Friday, June 29, 2012

Until Recently I will admit I have not trimmed my horses feet like I should... I just kept putting it off and putting it off until I noticed how badly one of my ponies feet were which really scared me so I contacted my local farrier.. I find its very very important to have a good farrier.. One you can trust, one that is gentle and caring.  Ive seen horses in very uncomfortable situations while being trimmed and I refuse to ever let one of my animals go through that.. I am a lucky one to have a good farrier.. Here is some great helpful information I found and thought Id share with my readers.. Whether your new to owning an equine or a pro.... a little more information never hurt anyone....... !
Oh and if you were wondering...... he said all my Equine family had perfect healthy feet :)  I just needed to apply some hoof crack treatment to them.... I was thrilled we got a Good Check up..... !!

Caring for your horse’s hooves is a important part of maintaining your horses overall health. If at all possible depending on your day’s routine you should check your horses hooves daily. At the very least, two to three times per week. You’ll find you become very familiar with what is normal and what is not, and to notice any problems that may be starting. To help you with this checking, here’s a simple checklist for you to refer to in your daily grooming routine.
1. As you approach your horse make sure the symmetry of his hooves is close. They don’t have to be exactly equal, but very close to the same size and shape.
2. Then carefully look for defects in the wall and coronary bands. Pick up each hoof, run your hand over the outside of the wall to feel for defects. You can use the exact same procedure for the coronary band, then squeeze it gently, these two procedures will also show tender spots and any moisture bearing areas.

3. Carefully inspect the sole. Check the coloring in each hoof. They should be the same in color. A clearly delineated dark spot indicates a bruise or puncture wound that my need veterinary attention.

4. Next,look and compare your horse’s frogs. The two front hooves should be similar in size and shape and the same with the rear hooves. You should lightly press each frog with your hoof pick, in most areas, with the exception of desert areas. They should be slightly spongy.

5. If your horse is shod, grasp the shoe and see if it wiggles. If it does, check for missing clinches. Should any shoe be loose you may choose to remove the shoe before your horse loses it on his own with the possible result of taking a chunk of his hoof with it.
If you keep a good close eye on your horses hooves, you can avoid a lot of issues by catching the problem before it gets severe. I’d recommend you work into your regular hoof cleaning a few simple steps. Use your hoof pick from heel to toe. If it is tightly packed you may need to loosen it up a bit before it’s removed. Once all the debris is removed, check all the areas of the hoof and make sure there is not a bad odor as this is a clear cut sign of thrush. Also make sure there are no pebbles or stones lodged anywhere, even under the shoe.
Your horses hooves should exhibit a natural glossy luster of the hoof wall. Plus a smooth uniform surface free of cracks, rings, dishes and flares and a concave sole that touches the shoe. If you have all of that, you can be pretty sure that your horses hooves are in good health.

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