Related Searches

Books & DVDs

from HorseBooksEtc

Related Topics

from the Forums

Free Newsletters

Sign Up for our Free Newsletters

Help Your Horse Grow Stronger Hooves

How you manage your horse on a daily basis can influence the strength of his hooves. Try these tips for building better hooves.

Regular farrier visits, combined with sensible management practices can improve the health of your horses hooves. ©EQUUS Magazine

Your farrier has done an excellent job of fortifying your horse's weak, shelly hooves, but what happens to them between farrier visits can go a long way toward preserving their health. To help strengthen your horse's hooves, try incorporating the following tips into your daily management:

  • Keep your horse's hooves as dry as possible. Moisture weakens hoof walls and provides an ideal environment for bacterial invasions. Just as destructive as excess moisture, however, are extreme fluctuations between wet and dry conditions, which cause the hoof to expand and contract with each moisture change. Horses on summer pasture go through the wet-dry cycle daily, with morning dew giving way to ground-baking dryness. Frequent baths and postexercise hosings also contribute to this problem, so stick to careful spongings that keep hooves relatively dry.
  • Stand your horse on solid ground. A tenderfooted horse may look ouchy on harder footing, but the firm ground helps toughen feet. An ideal flooring for stabled horses is made up of dense stall mats covered by a thin layer of dry bedding.
  • Make sure your horse gets enough exercise. Simply walking around a pasture stimulates hoof circulation and growth. Even if your mount's feet look fragile, resist the urge to restrict activity.
  • Apply hoof tougheners. Commercial bonding agents formulated to harden hooves are available through tack stores. Ask your farrier which ones would be most suitable for your horse. Avoid preparations that contain oils because they can contribute to softening of the wall.
Advertisement
Posted in Health, Hoof Care, Horse Care | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Get 12 issues of EQUUS for only $14.97!
Name:
Address Line 1:
Address Line 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email:
Subscribe!
Untitled Document

Subscribe to EQUUS

Subscribe to EQUUS

Subscribe Today
& Get a Free Gift!

Subscribe 
Give a Gift
Customer Service
Digital Subscriptions