The horse hoof bears a huge weight. There is a saying, “no hoof, no horse”. So it is more or less evident how important hoofs are. The hoof also provides traction for the horse and protects the tissues and bones within it. Thus, horse hoof care is a very important thing for the horse. That’s why this needs to be taken care of. One must remember some things in order to keep the hoof well-shaped and workable. She/he must make a schedule to trim the hoof regularly.
How To Do Horse Hoof Care
1. Nutrition:- At first, one must be aware of his horse’s diet chart. The horse must be fed good quality hay and enough fresh water. Correctly supplement of vitamins is another thing which has to be kept in mind. Good nutrition and a well-thought diet chart of a horse will improve the health of the hoof.
Maintaining The Balance Of The Hooves:- A horse with balanced hooves move and run better and freely. Also, horses feel less stress and pressure on bones, tendons, ligaments when their hooves are balanced. So the hooves must be kept balanced.
3. Trimming The Hooves In A Regular Manner:- Trimming hooves is another important thing. Now one thing has to be kept in mind. In summer, the hooves grow faster than they do in winter. So, in summer, hooves have to be trimmed at least every 6-8 weeks whereas, in the winter, that timespan will be 6-12 weeks.
4. Regular Contact With The Veterinarian:- You always need to keep in touch with the veterinarian. She/he has to check the hooves of a horse in a regular manner and has to take action if something goes out of order.
5. Taking Care Of Hooves In Summer And Winter:- In Summer, the hooves grow faster. On the other hand, the hooves take a longer time to grow in winter. The horse needs more water in winter in order to avoid dehydration and in case of extreme cold, has to be fed extra hay. In the summer, the horse doesn’t need that much water.
Common Hooves Problems
1. Hoof Cracks:- Hoof cracks are a major issue which is a common one in dry weather. In this case, the hooves get cracked and several problems emerge. One needs to apply hoof moisturizers to the wall and sole during dry weather. Also, good nutrition is needed. There are several kinds of hoof cracks which are- horizontal crack, grass crack, sand crack, etc.
2. Solar Abscess:- It happens due to trauma, bruising, etc. It is nothing but an infection in the sole of the hoof. It can be healed by removing the foreign body (obviously if possible). Otherwise, the hoof has to be soaked in warm water and Epsom salt. The hoof has to be kept clean, dry and bandaged.
3. Hot Nail And Street Nail:- Hot nails usually cause lameness. It is a horseshoe nail within the sensitive area of the hoof. If it happens, the nail hole has to be cleaned by antiseptic at first. Then the foot has to be bandaged and at last, a tetanus booster must be provided. A street nail is any external object that enters the horse’s foot. In this case, one needs to contact the veterinarian and the treatment will depend on the place of the injury.
4. Laminitis:- The Lamina is an important tissue in the hoof, and the lump on it is called Laminitis. There are many causes of Laminitis. One needs to trim the hoof regularly, keep toes short in case of Laminitis.
The hoof of the horse is one of the most important body parts. It demands special care and attention. As said earlier, “No hoof, No Horse”. You need to take care of the hooves to keep the horse lively, happy, and fit.