November 22, 2017

Putting Foot Back on a Horse

There are two main potential causes of unhealthy hooves:

  • Lack of regular maintenance
  • Poor conformation

Signs that a horse hooves may need extra support:

  • Flaring: A horse may flare in its feet, either toe-in or toe-out, if its hooves are bothering them.
  • Lack of comfort: If a horse is visibly uncomfortable when walking or is noticeably less active, it may be a sign that the horse needs hoof maintenance.
  • Chipping or cracking: Without regular hoof maintenance, horses can develop obvious chipping or cracking in the hoof wall, and may need extra support in order to repair it.
  • Infection: Conditions like thrush or White Line Disease can also be a symptom of unhealthy hooves.

How farriers can get hooves back to a healthy state:

  • It’s critical that a hoof care professional examines the hooves regularly, about every six weeks. A horse may need one or two aggressive trims before returning to a normal schedule.
  • Apply pour-in pads to take pressure off of the hooves and center a horse’s weight.
  • Utilize an adhesive to seal cracks or apply filler in areas with missing hoof wall.