It’s so important to ensure that your horse’s hooves are healthy and in tip-top condition. A horse’s hooves are essential for their mobility and well-being, so taking good care of them is vital. My friend’s horse was always been prone to developing thrush in her hooves. Thrush is a common bacterial infection that can cause a foul odour and discharge in the hoof. For her, she found that keeping her pony’s hooves clean and dry, particularly after turnout, has been key in preventing this flaring up. She also made sure that her diet includes plenty of biotin to promote healthy hoof growth. With this in mind, I wanted to explore some of the best ways to keep your horse’s hooves healthy.
Regular Farrier Visits
Regular farrier visits are essential for maintaining healthy hooves. A farrier is a professional who specialises in hoof care and can help keep your horse’s hooves in good condition. They can trim your horse’s hooves to keep them at the correct length and shape, as well as check for any issues such as cracks or infections.
Proper nutrition is also important for maintaining healthy hooves. Horses need a balanced diet that includes plenty of roughage, such as hay and grass, as well as a good quality feed. Ensure that your horse’s diet includes adequate levels of protein, vitamins and minerals, particularly biotin, which is essential for hoof health.
Regular exercise is important for keeping your horse’s hooves healthy. Movement helps to stimulate blood flow to the hooves, which can promote healthy hoof growth. Ensure that your horse gets plenty of exercise, both through turnout and ridden work.
Keeping your horse’s hooves clean and dry is important for preventing infections and other issues. After riding or turnout, pick out your horse’s hooves to remove any dirt, rocks or debris that may have become lodged. Ensure that your horse’s bedding is clean and dry, and avoid allowing your horse to stand in damp or muddy conditions for prolonged periods.
Proper shoeing is important for maintaining healthy hooves, particularly for horses that are ridden frequently or competitively. Your farrier can advise on the best type of shoeing for your horse’s specific needs.
So there you have it, keeping your horse’s hooves healthy is essential for their overall well-being and mobility. Regular farrier visits, proper nutrition, regular exercise, cleanliness and proper shoeing are all important factors in maintaining healthy hooves. Always seek out a vet’s guidance but hopefully, these simple guidelines (and keeping an eye out for any issues), should help ensure that your horse’s hooves stay healthy and strong.