Hoof Care

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The old adage “No Hoof, No Horse” can be a painful reality for owners who struggle with chronic hoof health issues in their horse. The four hooves of a 500-kilogram horse are expected to carry large amounts of body weight. When the compression force of work such as galloping is factored in, each of those four feet may be carrying as much as 3,000 pounds of force.

 how to prevent Laminitis, what is task-focussed Farrier Care? what is holistic care-focussed Farrier Care?

Farriers need to work closely with horse owners to spot the subtle signs of the painful condition laminitis, a new study in Equine Veterinary Journal reports. During this unique study researchers from the University of Surrey’s School of Psychology and School of Veterinary Medicine conducted in-depth interviews with farriers and horse owners to understand how their relationship and their approach to equine care can help prevent laminitis.

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Recent research suggests that laminitis is as common as colic. The study, led by Dr. Danica Pollard, a Ph.D. student at the Royal Veterinary College, found that one in ten horses or ponies may develop at least one laminitis episode each year.

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At Queensland University of Technology in Australia, Prof. Martin Sillence with the School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences has been researching laminitis for over a decade. He says that Velagliflozin, a new veterinary drug related to one used to treat human metabolic syndrome, has been found to prevent laminitis in ponies with high levels of insulin and the equine version of metabolic syndrome.

Do horses have just one toe or several? do horses have five toes? understanding equine foot

Researchers at the New York Institute of Technology, College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) are suggesting that, in fact, the four side toes did not completely disappear but remain even today as remnants still present within the horse’s modern lower leg and hoof. Scientists widely accept that the essentially redundant splint bones – the small bones found along the outer sides of the metacarpal or cannon bone - are remnants of the second and fourth toes.

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Tequila is a Thoroughbred mare that I was asked to shoe a couple of months back. She stands splay-footed, is badly over at the knees, and her hind legs were quite sickle-hocked. Her feet were smashed, flared, chipped, and cracked. She was just the kind of project that I wanted to do a “hoof makeover” on – I do love a challenge.

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To sustain optimal hoof health, the horse’s feet must be regularly trimmed and maintained. Without proper care, the feet can develop conditions such as too much toe or too much heel, and the horse can suffer discomfort or even infection, resulting in costly treatment. When this happens, it is essential to provide the support and maintenance necessary to return the hooves to a healthy state.

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