Keeping Your Horse’s Hooves Healthy

Few things strike fear into the heart of a horse owner as much as the words lame and thrush. Your horse’s hooves are absolutely crucial to his well-being! Hoof problems can become very painful for horses, and can become completely debilitating. A Pickerington, OH vet offers discusses hoof care below.

Diet

A good diet will play a huge role in your horse’s overall hoof health. If Silver isn’t getting proper nutrition, his hooves may become brittle, or they may start to crack or peel. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations.

Turnout

Make sure Silver is getting enough exercise and turnout time. This isn’t just important because of your horse’s hooves. Exercise is actually crucial to both his physical and mental health!

Conditions

Silver should always be on clean, dry ground. Standing in damp and/or dirty areas is an easy way for horses to develop thrush and other painful conditions. Muck your horse’s stall out daily. Try to keep paddocks and pastures up as well. These places are going to get muddy sometimes, so you need to make sure your horse always has dry ground to go to. Keep pastures level, and fill in holes that collect water.

Conditioners

Use a good hoof conditioner to protect your equine pal’s feet from moisture and damage. This is especially important when it’s rainy or damp!

Trimming

A good farrier may very well turn out to be your greatest ally when it comes to hoof care. Regular trims are very important! Ask your farrier to show you how to remove a shoe. That way, you will be able to act quickly in an emergency.

Hoof Cleaning

This one may fall under Horsemanship 101, but it really can’t be repeated too often. Keep Silver’s hooves clean by picking them out regularly. Use a hoof pick to get rid of pebbles, dirt, grass, manure, and other debris, and then use a stiff brush to finish up. You should clean your furry buddy’s feet daily, and/or before and after every turnout and riding session. While you’re doing this, keep a close eye out for early warning signs, such as moisture, tenderness, discoloration, sponginess, and/or foul odors. If your horse is shod, inspect his shoes, and make sure none have shifted or sprung.

Do you have questions about caring for your horse? Please call us, your local Pickerington, OH vet clinic, anytime.

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