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Horse Articles :: Horse Hoof Maintenance


Horse Hoof Maintenance

Taking care of hooves is a crucial part of looking after your horses health. You should look at your horses hooves every day, and at least two to three times each week. By doing this you should become very familiar with what is normal and what is not, and will be able to to spot any problems that might be beginning.

Using this simple checklist might assist you in your daily practices.

1. As you approach your horse be sure the symmetry is releatively close, however they do not have to be perfectly equal, but very close to being the same size and form.

2. Carefully examine for defects in the hoof wall and coronary band. Lift up the hoof, run your hand over the exterior of the wall to feel for impairments. Apply the exact procedure for the coronary band and then squeeze it gently. Using these two procedures will also point out soft areas and water bearing areas.

3. Look carefully at the sole. Examine the colour of each hoof. Ideally they should be indentical in colouration. A clearly defined dark spot indicates bruising or puncture wound.

4. Look at and compare the frogs. The front hooves should be similar in size and shape, the same applies to the rear hooves. Try and lightly press each frog using your hoof pick, in the majority of areas, with the exception of desert areas, they should be a little spongy.

5. If already shod, hold the shoe and see if it wiggles. Check for lost clinches, if the shoe is loose you may choose to take off the shoe in case your horse misplaces it by itself and perhaps removes a section of hoof with it.

If you frequently check each hoof, you can avoid a lot of issues by noticing the issue before it worsens.

It is recommended you include into your hoof cleaning routiene a couple of quick steps. Use a pick from heel to toe. If packed tightly you may need to loosen it up a touch before it can be removed. Once the material is taken out, examine all the areas of the hoof and be positive that there isn't a smelly odour as this is usually a obvious sign of thrush. Be certain there are no rocks or gravel lodged anywhere, particularly beneath the shoe.

All hooves should show a natural sheen on the hoof wall.

If you find a smooth level surface with no cracks, rings, depressions, flares and a concave sole that meets the shoe, then you can be confident that your horses hooves are in good health.

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