Horse Hoof Care, avoid splits, cracks and thrush in hooves
really important to keep your horse or pony's
hooves in top condition to avoid the common problems
splits and cracks which can cause lameness.
A horse's feet are best maintained by regular visits
from a farrier, using hoof oil treatments and good nutrition
Feeding equine feed supplements designed to provide the essential
nutrition for equine hoof care can also help to maintain
your horse's feet in top condition and help to prevent lameness.
TOP TIPS FOR HORSE AND PONY HOOF CARE
Here are some top equine hoof care tips.
When you buy a horse
remember that poor foot conformation
can soon cause disease and lameness. Try to avoid
future problems by choosing a horse with good shaped feet.
Avoid horses and ponies with collapsed heels, long
toes, flat soles, thin soles or contracted heels.
As well as having the horse vetted when buying, ask your farrier
for his advice too.
A visit from your farrier every 5 to 6 weeks is adequate
for most horses and ponies, but some horses feet
grow more quickly than others, especially in the spring or when being
If your horse or pony does experience rapid hoof growth
he will benefit from more frequent visits from a farrier.
NEVER let your your horse's feet grow too long or allow them to get
so neglected that he becomes lame.
Good equine stable management is essential in keeping
your horse's feet in good condition and will help
to avoid problems like thrush.
Thrush is caused by bacteria that, when trapped in moisture or damp
conditions, creates a fungal infection that eats away at the horse's
hoof tissue - nasty!
It essential to pick out hooves at least once a day,
preferably more, as part of your equestrian stable
management routine. When you do this check for signs of thrush, heat
in the hoof, cracks in the wall of the hoof, wounds and punctures.
A hoof abscess can be really painful for a horse
and needs to be treated quickly - call your farrier in the first instance
- he can relieve the pressure and clean the area, you may also need
to call your veterinary practice to prescribe antibiotics.
When you pick out your horse's feet also check the
condition of his shoes. Look out for raised or risen clenches
and worn, cracked or twisted shoes.
Losing a shoe riding out, in the dressage arena or in the field can
cause a lot of damage to the hoof. A torn hoof can take many weeks
to recover and there is also the danger of a punctured sole
if the horse stands on the nails from the cast horseshoe.
There are many hoof oils and hoofcare preparations
and hoof dressings available which are designed to
improve the appearance and health of your
horse's feet. Your farrier may be able to
recommend on that is particularly suited to your own horse's hooves.
Diet has a big influence on the condition of your horse's
hooves. Poor hoof condition may be the result of
a vitamin deficiency or poor digestive system. Consider giving an
equine feed supplement specifically designed to improve
the condition of your horse's feet. Biotin is a popular
During damp and wet weather apply honey to your horse's
frogs. Honey has natural anti-bacterial properties and is very useful
in treating and preventing equine thrush.
Try to get runny honey in a squeezy bottle - this
is easiest to apply - just squeeze out the honey directly onto the
frog then spread to the required areas. The best thing about this
treatment is that it doesn't sting like many other preparations -
so your horse or pony shouldn't
If you do a lot of riding on roads ask you farrier
to put at least one road nail in per shoe. This will help prevent
your horse or pony slipping whilst being ridden out
on slippery roads.
Soaking your horse's feet in water can help the hooves
to retain moisture during hot dry spells of weather. Apply plenty
of hoof oil afterwards to help seal in the water.
How to keep your horses hooves in top condition to avoid thrush, splits and cracks.
A Horse's Feet are best maintained by regular visits from a farrier, hoof oil treatmentsand feeding equine feed supplements