Care of the Horse's Hoof
The Horse Hoof and How to Care for it
How to Take Care of Your Horse's Hooves
It's best to have your horse trimmed and shod every six to eight weeks, in addition to picking your horse's hoofs daily to remove dirt and debris. Here are some more things to consider when caring for your horse's hoofs.
Things You’ll Need:
Look at the angle of your horse's foot from the side. There should be close to a straight line from toe to pastern (where the ankle bends in front). Measure the length of the toe with a ruler or tape measure. The toe length can range from 3 to 3-1/2 inches on an average horse. The larger the horse the longer the toe, the smaller the horse the shorter the toe.
Pick up the foot and look down the leg. Look for a perpendicular line across the bottom of the foot. The bottom of the foot should be trimmed square with the leg; it should not be higher on one side.
Check to see how the shoe fits. A shoe should follow the outline of the foot after proper trimming. Check the very back portion of the shoe at the heel area. The shoe should completely cover the very back of the heel but not make direct contact with the frog (the "V" shaped bulge in the center of the foot).
Tips & Warnings:
Front feet should match each other in length. Back feet should match each other in length. But front feet should not match back feet in length.
Feed your horse a biotin supplement to promote healthy hoof growth.
Keep your horse away from wet footing or bedding to prevent soft hoofs and thrush, a stinky fungus that eats away at the frog and sole of the foot.
Poor nutrition can cause dry, crumbly, cracked and split hoofs.
Dry hoofs may be caused by a lack of exercise.
Allowing your horse to stand in mud can damage their hoofs and legs.