Horse’s hooves are vital for the animal’s wellbeing. This part of the body supports the full weight of the horse so it’s vital that your horse’s hooves are always kept in tiptop condition.
Horse health is always important and failure to keep a constant check on your animal’s hooves can lead to extreme pain and illness.
The more you learn about the structure of your horse’s hooves, the better. You’ll be able to notice when something is swollen or damaged and understand how damage and ailments in this area can affect their whole health.
Giving your horse a healthy diet is essential as this will help maintain the actual hoof wall. There are feed supplements that can help strengthen the hoof wall. If your horse isn’t shod, you should always check that the hoof isn’t split or that the hooves aren’t becoming misshapen.
Horse hooves need to be maintained on a daily basis. You should always apply oil to the hoof, especially during the summer months as the hoof may become brittle and split.
You should also examine the hoof before every ride and after each ride. If you remove any small stones with a hoof pick you may be able to prevent any long-term problems.
You should also brush the hoof after you have finished with the hoof pick. Take care around the frog area as this part of the hoof is responsible for supplying blood to the foot.
Visit the farrier
When owning a horse, regular visits to a farrier are a must. You should visit the farrier every 4-6 weeks in order to maintain or change your horse’s shoes.
If your animal shows any signs of lameness after this regular check up, then contact the farrier and ask for them to return and check on the shoe. Always check that the shoes fit well and if you see any gaps between the foot and the shoe then you must contact the farrier.
You should also call in the farrier for unshod horses and for regular hoof maintenance and filing.
If your horse’s temperature is elevated you should always call in a vet. The digital pulse can be found on the back of the pastern and if you learn your horse’s natural body temperature then you’ll be able to detect any variations.
Seedy toe, puncture wounds and bruising in the hoof can all lead to more serious ailments. If your horse is lame, this might also indicate an infection.
The vet will be able to release the pus which will ensure your animal’s safety. Untreated wounds can lead to severe infection and pain for your horse so always make sure that your horse is up to date with its tetanus jabs as this disease often enters the body through the hoof.