Hoof Care and Shoeing

Hoof Care and ShoeingThe hooves of the horse or pony are being cleaned up with a hoof pick, which removes stones, dirt and mud and reveals the condition on the shoe. It is very important to keep the feet of your horse clean, because if otherwise, they can contract hoof diseases, such as thrush, or a fungus. Before each ride make sure you clean the shoes of your horse. In case you don’t ride it very often, it is still good to check and clean their feet frequently, to prevent different diseases. The horse management books recommend to clean daily the shoes of your horse, but it can extend to a weekly clean in good weather conditions.

Depending on the region where you live, the climate and the weather conditions, you should use hoof oils, dressing or the typical treatment recommended for the region where you keep your horse or horses. Beware to use only recommended treatment, as the wrong treatment can aggravate conditions instead of being beneficial for the health of your horse. Ask your local farriers and veterinarians for advice and suggestions for the correct treatment.

Horses and pony usually require professional care by farriers once every 6 to 8 weeks. This period can vary on the animal, the tasks the horse does and the weather conditions. Keep in mind that moisture and warm weather accelerates the growth of the hoofs. The cold and dry weather seems to decelerate the growing process. In addition, in spring and fall they grow faster than in the summer and winter months.

As a general rule, a horse owner that keeps its animal in Ireland might have to trim the hooves more often that a horse owner located in Arizona, United States. This is due to the humid climate of Ireland and the drier conditions of Arizona.

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