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How To Care For Horses Hooves

How To Care For Horses Hooves

General Care:

Horses are known for their strong hooves, which are essential for their locomotion. You can learn how to care for horses hooves by following these first quick tips:

1. Proper footing is essential for a horse’s health and well-being. Make sure their footing is stable and firm, and avoid overloading their hooves with hard surfaces or objects.

2. Keep their hooves trimmed and shaped regularly. Overgrown hooves can cause discomfort and interfere with their locomotion.

3. Provide them with a well-balanced diet that includes hay, straw, and fresh grass. Make sure their diet is high in minerals and vitamins to help keep their hooves healthy and strong.

4. If your horse develops a sore hoof, avoid stepping on it or applying pressure. Applying a cold pack or ibuprofen may help relieve the pain.

5. Regularly assess their hooves for signs of infection or fungus. If you notice any problems, contact your veterinarian

Horses are often considered to be some of the most well-cared for animals in the world. This is thanks to the fact that their hooves are so important.

A horse’s hooves are its primary means of locomotion. They are also incredibly important for their overall health and well-being.

Horses are some of the most well-known and beloved animals in the world.

They are used for transportation, racing, and recreational purposes. But like any animal, horses need to be taken care of properly if they are to have a long and healthy life.

Horses hooves are about the most important part of their anatomy that require constant monitoring and attention in order to care for them properly, so that the horse can live as freely as possible without pain or discomfort.

Make up of the hoof:

Contrary to popular belief, a horses hoof is not a singular part of the anatomy. It is made up of many parts. In 2018 a study was made which resulted in a new finding that it may also include the remnants of the other digits (toes etc), that horses used to have a long time ago.  Horse hoof progression through the ages

As you can see, the current hoof construction came about some 5 million years ago, but before that way back in the beginning, there were three or four toes included in the makeup.

The current hoof construction contains the following parts: Parts that make up a horses hoof

As you can see, it is quite a precise and complicated piece of hardware and as such, needs care and attention to keep it in shape.

Foals Hooves:

When a foal is born, its hooves look something like you would expect to see on an extra terestrial, from another planet!

Newborn foal at birthing

This is an image of a foal in birth. Note the hooves and how they are shaped

Newborn foal sometime later

This is a newborn foals hoof sometime after birth. Note the soft tissue around the hoof.

This is the foal’s hoof which is covered in a soft rubbery layer, called the deciduous hoof capsule.

The capsule protects the mother’s uterus and birth canal from the sharp edges of the hooves during pregnancy and birth. As predators are attracted to the smell of the placenta, it’s necessary for the foal and its mother to be able to move away from the birthing area as quickly as possible.

The foal needs to have fully formed hooves at birth. When the foal first ventures across the ground the soft hoof capsules are worn down to meet the level sole, revealing the hooves we’re used to seeing.

As you can see, horses need you to know how to care for horses hooves from the moment they appear.

How to care for horses hooves in detail:

Probably the best way to do this is as a question and answer format. So, we have picked the most popular questions asked about how to care for horses hooves and listed them with the relevant answers.

Frequently asked Questions about how to care for Horses Hooves

1: How often should horses hooves be cleaned?

A: This is not a straight forward question or answer.

For horses that are usually stabled, cleaning at least once a day is reccomended owing to their living conditions.

For horses that live and roam freely. It is reccomemded that you inspect the hooves daily, but not necessarly clean them.

Horses roaming freely are generaly less likely to require as much cleaning of their hooves as they do this natuarally themselves as they move around and change differing ground types.

2: How should I clean my horses hooves?

A: Use a hoof pick, as the main tool for horse hoof cleaning. Use it to clean inside and around the hoof including the frog area.

You can also use a small stiff brush to extricate any smaller debris that the hoof pick does not remove.

3:What is a healthy horse hoof vs unhealthy hoof?

A: A healthy hoof does not have chips or cracks in it.

Image of a Healthy Hoof

Healthy Hoof

These are often signs that there is a weakening of the hoof wall.

Image of an Unhealthy Hoof

Unhealthy Hoof

In circumstances such as this you should consult your farrier for further investigation.

One way to help your horses hooves, especially those that are stabled. Is to brush them once a day with linseed oil. This can help the hoof wall immensley in keeping it both strong and supple to avoid cracking.

4: How do you know when your horses hooves need trimming?

A: Again this can be an ambiguous question as it depends both on your horses living conditions, and it’s working routine, or not as the case may be.

For those horses that are working regularly it is usual that they are also shoed. In this respect it is reccomemnded that you shoe your horse every 4-6 weeks. Like human nails, horses hooves grow and will become uncomfortable with shoes that no longer fit correctly.

Horses that are barefoot but, also work, will obviousley wear down their hooves much more quickly, especially if they are walking on tarmac and hard surfaces. You may need to give their hooves attention every 2-4 weeks.

With horses that roam freely on softer ground such as fields etc, it is best to keep a weather eye on the hooves themselves. Some horses hooves grow faster than others. On average you will probably need to trim them every 6-8 weeks (sometimes can be longer).

5: How can I strengthen my horses hooves?

A: There are a few things you can do to help strengthen your horse’s hooves.

One is to provide them with a good diet.

Make sure they are getting plenty of hay, straw, and pasture. In addition, feed them a balanced ration that includes plenty of minerals and vitamins.

When you’re trimming their hooves, be sure to remove any sharp edges or pointy objects that could cause injury.

Finally, make sure they are exercised regularly. This will help keep their hooves strong and healthy.

All of the above should give you a good idea of how to care for horses hooves. If you should have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

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