There are many things that can cause issues with your horse’s hooves. These issues can escalate, resulting in permanent damage. Regular inspections are absolutely vital to prevent damage from occurring. Here are 4 tips for properly caring for your horse’s hooves.
1. Regular Trimming or Shoeing
Ensure that your horse has appropriate shoes for the weather and existing trail conditions. You must have your horse’s hooves trimmed or shod every 6-12 weeks, depending on the horse’s hoof growth. The period between services should be shorter in the summer and can be slightly longer in the winter, because their hooves don’t grow as quickly during the cold seasons.
2. Proper Nutrition
Nutrition plays a significant role in creating healthy hooves. Feed your horse good quality hay and ensure that they have constant access to water. A watering system, such as the Bar-Bar-A waterer, is an easy way to ensure that your horse always has access to clean, safe water.
You should consult with your veterinarian to determine the ideal nutrition plan for your horse. You may want to consider adding hoof supplements to promote healthy growth. This can help your horse’s hooves stay healthy.
3. Regular Inspection
You must inspect and clean your horse’s hooves regularly. This must be done before and after each ride, at the very least. This can help you find issues early on, before they become more severe. Remove all dirt and check for cracks. Consistently use hoof moisturizer to prevent cracks from occurring. This is especially important when conditions fluctuate or become drier. If you find a foreign object that has penetrated the horse’s sole, do not remove it yourself. Wrap it up and call your vet immediately.
4. Reduce Moisture Exposure
Ensure that your horse’s stall is clean and dry. Prolonged exposure to moisture can cause the hooves to soften. Repetitive softening and hardening can result in cracking and other issues, as well as make the hooves more vulnerable.
Caring for your horse’s hooves properly will allow you to catch any problems in the first few hours. It is important to follow these steps to prevent serious injury from occurring. Hoof care isn’t an extra burden; it is a very necessary part of adequate equine health care.