Taxonomy term

hoof care, barefoot horses, shod horses, American Association of Equine Practitioners, AAEP, equine athlete, fit horses, horse competition

The topic of having horses go barefoot vs. shod has been discussed at several American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Annual Conventions and always generates some very informative dialog while raising many important questions. I must say from the onset that I favour horses being maintained without shoes when possible, but it depends on multiple factors.

Hans Wiza, good horse hooves vs bad horse hooves, horse care, horse health, equine coronary band, equine canon bone, hoof cracking, hoof flaking, hoof splitting, hoof bending, hoof folding, trimming horse hooves, equine pastern

For as long as there have been horses, there have been hoof problems. And for as long as there have been hoof problems with domesticated horses, there have been millions of man hours spent trying to find solutions and remedies for them. Almost invariably the greatest concern has been horses that have become footsore and cannot travel without limping. The cosmetic concerns that we have regarding cracks and breakage may or may not adversely affect a horse’s ability to perform a required function. These problems are often blamed on a horse’s “bad” hooves. But what is a bad hoof? First, let’s define what constitutes a good hoof.

Thrush Infection Basics

By Greg Toronchuk - Thrush is a common hoof disease which usually has a simple treatment with little or no long lasting implications. However, in some situations, infection left unaddressed can cause long-term lameness. The collateral sulci (the grooves alongside the frog) and the central sulcus (groove in the center of the frog) are the main sites of thrush infection.

vettec, sole guard, hoof care, solar support, endurance trail riding, distance riding

When gearing up for endurance and trail riding season, there is a lot of training and preparation that go into it for the rider and horse. Both have to be conditioned to face the 25, 50, or 100-mile race that lies ahead of them. Because a horse will be on its feet in rocky terrain for long periods of time, it’s important that hooves are properly protected, supported, and prepared for any possibilities such as uneven, loose footing, stepping on sharps, cuts, and hoof impacts.

equine Navicular Disease Farriery, Cole Henderson, horse navicular, navicular syndrome, chronic heel lameness, caudal heel syndrome, No Foot No Horse

Navicular disease, now referred to as navicular syndrome, chronic heel lameness, or caudal heel syndrome, was first documented in 1752 by farrier Jeremiah Bridges in his famous book No Foot, No Horse (published some 40 years before the opening of the Royal Veterinary College in London, England).

equine navicular, petroglyph animal hospital, horse hoof problems, equine hoof problems, equine coffin joint, equine bute

First let’s begin by locating the navicular bone in the horse. Each of your horse’s hooves contains two bones: the distal phalanx (coffin bone or P3) and the distal sesamoid bone (navicular bone). The navicular bone is a small, boat-shaped bone that is bordered by the coffin bone, middle phalanx (P2), and deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT). It is approximately six centimetres in length and two centimetres in width in the average 1200 pound horse.

horse shoeing, equine shoeing, horse trimming, hoof trimming, horse stifles, hanz wiza, hoof problems

Sophie is a twelve-year-old seven-eighths Hanoverian mare whose main job is dressage. She is also hacked out for an hour or two a couple of times a week. She is fit and robust, but she has recurring bouts of problems with her stifles. Immediately after being shod, she has no issues. But as she gets further along in her shoeing interval her rider notices that her stifles keep catching.

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