Walking around all day is tedious for our human feet. The same goes for your trusty steed. They have to stand up on all fours for almost an entire day, with someone mounting them for a good portion of the time. Indeed not an easy feat for their feet, right? For horse-racing, it will be worse. The added pressure can put a strain on the hooves, so proper horse hoof care is mandatory.
Knowing the right strategies to keep your horse’s hooves healthy and strong is necessary in ensuring that its lower extremities (its legs, for example) are well-supported.
Before we dive into details on ways to strengthen your horse’s hooves, we will need to talk about what’s inside your horse hoof box. After all, without the proper tools and materials, you can’t get the job duly done.
Top Horse Hoof Care Must-Haves
Establishing a hoof-care routine for your horse is ideal for every ride, but without a complete horse hoof-care kit, issues may arise. One of the advantages of taking care of your horse’s hooves is that you lessen potential damages that may occur on your animal.
The Key Tools for Hoof Care
It is not hard to find a hoof pick because there is probably an abundance of supply at the nearest farm store near you. It can range from a low price up to the more expensive options. Do not let your penny-pinching side get the best of you. Some cheap picks seem to do the job at first, but they will not hold out for so long.
The hoof pick gets rid of all the debris like wood, sand, pebbles, and glass that the horse’s hooves trap along the way.
Most owners make the mistake of just removing the most visible clumps stuck in the horse’s hooves. Do not make the same mistake. When picking the hooves, go deep.
Like the hoof pick, the hoof brush focuses on removing the debris, dirt, and pieces that have accumulated in a horse’s hoof. The typical brushes are made of synthetic PVC bristles. As you brush away your horse’s feet, remember to scrutinize each one carefully. Good quality hoof brushes can last a lifetime.
The Supplementary Tools
Rasps are used to smoothen the edges of your horse’s hooves. You would usually find this tool in a farrier’s stash. As an owner, having one in your hoof-care essentials box is a good idea in case of emergencies. You can ask a farrier for a hand-me-down, instead of buying one.
Crease Nail Puller:
This tool looks like a pair of pliers. It comes in handy if your horse damages or twists its shoe. With it, you simply take off the nails buried into the crease or the groove. Once the nails are removed, you can remove the shoe with ease.
A hoof knife resembles a scissor and is perfect in cutting materials such as gauze or duct tape accordingly.
The Additional Products
This topical product protects the hooves from moisture that can lead to deterioration. They work by balancing the moisture content and ceasing the development of abscesses.
Foot bruises are relatively common in horses. Reduce inflammation and infection with the help of poultices. These can treat and facilitate drainage of abscesses.
Flexible bandages, duct tape, and gauze pads:
Every hoof-care toolkit should have a healthy supply of these basic materials.
Now that you know what to stash in your kit, it is time to talk about the top ten hoof care tips that will save your horse’s feet.
Eradicate Bits and Pieces Stuck on Horse’s Hooves
You have the tools, why not use them? While it may sound pretty basic to some people, but some owners that think it is a farrier’s job to pick out the feet of his or her horse.
Maintaining the hooves in tip top shape is also an excellent way to monitor the appearance of most common hoof problems.
Aside from picking the hooves out before each ride, it would be more beneficial if you repeat the process after untacking, after every night’s stroll, or before the turnout the following morning.
Be Familiar With What You Need to Watch Out For
Whenever you pick out its feet, you must inspect for signs of certain conditions.
- Thrush is quite obvious because of the unwanted odor and excretions from the frog’s cleft. Eventually, you will notice the frog has started to look like cheese. This condition usually stems out from letting the horse stand in a muddy, wet, or filthy area. If left ignored, it could lead to lameness.
- Punctures can be painful and hazardous. If the nail, or other sharp objects, that punctured the horse’s hoof has already fallen
had started to form. If the piece is still there, do not attempt to pill it out right away. Protect the foot as you place the horse in its stall and askfor a veterinarian’s help.
- Cracks are not invasive, but if left unchecked,
these canworsen. Once you notice a crack, talk to your farrier. Describe the appearance, size, and location. The farrier will inform you if the crack shouldbe dealt with immediately or to wait it out until the next shoeing.
- Abscess inside the hoof is hard to see. Typically, however, when the foot is warmer than usual, an abscess might be the reason behind the temperature change. An abscess can lead to cracks, too. When dealing with abscess, it is best to inform the vet or farrier.
- Laminitis is the separation or failure of laminae, which connects the hoof wall to the coffin bone within — can cause permanent structural changes in a horse’s foot, leading to repeated bouts of disease and lasting lameness.
Stem Cell Therapy Solution for Horse Leg Problems
Mentioned conditions can lead to more dangerous health problems like horse tendon or ligament injuries as well as arthritis. Unfortunately, the recovery process can be long, costly and may not lead to desired results unless you choose the right treatment.
Stem Cell Therapy has shown one of the most effective results regarding leg problems. Stem Cells reduce scar tissue formation. They exert trophic, immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects and activate the body’s own Stem Cells, modulating the local environment and thereby stimulating tissue regeneration.
As a result Stem Cell Therapy helps to prevent pain, lameness, movement intolerance, and other negative consequences as well as problem reoccurrence.
Contact us, if you want to try Stem Cell transplantation. Get in touch to get more information about our Stem Cell Therapy for horse laminitis, arthritis, osteoarthritis, or any other horse tendon, ligament, joint or cartilage injury treatment.
Keep a Healthy Hoof Diet
Yes, it is possible. It is true that some horses possess better hooves than other horses, but it does not mean you can’t help your horse out. With proper care and nutrition, you can help your horse grow healthy hooves. Ask the vet if your horse’s eating habits are able to fulfill its daily nutritional needs. Or maybe, you can add healthy supplements to its ration. Hooves benefit from supplements. The results are not immediate, but if you stick with the right one for months, you will see how beneficial these supplementary products are.
Protect Your Horse’s Hooves when Doing Certain Activities
During hauling, your steed might step on the edge of a shoe which can loosen it. While walking around, your horse might actually be standing on the loose nails. Provide enough covering for its heels. You can use shipping bandages, bell boots, or shipping boots for cushioning.
Plan Regular Visits to The Farrier
One and a half to two months is the average gap between two appointments, but the interval should depend largely on your horse’s needs. If your horse is undergoing a procedure, do not wait for two months to pass by. This stands true even if you feel there is nothing serious going on. You can request an earlier appointment if you think your horse is experiencing forging and you have heard a metallic sound. In summer, monthly visits are the standard. While the intervals are longer during winter.
No hoof, no horse, right? If you do not want your horse to struggle or suffer from infection, lameness, or even discomfort, hoof-care is a must. Being aware of the necessary tools and tips is definitely a good start.