Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Basic Hoof Care

Scheduling regular farrier visits is very important to your horse’s health, not just the hooves. The average schedule is 6 to 8 weeks, but that’s just the standard. Your horse may have a problem that needs to be addressed every 4 or 5 weeks. I also have some clients with horses that get trimmed every 12 weeks. Each horse is an individual case. If you don’t know for sure, start with 8 weeks, then you and your farrier can evaluate your horse’s situation and decide how many weeks you should wait before your next appointment.

One of the very best things you can do for your horse’s hoof health is to clean out their hooves. That may sound a bit elementary, but there are many reasons why a hoof pick is such an important part of your tack box. First of all I am guilty of saddling up and riding, then unsaddling, putting my horse away without ever picking up his hooves. My daughter, Faith, usually cleans out her horse’s hooves, then clean my horse’s hooves.

Why is the hoof pick so important? It is obvious that it is to clean the hoof. Every time you pick your horse’s hooves, you can see if anything is out of the ordinary. If you do see anything you don’t like, call your farrier and consult with him or her. I get calls all the time from clients that are nervous about something they’ve seen after cleaning their horse’s hooves. Most of the time it can be explained and is harmless, but for the times it’s not, we can fix it sooner than later. I would rather you call me and not need it than need it and not call!

If you are worried about thrush, you won’t have to worry if you clean your horse’s hooves often. I’ve always told my clients that the best medicine for thrush is a hoof pick. Thrush is an anaerobic bacteria that thrives in the absence of oxygen and light. So an unclean hoof is the perfect place for it to grow. Every time you the clean the hoof you expose the bottom side to oxygen and light. If a hoof pick doesn’t clear it up, there are good products available to combat thrush – I recommend Kopertox.

Also, every time you clean your horse’s hooves, you will know if his joints are working properly. Picking up your horse’s feet will allow you check his range of motion and to examine your horse more closely.

So clean your horse’s hooves and stay tuned for more hoof care tips!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Welcome to Hoffman's Hoof Care

With over 10 years experience, I'm dedicated to helping horse owners with their horses' hoof care.

Check back to see my tips regarding hoof care, horseshoeing, and working with your horses.