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.

Proper Hoof Care

It is not enough to just call a farrier and have him shoe your horse. One of the most basic requirements of responsible ownership is to understand and practice proper horse hoof care.

Stan Walchuk Jr, horse trail riding, make horse shoe stick horse trail, Diamond Toed horseshoe, Heeled horseshoe

As each riding season winds down I find myself reflecting on the ups and downs of the past season and make a short list of issues and concerns that need to be addressed. Each season the problem of horseshoes falling off prematurely ranks high on that list. Trail riders regularly describe their frustration with shoes that fall off after several days or even several hours of use. We can put a man on the moon but it seems that we can’t keep shoes on our trail horse’s feet!

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.

 dean sinclair farrier kelowna bc, career as farrier, equine farrier careers, horse farrier careers, olds college farrier, certified journeyman farrier, canada farrier

“The beginning of the day starts in my shop at about 7:00 am, doing some forge work clipping up shoes and sharpening knives for the day’s work,” says Certified Journeyman Farrier Dean Sinclair of Kelowna, BC. “I have a young man who is apprenticing with me and we are under our first horses at 8:00 am. I have a mixed practice of shoeing show horses, endurance horses, and pleasure horses along with a handful of jumpers. Lunch is generally a sandwich on the run and we wind up the day back at the shop by about 5 pm.

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).

hoof trimming, trimming a horse, hans wiza, horse hoof care, horse cannon bone, horse frog, overgrown horse shoe

“How do I know when my horse’s feet need to be trimmed?” This question has been posed to everyone who trims the feet of horses. As a service provider, I can attest that there are a number of answers to that question – and all of them are correct.

Feeding for Happy Horse Feet

By Lynn Stewart - Many factors can affect hoof quality, including environment, genetics, farrier care, and nutrition. Fortunately, a horse’s nutrition can be easily managed and can have profound effects on hoof strength and structure. The hoof condition of all horses, from young foals to seniors, can be significantly improved simply by ensuring they receive a well-balanced, scientifically sound diet.

Electric hoof knife

The Electric Hoof Knife (EHK) is a revolutionary hoof trimming tool designed for use by horse owners who like to trim their own horse’s feet, as well as for veterinarians and farriers.

White Line Disease

By Kentucky Equine Research - The white line is the narrow, light-coloured band visible on the underside of a freshly trimmed hoof at the junction of the hoof wall and the sole. White line disease, an infection that causes separation of the wall, may be seen first at the white line but actually affects the zone of contact between the hard outer hoof wall and the middle layer of hoof tissue. It occurs most commonly in front feet but can occur in any foot.

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