As the age old saying goes, there’s no horse without the hoof.
They are one of the key areas of the horse, but, weirdly, can be the most forgotten, or most missed off the list of ‘horse care’. Lameness, laminitis, tendon issues, depression, absesses – all come from the hoof… it would appear that it is a rather key element of the horse!!
#1 – Hoof Pick
Before I do anything with Oscar – be that muck out or turn out – I pick out his hooves. It releases any pressure that is in the hoof, keeps the frog clean and if you are looking at the area everyday, you can notice a change before it becomes a massive problem – or fatal.Hang a hoof pick on a bit of string and hang it outside the stable – that way you won’t have to find it before you get love your pony!!
#2 – Moisturise
Get yourself some effol/hoof mosturiser, and cover the inside and outside of the hoof every day – you can do it whenever suits. Hoof moisturiser works in the same way as hand cream on horse owner’s hands, it helps the hoof wall not to dry out and crack; therefore reducing farrier costs too! “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”
#3 – Timely Farrier Visits
Make sure that your horse is shod, or trimmed according to the time of year, and what your horse is doing.If you are hacking on roads mostly – you will need to have more regular visits than if you are using the arena more often. Horses are routine animals, as we know, and they work with us – when we work with them!
What’s your ‘go to’ with your horse’s hooves?