Tag: horse care

Do’s and Don’ts to Horseshoes

horseshoeA narrow band of iron in the form of an extended circular arc and secured to the hoof with nails, a horseshoe is a crucial part of equine care. Failure to attend to it correctly can cause serious injury and malady to the animal in one’s care. Today, we shall delve into the basics of horseshoes together with Topspec through the following list of do’s and don’ts.

Do find a farrier. This is a name given to individuals who have been specifically trained and educated in the art of horseshoeing. If you’re not one of them then it would be wise to call them for help during this process to avoid any mistakes that could potentially injure the animal.

Don’t clean and remove. Remove an old shoe first before cleaning the hoof. This shall make the chore easier and allow you to reach through the entire foot. Be careful when removing the nails so as not to cause pain.

Do clean the hooves. To avoid any debris from getting trapped between the sole of the foot and the new shoe, make sure to clean it first. Take a hoof pick and brush to remove compacted dirt, mud, stones, manure and other debris stuck into the foot. Be careful when cleaning around the frog as this is very sensitive.

Don’t forget to trim. Excess flaky sole and hoof walls will need to be trimmed off. This is akin to the trimming of toenails for humans. Failure to do this can cause pain when walking.

Do flatten the sole. Before the shoe is placed in, the sole is filed, smoothened and flattened using a tool called a rasp. This is done simply to even out the surface. Be careful not to overdo this as it wouldn’t be advisable to over trim the hoof and make it too short.

Don’t pick the wrong size. Always size the shoe to the hoof. Doing so otherwise will make it feel uncomfortable. Keep in mind that not all four hooves may come with the same size.

Do secure the shoe well. Using nails put them in. Make sure to align it perfectly against the edge of the hoof. In the event that the shoe isn’t a perfect fit, it would be wise to bend or alter them to fit perfectly.

Proper shoeing is crucial in equine care. It is a must regardless of age, gender and physical ability says Topspec.

 




Formula 4 Feet: Taking Care of Your Horse’s Hooves

formule 4 feetHoof 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.


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