The hoof is the base of the horse. Without a strong and sound hoof, a horse cannot perform or stay safe and happy. With so much mass balancing on four tiny hooves, there are a few factors you need to consider to ensure the happiness, comfort, and longevity of your equine partner.
Choosing a Farrier
Always make sure you are using a qualified and experienced farrier for your horse. Your farrier should always be able to explain his reasoning for shoeing your horse the way he or she chooses. When choosing your farrier make sure to ask people for their recommendation on different farrier’s and their background with them. Your farrier should be able to watch your horse move and know where to go.
By peticure, I don’t mean taking your horse to the nail salon with you. A peticure should be a daily routine, helping to recognize the changes (good or bad) in your horse’s hooves. Make sure to always pick your horses hooves both before and after your ride. Picking their hooves before you ride cleans their hooves from anything that may be stuck from standing in their stall or pasture. You never know what debris may be in an arena during your ride. Picking hooves after you ride ensures no rocks or sharp sticks are stuck in your horse’s hooves. This debris could cause a lameness issue.
Your peticure should also incorporate a hoof polish, especially during these dry summer months. Hoof polish both conditions and helps strengthen hooves, treating and preventing cracks and dryness. I recommend Sound Hoof Conditioner. Sound is made of: “Essential fatty acids, retinol (palmitic acid, a form of Vitamin A), triglycerides, natural antioxidants, gamma-linoleic acid, and natural Omega-6 and Omega-9 vitamins and love.” Besides all these key ingredients to promote hoof health, Sound also smells like frosting!
Some horses may need a little extra help in the hoof maintenance department. For these horses, I recommend a good hoof supplement. Hoof supplements main ingredient is Biotin, used to strengthen hooves and help repair cracks. Biotin is the same ingredient humans use to strength hair and nails. Hoof Power, is known as one of the most respected hoof supplements for sport horses. This supplement contains Biotin, and so much more. As Biotin is the main key for hoof health, Hoof Power also contains zinc, copper, and other amino acids, which are also proven to aid in hoof and coat health.