Hoof Care

equine Hoof Care horse Dr. Wendy Pearson, feeding healthy hooves, biotin equine hooves

Anyone out there remember the typewriter? You know, that noisy mechanical gadget that slowly tapped out letters on a piece of paper. This relic of communication technology was really a remarkable invention, but hands-up everyone who is glad we don’t have to use it anymore!

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Proper hoof trimming is vital to preventing lameness and injury in horses. Keeping the hoof bars aligned and healthy is also dependent upon trimming. Bars appear as white lines along the frog and are made up of laminae. Think of the bars like plastic straws – if you push on the straw from the end, it stays strong and holds its form. If a straw gets too long, it will likely bend when pressure is applied and become weaker. In order to keep bars aligned and healthy, hooves need to be trimmed and collected on a regular basis. Without healthy bars, a horse can develop a “stacked sole,” or worse, a bruised sole or abscess.

Caudal Heel Syndrome, Trimming horse hooves, Pour-in Pads, vettec, long heels horse, horse landing on toes, overgrown heel horse, equipak cs

Diagnosis and Treatment with Proper Trimming and Pour-in Pads - Proper hoof trimming is vital to the horse’s overall health and quality of life. Hooves that are not trimmed properly become uneven, causing the horse’s weight to be unevenly distributed and the horse to land on its feet differently than when the hooves are properly trimmed. Lameness can result.

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.

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When a person wears the same pair of shoes for a long period of time, some parts of the shoes will wear out before other parts depending on the way the person walks and distributes weight to their feet. Once shoes wear out, the feet are not properly supported. This scenario is also true for hooves and horseshoes. When hooves aren’t trimmed properly or horseshoes don’t fit correctly, the horse distributes its weight unevenly and lands on its feet differently than when properly trimmed or shod.

equine laminitis, horse laminitis, foundered horse, horse founder, horse sole support, hoof care, hoof support, coffin bone, horse metabolic, horse obesity, equine obesity

When an equine athlete experiences an episode of laminitis or founder it can be a painful experience. While there are numerous studies and articles on the causes of these two maladies, there is also a general consensus on what the hoof capsule experiences after the episodes occur. When a horse experiences a bout of laminitis, whether through injury, overfeeding, or metabolic issues, inflammation of the laminae occurs. The anatomy of the hoof is such that the insensitive laminae are attached to the hoof wall and the sensitive laminae are attached to the coffin bone.

Equine Lameness, western college of veterinary medicine, wcvm, horse lameness, game ready, equine ultrasound, equine heel pain

Accurate diagnosis is critical - A lame horse often means a sudden change in plans, and a lameness diagnosis during the summer is an especially disappointing way to end the show season for a horse and its rider. In addition to conventional lameness therapies, newer treatments such as shock wave therapy, cold compression therapy, and regenerative therapies that use the body’s natural ability to heal may help to return horses to the show ring more quickly.