Hoof Care – Advice and Information

Hoof care is a vital part of ensuring your horses overall health. Ideally you should check your horses hooves daily, and at least twice each week.  You will be able to become very familiar with what is normal and what is not, and will be able to to spot any issues that might be beginning.

Reading this simple list will hopefully aid you in your daily grooming practices.

1. Approaching your horse ensure the symmetry is close, they don’t have to be exactly equal, but very close to the same size and shape.

2. Examine for defects in the wall and coronary band.  Lift up the hoof, run your hand along the outside of the wall to pickup any defects.  Apply the same procedure for the coronary band and then press it softly. Applying these two procedures will also point out soft spots and water bearing areas.

3. Carefully inspect the sole. Examine the colouring in every hoof. If correct they should be similar in colour.  A well defined dark spot will indicate bruising or hole.

4. Examine and compare the frogs.  The front hooves should be of similar proportions and shapeand it should be a similr case with the rear hooves. You should 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 your horse is shod, hold the shoe and see if it wiggles. Examine for lost clinches, if loose you may choose to remove it before your horse misplaces it by itself and perhaps removes a chunk of hoof with it.

If you frequently check each hoof, you should avoid a great deal of issues by catching the problem before it worsens.

It is recommended you work into your routiene a couple of simple steps. Use a pick from heel to toe.  If packed solid you might be required to loosen it up somewhat before it is removed. Once the material has been taken out, check all the areas of the hoof and make sure that there is not a bad odour as this is normally a clear sign of thrush.  Be certain there aren’t any rocks or gravel lodged anywhere, even underneath the shoe.

All hooves should exhibit a natural sheen on the wall of the hoof.

If you find a smooth level surface free of cracks, circles, depressions, flares and a concave sole that meets the horseshoe, then you should be positive that the hooves are in good condition.

For more horse information, horses for sale and more, please visit the Horse and Pony Directory.

Comments are closed.