Hoof care is one of the most important subjects in equine care. After all, horses cannot function at best with injured feet. Who does right? Now to give everyone some handy tips, the team at Formula 4 Feet has dished out their expert advice on the matter. Check out what they had to say below.
- Choose the right shoe. This is by far one of the most important tasks of any horse owner. Picking the right shoe and attaching it is necessary as it helps protect the hooves from wear and tear. If you’re not familiar with this then it would be best to call in a farrier.
- Have the hooves trimmed. This is done depending on the horse’s needs and the intensity of their activities. As a rule of thumb, this must be done once every 10-12 weeks at the least.
- Remove any debris. Before going in for a ride and when bringing the animal in for the night, make sure to check the hooves for any debris such as dirt, manure, grass or stones that may have gotten stuck on their foot. Carefully remove them using a pick and be sure to focus on the frog, the V-shaped part of the hoof. Do this carefully so as to avoid poking through and causing injury. To take care of the finer debris, use a stiff bristled brush to finish the job off.
- Clean the stall regularly. Sanitation is very important for equine health in general and this applies not only for the hooves. This is particularly crucial as dirty stalls make for great bacterial breeding grounds that can cause health hazards.
- Inspect for signs of thrush. When horses stand in wet and dirty surfaces for prolonged periods of time, they can develop a bacterial infection that causes foul smell, cheesy frog texture and dark liquid secretion on the hooves. This is called a thrush and it must be tended to quickly. An over the counter medication and treatment is available for this.
- Provide for proper nutrition. Adequate nutrients will help in ensuring maximum hoof care for horses. Animals that are in a bad state are a magnet for various diseases and injuries so the better fed and the more properly nourished they are then there is less likelihood for worries. Aside from feeds, adequate roughage and supplements must be given for a well balanced and sufficient diet says the Formula 4 Feet team.