Correct hoof care and maintenance is an essential part of your horse’s health and well-being, so check out the three basic ways to keep his/her feet in perfect condition.
As the old saying goes ‘no foot no horse’ and it remains as true today as it always has. The good news is that getting to know your horse’s feet, regularly keeping them clean and ensuring you organise regular farrier visits will go a long way to keeping his hooves in tip top condition all year round.
1 It’s important to get into the habit of picking your horse’s feet out every day. Do it before you ride and after you ride, before turning him/her out (if he’s stabled) and also when you bring him/her in from the field/yard. Use a hoof pick to remove any debris, stones, mud or manure to help prevent bruising or infection, then use a firm brush over the sole of the foot to ensure nothing has been left behind.
2 A well-balanced diet will help to ensure healthy hoof growth. Check your horse’s feed bags for key hoof-boosting ingredients. These include biotin, essential amino acids such as lysine and methionine, zinc and copper, sulphur and calcium. If you horse has a balanced diet, but still has poor hooves, a hoof supplement might help.
3 If your horse is stabled (as many are in winter) keep a keen eye on his hooves, as bacteria in wet and dirty bedding changes into urea and ammonia. Both of these dissolve any present natural fats and oils that protect the hoof which cause it to soften and weaken. Many anti-bacterial hoof products are available and they can help to protect against this nasty bacteria.
so, those are our three basic tips to keeping your horses hooves in the best possible condition. If you have any secret or more advanced tips, then please let us know in the comments! Happy riding.