ll get injured easier or develop serious problems. A horse’s feet are their livelihood, so help them protect them at all costs.


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