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Hoof Care and Cleaning

Horse-Hoof-with big stoneHorse-Hoof-with big stone
"No Hoof, No Horse" is a common quote amongst horse owners and farriers. Maintaining a good, healthy hoof capsule, is critical to having a happy and heathly horse.

At the December horsemaster's clinic, Susan Poulton and Elvis showed us how important it is to keep an eye on your horses feet! Elvis apparently stepped on this rock, which was the perfect size to get wedged in between the arms of his shoe.

It took about 10 minutes a lots of prying and tugging to get this rock removed from the foot! If this had gone undiscovered for long, Elvis could have developed an abcess or other hoof injury!

Why should I clean my horse's hooves

Whether barefoot, shod, or wearing Hoof Boots, clean your horse's hooves is key to maintaining the health of your horse's feet. With regular cleaning, you can identify potential problems before they harm your horse. Also, regular cleaning will help prevent bacterial and fungal infections, such as thrush and white line disease.

How do I clean my horses hoof?

Raise your horses hoof. If unfamiliar with the proper method to hold his hoof, ask your trainer, farrier or other horse owner.

Use your hoof pick from heel to toe to remove mud and other debris. Be sure to clean the cleft between the sole and the frog. This cleft is called the sulcus.

After cleaning the debris from the foot, check the condition of the frog. Make sure that the frog is firm and has no discharge or foul odors. If the frog appears damaged, check with your vet or farrier about treatment with an anti-thrush product (like Thrush Buster).

If you horse is shod, check that there are no loose or missing nails and that the shoe is still on tightly. Check the clenches and make sure that the nails are not sticking up above the top of the hoof.

White line disease

White line disease is one of the most common conditions encountered by farriers. A clean dry environment and a regular hoof care and trimming schedule is the best thing to help white line disease to heal.

Leaving too much hoof wall in flared areas also puts strain on the white line and can lead to more crumbling and cracking which gives bacteria an even better chance to move into the white line. Neglecting to smooth out flares can also lead to horses developing cracks in their hoof walls, especially in the center of their toe.

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