Home About FAQ Blog Contact Shop
Shop banner

5 Healthy Hoofcare tips

Establish what is normal for your horse and take note of anything that seems unusual.

#1. Schedule your Farrier or Trimmer regularly

As every horse is individual there is really no standard interval for shoeing. 6-8 weeks is considered average but if there is correctional work being done (eg. flaring hoof, under-run heels, over reaching) you may have a shorter schedule of 4-5 weeks.

Establish what is normal for your horse and take note of anything that seems unusual.

Talk to your hoofcare professional about concerns you have - you know your horse better than anyone and many problems in their early stages can be simple to treat.

#2. Picking out your horses hooves
Picking out hooves

This may sound obvious but it is one of the most important aspects of hoof care.

Checking the hooves should be done before you ride and after you ride and if stabled/yarded, when you put out and when you bring in.

You may not actually have to pick them out but checking them will give you the opportunity to:
  - Remove any sticks or stones,
  - If shod you can check on the condition of the shoes and nails,
  - Check for thrush or bacterial infection
  - Feel if there is any heat or pulse.

When you have finished picking the hoof out, make sure you give it a good brush so you can see the entire surface.

#3. Controlling bacteria - especially in the wet
Wet hooves

Muddy conditions create a haven for bacterial conditions such as thrush and abcesses.

Thrush is a dark, bad smelling ooze often found in the cleft of the frog. It can also give the frog a "cheesy" texture. Your farrier will be able to recommend a remedy for thrush, but a good spray of iodine will often fix the problem.

Abcesses often become more prevalent in the wet weather when horses stand for long periods on wet ground. Hairline cracks between the sole and the hoof wall become an opening for bacteria.

The sole when it is soft is more susceptible to bruising which can turn into an abcess. If there is a digital pulse or any warmth in the horse's foot you need to get your farrier or vet involved. The hoof may require poulticing to encourage the abcess to move to the surface and burst.

#4. Grow the best hoof possible with nutrition
Aussie Farrier buckets

Check you horses diet with your vet or nutritionist to make sure your horse's nutritional needs are being met to assist with good hoof structure.

Some horses benefit from a supplement which help with nutrients that are missing.

You will need to use the supplement you choose for 6-12 months to see the benefit of the new hoof growth.

#5. Consistent Exercise

Exercise at the walk and the trot on good surfaces helps helps to increase the blood flow to your horses hooves.

Movement also stimulates the hooves to grow. Loading and unloading the foot with every step increases the metabolic activity to the foot and causes it to produce better hoof.