No Hoof No Horse
Hoof care is as important to your horse as sound foundations are to a building. Without a sound and well maintained base, no amount of cosmetic attention will cover up deficiencies and other problems are sure to arise.
Your horse’s hoof is an amazing and complex structure which needs to be strong enough to withstand the many tonnes of pressure per square centimeter that is placed on each hoof when a horse is in motion.
Hooves are made of the same material as human fingernails and we know that overgrown, unkept nails will break and tear back to the quick, causing discomfort, inconvenience and impaired use.
Your horses hooves are just as important as fingernails and play an important role in reducing impact concussion that leads to discomfort which may progress to painful symptoms which are difficult and/or expensive to diagnose and treat.
Dry, brittle hooves do not function as nature intended and so compromise the horse’s comfort and can even affect their action and sure footedness. Horses in low lying wet conditions are subject to waterlogged and weakened hooves with reduced elastic spring to facilitate the action of the frog.
Many horses have demanding jobs and need the “tools of their trade” to be well maintained, if they are to be able to give us their best.
To facilitate peak performance, a horse’s hooves need regular trimming with shoes optional depending on the horse’s purpose and workload. Daily cleaning and moisturising will reward you with equine health benefits that go way beyond the feet and can help to prevent the onset of more serious conditions.
Daily hoof care starts with observation and cleanliness. Experienced and successful horse people have a well developed sense of observation and they will note the little things that assure them that the horse is in good health and ready for work.
As part of your daily observations, check to see if the horse’s feet are in satisfactory order. Note if there is any unusual or excessive odour as this can indicate infection, a foot abscess or thrush. If the horse is shod, be sure the shoes are secure with no loose nails that could dislodge and cause injury. You will have made note of the farrier’s last visit and this will flag the timing for your horse’s next trim or re-shoeing
Before you tack up your horse for work, be sure to brush the feet, to clean away excess dirt or mud. Use a hoof pick to thoroughly clean out the underneath of each foot and also check that there is no damage to the coronet band or a sign of greasy heel, mud fever or UV sensitivity (which can present like mud fever, even when the season is dry). These conditions can be problematic, particularly for horses with white legs and if not checked, can develop into very painful swollen legs with lesions that are difficult to eradicate. Tru Blue ll Medicated Spray can be very beneficial in such cases and should be used at the first sign of scaley or broken skin.
When the horse has finished work, again brush away excess dirt and apply a liberal dressing of Farrier’s Choice Hoof Grease as this will protect the walls, sole and frog of the hoof against cracking and will not seal or clog the pores. It softens, heals, repels water and stimulates normal hoof growth, which is just what your hoof care professional will like to see!
Farrier’s Choice hoof Dressing is effective and very beneficial in wet conditions when hooves become waterlogged and weak. Exactly the same daily care will waterproof and strengthen the hooves and help to preserve the elasticity and resilience of the hoof structure.
Stabled horses should have their feet checked, cleaned and greased in the morning or when they are turned out, as urine soaked bedding invites bacterial and fungal infections and conditions such as thrush and seedy toe which quickly deteriorate and become very difficult to eradicate.
When your horse’s hooves are regularly trimmed and well maintained you will have helped to check a common cause of low grade discomfort which can trigger the onset of problems that often progress to more serious health and soundness issues.
Hoof care is great insurance – Farrier’s Choice will help keep your horse healthy and in peak condition assuring you of better performance and reduced ‘running costs’. It is pleasant smelling formulation with a built in insect repellent that forms an important part of an effective daily routine.
It can be easily applied in all climates with an Applicator Bristle Brush.
Directions for daily use: Clip hair and wash entire hoof area. Apply Farrier’s Choice to the wall, coronary band, bulb and frog of the hoof with an applicator bristle brush.
In addition to regular hoof care treatment with Farriers Choice, Stockholm Tar can be used for the treatment of corns, quarter cracks, split hooves and heels. Stockholm Tar combats thrush and other bacterial infections and keeps the hoof elastic and flexible. Stockholm Tar aids in repelling moisture in wet conditions.