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Hoof Care

Winter Hoof Hazards

Make sure to take care of your horse's hooves this winter


Is it a hoof abscess?

Before you assume your lame horse has an abscess, run through a few simple tests.

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Manage Your Horse for Stronger Hooves

Each day brings another opportunity to help your horse grow better feet. Here’s a simple hoof building strategy you can easily incorporate into your daily routine.

When you find a lost shoe, the next step is finding the horse it came from.

What To Do When You Find a Lost Shoe

If you find a shoe in the field, track down the horse it came from and do a quick assessment for any damage.

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Success with Hoof Boots

Thinking of switching from horseshoes to temporary hoof boots for on-trail hoof protection? Here's some expert information to get you started.

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Laminitis in Horses: Closing In on Better Care

The latest in how and why the destructive disease laminitis develops and immediate and long-term treatment options

This horse's shoes were pulled two weeks ago, and his feet are in typical condition for a horse who has been newly barefoot for that amount of time. Even though your barefoot horse's feet will break apart and wear naturally, have your farrier trim him every four weeks.

Strengthen Your Horse's Feet By Pulling His Shoes

If winter weather or your competition schedule has you riding less, right now may be the perfect time to strengthen your horse's feet by pulling his shoes for a few months.

Red lines illustrate the multiple unhealthy angles this foot has developed. I replaced the horse's too-small shoes (upper inset) with rolled-toe heart-bar shoes (lower inset) so his feet can begin to grow at a normal angle (yellow line) that matches the slope of his pastern. | ? Practical Horseman

Underrun Heels in Horses

On a healthy foot, heel and toe grow from the coronary band to the ground at the same angle; when the angle of the heel is less than that of the toe (making it look flattened out), the heels are considered "underrun."

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Foot Infections And Abscesses In Horses

Pro rodeo vet Frank Santos explains what abscesses are an how to prevent them.

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Learn To "Read" Your Horse's Hooves

Do you know what all those lines, divots and discolorations in the soles of your horse's feet mean? Learn how to "read" his hooves.

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EquiSearch's Ask the Vet: Help for a Hoof Abscess

How long should it take a hoof abscess to heal? Dr. Joyce Harman offers advice to a Standardbred gelding's owner in's Ask the Vet.

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Best Foot Forward

These essential tips on horse hoof health from our veterinary expert will help your horse stand on his own four feet.

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Farrier-Friendly Horses

Learn how to prepare so you get the most out of your farrier's visits both for you and your horse.

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Polyurethane Horseshoes: Shoes of the Future?

Researchers study the shock-absorbing capabilities of polyurethane horseshoes. By Christine Barakat for EQUUS magazine.

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The Basics of Hot Shoeing

In some cases it's best to fit a horse with shoes fresh off a forge. By Laurie Bonner for EQUUS magazine.

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Bruising in Your Horse's Hoof

Bruising in your horse's hoof can happen as a result of various situations. Learn more.

Before: Hoof of an off-the-track Thoroughbred before his first natural-foot trim.

Is Barefoot Better?

A growing contingent of hoof-care experts says yes. Here's what the natural-foot movement could mean for your horse.

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Feel Your Horse's Footsteps

What if, by feeling where and when your horse picks up his hooves and places them on the ground, you could better influence his body? Learn how to figure out when and where your horse is placing his hooves so riding in your saddle becomes more comfortable.

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Horse Farrier Tips and Tactics

How can you make sure your horse farrier is doing a good job on your horse's hooves? Read our simple tips to learn about what your farrier does, and if he's doing it right.

EquiSearch's Ask the Vet: Hoof Size

Will letting a horse go barefoot increase the size of his hoof? Dr. Joyce Harman answers in this installment of's Ask the Vet.

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Hoof Health and Wet Conditions

Horses that may go eight weeks between trims in the winter may need a hoof trim every four to six weeks in the spring to keep the feet well balanced.


Winter Hoof Treatment for Horses

A healthy horse's hoof can withstand winter temperatures very well, but if your horse has hoof problems, the cold can take a toll. Your horse may begin to move more stiffly, even when he's not on frozen, uneven ground.

Smokey, fully recuperated--and barefoot. | Photo courtesy of Laurie Windham

A Barefoot Horse's Success Story

One Horse & Rider reader shares the story of how natural hoofcare put her horse, Smokey, back on his feet and back in his role as king of the herd.