How to Care for Your Horse's Hooves
Hoof Care Tips
by Stefanie Reinhold
No hoof, no horse... we all know the old saying. And in spite of modern hoof care products, many horses have hoof problems like brittle, dry, flaking or soft hooves that worry and often puzzle their owners.
The good news is: While the basic consistency of your horse's hoof is genetic, there is still much room for improvement with the right care!
How to Choose The Right Hoof Care Product for Your Horse
The Four Factors that Determine Horse Hoof Health
Every horse comes equipped with his own genetic make-up and heritage, not only determining conformation and ability, but also factors like hair color, hair thickness and hoof quality. This is what you have to work with!
Today, most horses are well-cared for. Most horses receive all the feed and nutrients they could possibly need - and then some! Every farrier will know of horses suffering from sub-clinicial laminitis, for example, due to improper feed - mostly too rich, too sweet, too much! If your horse suffers from hoof problems of any kind, your first go-to topic should be FEED! Get advice from an equine nutritionist and remember the mantra: Less is (possibly) more! Consider doing without:
Your horse's environment is an equally important factor. In an environment with excessive moisture or exposure to acidic waste (urine) or one that harbor fungus and bacteria (soiled paddocks or damp stalls), you will fight an uphill battle, trying to get your horse's hoof healthy. Hoof problems from soiled or constantly damp environments:
4. Hoof Care
Hoof care is important but truly comes last as hoof care alone cannot make up for any of the unfavorable conditions around feed & environment. Hoof care can - however - provide the best possible support for healthy hooves, no matter what the genetic make-up of your horse's hoof may be. That is - if you follow the basic care routines and choose the right products to support your horse's hoof health. Hoof Care Steps:
Hoof care products should be
Use our handy chart find the right hoof care product for your horseHoof Care Selector Chart