“Healthy hooves or no horse.” This is something that you’re likely to hear from a farrier or a fellow equine owner. There’s no denying the truth to such statement especially because these animals are known for their speed and agility. Weak hooves mean weak feet and nobody wants that. This is also the reason why care for their feet is one of the primary aspects to equine care and today we’ve got expert tips straight from the Topspec headquarters.
- Maintain sanitary stables and barns.
Many foot ailments and illnesses are a result of unsanitary conditions. Continuous exposure to wet, dirty and muddy ground is risky because it heightens the breeding ground for bacteria all while softening the hooves. To avoid such issues, make sure to invest in a good drainage and regularly clean and disinfect quarters.
- Make the animals exercise.
You’d be surprised to find out that there are horses that tend to get lazy especially when the weather gets tough. Too much heat or cold can send them off lazing by their stables. They need regular exercise because this ensures that proper and good blood circulation is maintained which is important as nutrients and oxygen are brought to the frog by means of the circulatory system.
- Start nurturing from within.
Supplements and hoof care products would still fail to work if we’re dealing with unhealthy horses. Overall nutrition plays a huge part in ensuring that equines develop and maintain strong hooves. When choosing meal options, remember the six essential nutrients they need namely protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins and minerals. They also require adequate amounts of roughage daily and remember that their meals should be divided into several small portions and given throughout the day.
- Pick hooves daily.
Debris eventually gets stuck and this can both be painful and dangerous to horses. This is why picking is a must before and after riding and should be done every day. With the right tools and skills, carefully remove the compacted dirt, pebbles and objects lodged in their foot making sure to be cautious when handling the frog.
- Have them re-shoed and re-trimmed.
As a rule of thumb, Topspec experts say that horses must be taken to the farrier every six to eight weeks to have their hooves trimmed. The shoes are to be examined too in order to assess if it needs replacing or if it went loose and need reinforcing.