To ensure your horse’s hooves stay healthy there are a few essential daily checks to do.
If your horse is shod it will need the farrier every 4 – 8 weeks depending on the growth rate and condition of the feet. If he is unshod the farrier will need to come every 6 – 10 weeks depending on the individual horse. An experienced farrier will be able to help balance and conformation issues.
Every time your horse is brought in from the field, after exercise and when turned out into the field he will need his feet picked out with a hoof pick. A lot of hoof picks now come with a hard brush which is great for finishing off the foot and removing loose mud etc.
Link to our hoof picks -
Be careful around the frog which is the spongy area in the middle of the foot as this is sensitive to the horse.
A quick check over the shoe (if the horse is shod) is beneficial such as –
• clenches are flush to the hoof wall
• no gaps between the hoof and shoe
• sole of the foot not touching the ground
• check for cracks, splits and flares
Another part of your hoof care routine should be the application of hoof oils.
There are lots of different products on the market and I will try to give you an overview of a selection.
Traditional Hoof Oil – Gives the hoof naturally polished look and will enhance the natural appearance of the hoof. You will need a hoof brush to apply this. LINK TO HOOF BRUSH
NAF Hoof Moist – This has been especially formulated to sustain the moisture content of the hoof and allows natural fluctuation of moisture levels. Especially useful in fry summer months and if the horse is exposed to prolonged lengths of time on dry bedding. You can pick between clear or black depending on your horses hoof colour. It also contains tea tree which is a natural anti bacterial agent. It also comes with a handy mini sponge you can use to apply to the hoof.
Silverfeet - Another brilliant product for your horses hooves. It is a blend of natural ingredients and silver ions which produces an effective barrier against the environment. The silver ions maintain hoof health and flight the bacteria which may lead to hoof odour. They are available in many colours so add a little fun to your hoof care routine! Again you will need to hoof brush to apply this. LINK TO HOOF BRUSH
A final hoof care product that we have tried and tested is NAF Rock Hard –
It is a premium hoof hardener developed to protect brittle hooves, strengthen soft soles and disinfect frogs prone to fungal and bacterial attack. It contains bio-available sulphur for maximum hoof horn integrity. A real good all round hoof care product for hooves that need that little extra. This also comes with a handy application brush.
As the old saying goes ‘No Hoof, No Horse’ and it is true. So it is important you look after them.