PC: April Schultz
Determining the length of time between farrier visits can be tricky. There are a lot of variables to consider! Your horse’s hooves are a vital aspect of how he performs and his health. With visits too far apart, you’re likely to notice cracks, uneven wear, and even more serious conditions. On the other hand, those scheduling visits too frequently can unnecessarily take a hit on their check book.
First, you need to consider where your horse is spending most of his time. Those stabled on sawdust or straw large portions of the day will not have the opportunity to wear down their hooves naturally. They may need a trim every 4 weeks, if not even more frequent.
Horses turned out may get by on trims every 8 weeks; however, any longer may be pushing it. These horses are able to wear down their hooves as they roam around throughout the day.
A shod horse will need a farrier visit every 4 to 6 weeks, even if the shoes are in good condition. His hooves are still growing and will need to be trimmed up on a routine basis.
Those with problems such as laminitis or frequently getting abscesses will need special attention. The time in-between their visits should not be longer than 8 weeks.
Examining the hoof from the outside can be tricky. Many horses with cracked or chipping hoof walls actually have hooves in good shape. And sometimes those with what appears to be a clean hoof can be very unbalanced and uncomfortable. Talk with your farrier when trying to determine a schedule. They will look at your horse’s individual hoof care needs.