365 Days in Horse Country – No Hoof, No Horse
There is an old saying that speaks to the importance of sound feet: no hoof, no horse! While rather simple, it is so very true. Few things are as important to your horse’s health as his feet.
Horse’s hooves grow continuously, just like our fingernails. In the wild, horses naturally wear down their hooves as they travel many miles a day in search of food. In domestic life, horses don’t move as much and so need help keeping their hooves at a normal length.
Most horses need their hooves trimmed every four to six weeks. The trim your horse receives should mimic his natural hoof shape and it should not be too short or too long. It’s a good idea to educate yourself as much as you can about hoof anatomy and learn what a good trim looks like. This way you can keep an eye on the work your farrier performs to be certain he or she is doing right by your horse.
If your horse acts sore after he gets trimmed, something is wrong with your farrier’s work. Consult with your veterinarian to make sure the trim is correct for your horse, and get a referral to a different farrier if necessary.