Proper hoof care is essential to your horse's health and well-being, so check out these three easy ways to keep his feet in perfect condition.
The old saying goes 'no foot no horse' and it remains as true today as it always has. The good news is that getting to know your horse's feet, regularly keeping them clean and ensuring you organise regular farrier visits will go a long way to keeping his hooves in tip top condition all yer round.
1 It's important to get into the habit of picking your horse's feet out every day. Do it before and after each ride, before turning him out (if he's stabled) and when you bring him in from the field. Use a hoof pick to remove any stones, mud or manure to help prevent bruising or infection, then use a stiff brush over the sole of the foot to ensure you haven't missed anything.
2 A well-balanced diet will help to ensure healthy hoof growth. Check your horse's feed bags for key hoof-boosting ingredients. These include biotin, essential amino acids such as lysine and methionine, zinc and copper, sulphur and calcium. If you horse has a balanced diet, but still has poor hooves, a hoof supplement might help.
3 If your horse is stabled (as many are in winter) keep a keen eye on his hooves, as bacteria in wet and dirty bedding changes into urea and ammonia. Both of these dissolve the natural fats and oils that protect the hoof and can cause it to soften and weaken. An anti-bacterial hoof product can help to protect against this nasty bacteria.
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