5 Tips To Keep Your Horse’s Hooves Healthy
Owning a horse can be a magnificent and fulfilling experience when you take the time to learn how to care for your animal as well as possible. One of the most critical areas of horse health is hoof care. Since a horse stands for the majority of the time, its hooves have to be in excellent shape to handle the constant barrage of ground surfaces. Here are some care tips to ensure your horse’s hooves stay healthy.
- Know the Baseline Health
Inspect the hooves of your horse regularly to have a good idea of the normal temperature, texture and appearance of each hoof. For optimal horse hoof protection, check the frog as well. This part should feel firm with a slight give. You can also examine the digital pulse, located near the pastern to see its strength under normal conditions.
- Pick Out the Horse’s Hooves
Do this before and after each ride to ensure loose gravel or small stones aren’t stuck in the hoof. Brush them so you can see the entire sole clearly. Doing this regularly also helps you know what is normal for your horse’s hooves, which means you can catch illnesses, such as laminitis or thrush, early on.
- Schedule Farrier Visits
A farrier is an important part of horse hoof care and should be scheduled to come out every six to eight weeks. If there’s a problem, the time can be shortened.
- Have an Overall Health Plan
Feeding your horse a nutritious diet and adding a biotin supplement can increase the health of your horse’s hooves from the inside out. The hooves also benefit from regular exercise to increase circulation and growth.
Keep your horse standing strong on its feet when you care for the hooves each day and have a farrier inspect them regularly.