The Importance of Hoof Care
Regular maintenance of equine hooves from a professional farrier is a must for the longevity of your horse. Statistics show that 80% of lameness is associated with a horse’s hooves. As a horse owner, you can help your farrier with hoof care by keeping up with daily maintenance, environment, and nutrition.
The simple daily task of cleaning your horse’s hooves with a hoof pick from debris such as rocks, mud, and bacteria-harboring manure can play a key part in the health and well-being of your horse. The inspection of loose shoes, missing shoes, or cracks in the hoof are necessary in order to know if you should contact your hoof care provider before the issue worsens.
Awareness of the horse’s environment may play an active role in the integrity of your their hooves. For example, horses standing in mud or excessively wet conditions will create problems; the same goes for excessive dryness or rocky conditions. A regular environment will give your farrier the opportunity to adjust the shoeing and trimming to the discipline and/or season with more precision.
When evaluating your horse’s nutrition, it is always wise to consult both your veterinarian and farrier because ideal weight is different for every horse. The Henneke Body Condition Scoring Scale will give you and your veterinarian a consistent method to evaluate your horse’s weight. Excessive weight is not only unhealthy but can cause a large number of hoof related problems.
In conclusion, building a proper program with good nutrition, environmental awareness, daily hoof care, and good relationships with both your veterinarian and farrier will help you provide healthy hoof care.