HOOFCARE: How important is it?
By Kenton H. Arnold, DVM
Basic hoof care includes picking out mud, manure and debris from the sole of your horse's hooves. Keeping your horse's hooves clean helps prevent common hoof ailments such as thrush yet horse owners sometimes neglect this part of horse care. Remember bruising can occur from small rocks getting lodged in the grooves of the frog area. Cleaning out a horse’s feet also helps give a clear picture of problems such as a puncture wound or anything that makes walking uncomfortable for the animal.
If you minimize the amount of time your horse has to stand in water and mud you will help prevent thrush. Hopefully your horse's stall is dry and allows for good drainage. Most of the moisture a horse's hooves need actually comes from the hoof itself and is provided by a healthy diet. Constant contact with moist wet conditions will promote drying of the hooves.
The services of a farrier are vital to your horse health. Proper trimming will help prevent splitting, chipping and cracking - and lameness. Hooves do need trimming every six to eight weeks. And, of course, horses that are being ridden a lot or that show/compete need shoes.
If you need contact information for a professional farrier in your area, please give us a call at 972.524.7075. At Equine Veterinary Services we are always happy to refer a reputable and reliable farrier to help you with your equine hoof care needs.
Equine Veterinary Services