Hoof Maintenance Practices
Hoof care is essential for a healthy horse. In this guest blog by Kate Casale, learn the most common hoof problems, along with simple solutions for prevention and care.
Your horse’s feet are more important than you think. As owners, we must realize that to maximize the health and longevity of our horses, regular hoof care is necessary. Preventative care is essential when it comes to horse hooves, as well.
The hooves need basic maintenance performed daily to keep them healthy. Overall care should include cleaning, trimming, and corrections of minor imperfections.
Common Hoof Problems:
Poor shoeing or trimming:
Long toes can result in strain on flexor tendons, the navicular bone, and collapsed heels. An imbalanced hoof can cause stress on ligaments and joints.
Thrush is a foul-smelling black exudate usually found around the frog that is associated with wet, soiled conditions. It can invade sensitive tissue and cause lameness. Keep your stalls and barn clean and pick your horses feet daily.
An abscess is an infection in the sole of the hoof that can lead to lameness. Treatments include removal of the foreign body, soaking the foot, and keeping it clean.
Cracks are a separation or break in the hoof wall. Usually takes 9 to 12 months for the hoof to grow out
Inflammation of the sensitive lamina or connective tissue between the hoof and the coffin bone causing disruption in circulation. Overenthusiastic trimming can cause this.
Tips for healthy hooves:
1. Pick hooves daily
2. Maintain hoof-friendly conditions
3. Have a schedule with a farrier
4. Moisturize hooves
5. Provide proper nutrition
6. Avoid excess hosing
By putting a little extra effort into caring for your horse’s hooves, you can help reduce the chances of lameness and other hoof issues. Sore No-More®’s The Sauce is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial liniment that provides soothing relief to troubled areas while assisting for healing of infections.
The Sauce is the first herbal sugardine dressing that is great at drawing out abscesses. Simply mix with sugar to create a paste and apply to hoof abscesses as a packing. It is also a safe alternative to use when addressing rain rot, scratches, sweet itch, and other infections and dermal conditions.