Category Archives: General Hoof Care

Horse Hoof Care

Horse Hoof Care

No hoof…no horse…You’ve heard it a million times and it will always be true.

The hooves are the very foundation of your horse. When the feet fall apart, so does all your hard work and training. All the money and time you’ve spent getting your horse ready for competition will be wasted if your horse constantly loses shoes or is too sore footed to ride. Your horse simply can’t function at optimal levels with substandard hoof care.
Your horse depends on you to find and secure the service of a qualified farrier. The key word being qualified!

Get this part right and you give your horse the best chance to function at his best and stay sound for the long haul.
Get it wrong… you might have to live with the regret of watching your four legged friend suffer with sore feet, and possibly career ending lameness.

Finding the right farrier can be difficult and time consuming since not all farriers have the same skill set. Most experienced farriers have a working knowledge of most situations, but certain types of shoeing such as crack repair, white line disease or founder may require highly skilled specialists.  Shoeing for gaited horses, reining or draft horses require non standard materials and equipment, and a unique skill set to be competent.  Be especially diligent when a farrier claims to be able to “do it all”

You will need to spend some time researching and interviewing several farriers, but your diligence will pay off in the end when you find a hoof care professional that you feel comfortable with.

In coming posts we will dig deeper into how to evaluate a hoof care professional.

•    Learn the key questions you must ask yourself  before you ever interview a farrier.
•    When looking for a farrier…who is the best person to ask for advice …and who to never ask!
•    The most important question to ask before you hire a farrier…the answer may surprise you!

Check back Soon!

How often does my horse need shoes?

One of the most common questions I’m asked about hoof care is how often should the horse be shod.
There is really is no cut and dried answer as to how often a horse needs shoes,
but the average shoeing interval is every six weeks.
That being said, the actual shoeing interval can vary greatly
 depending on a host of conditions.
There are two basic factors that determine shoeing frequency….hoof growth and shoe wear. 
Worn shoes need to be replaced even if there is minimal hoof growth,
and excess hoof growth needs to be trimmed regardless of shoe wear.
Growth rate can vary from one horse to the next, and even from hoof to 
hoof. In fact, some parts of an individual hoof often grow faster than
the rest of the hoof causing an unbalanced condition that requires more 
frequent attention.
Factors that determine how fast a hoof grows include nutrition,age,
genetics, workload and environment,
and all have to be factored in when determining shoeing intervals
And then there’s the subject of shoes…Each type of shoe wears at a different rate, and there are literally hundreds of types to choose from. 
So how do you figure it all out?
Ultimately, you must be the one who decides on hoof care, but working with an experienced and knowledgeable farrier is your best bet to put all the pieces together…someone who will take the time to evaluate your horse and will know how often to shoe your horse based on specific needs.
Working together you will be able to develop a hoof care program designed to ensure
 optimal comfort and long-term soundness for your horse.