Without proper hoof care, your horse is at risk for soundness and health issues. Unfortunately, many people are guilty of improperly tending to their horse’s hooves. This shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s essential you learn how to care for them and avoid these common pitfalls.
Top Mistakes Made in Hoof Care
1. Not picking them out enough: If possible, you should be cleaning your horse’s hooves daily! At the bare minimum, two to three times a week may suffice. This will give you the chance to get rid of mud, manure and rocks. Use this opportunity to look at the health of their feet. You’ll want to watch for unusual smells and colors.
2. Bad turnout conditions: Your horse shouldn’t be standing in wet, muddy conditions all day. That is the prime environment for fungus! You should also avoid very rocky and uneven terrain.
3. Skipping trims: Consistent farrier appointments are very important! Your farrier rebalances the hooves, which decreases the stress on your horse’s legs and feet. Furthermore, overgrown hooves tend to crack and split. Try to keep on a six to eight week schedule.
4. Using an unskilled farrier: An inexperienced farrier can do a lot of damage to your horse’s hooves. They can even cause them to go lame. Make sure you ask for references and their background. The cheapest around isn’t always the best!
5. DIY trims: Farriers usually go to schools and/or apprenticeships. It’s a common misconception that you can watch a video online and become an expert trimmer. You might be saving money upfront, but not in the long run!
Are you guilty of any of these mistakes? Now’s your chance to correct them before your horse ends up lame or unhealthy.
Don’t forget to check out: Top 10 Hoof Care Tips For Your Horse!