Horse Health Care Program - Hoof Care

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Cherry Hill's
Horsekeeping Almanac

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Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping Almanac
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Stablekeeping
Horse Health Care by Cherry Hill
How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill
Horse Handling and Grooming by Cherry Hill

Keeping Your Horse Healthy - Part 4
 As appeared in 1998 Horses magazine

  2008 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information 

Mary keeps her two horses at the same boarding stable where you’ve just moved Jones, your new gelding.  Mary’s gelding Blaze has heaves, requires specialized shoeing that costs twice the normal fee, gets special feed for his dry skin, and each day has a 50/50 chance of being sound to ride.  Her mare Dolly is gorgeous but she’s constantly on a diet, is a chronic wood chewer and tail rubber and frequently colics.  The problems that Mary has with her horses have you in a panic every time Jones lies down or stumbles.

    The bad news is that Blaze and Dolly might always have these problems and Mary will always have higher than normal feed, veterinary, and farrier bills.

    The good news is that all of these problems are preventable with good health management.  If you are a keen observer and follow good horse management, Jones will stay in tiptop shape and your budget won’t bust!

    Our horses depend on us to take good care of them.  We need to pay specific attention to feeding, sanitation, grooming, hoof care, veterinary care, and facilities management.

HOOF CARE   
  1998 Cherry Hill
www.horsekeeping.com  

    To preserve your horse’s soundness and minimize farrier bills, pick out hooves daily so you can discover problems early.  Remove all manure and mud from the sole and clefts of the frog, checking for rocks, sticks and nails.  Check the frog crevices for the black, foul-smelling signs of thrush.

    Look at the bottom of the hooves to be sure the hoof has not grown over the shoe.  Check for loose clinches by running your fingers over the outer hoof wall.  If you feel sharp or rough clinches (nail ends), your horse's shoe is probably loose and needs your farrier.  Hire the most knowledgeable and experienced farrier available and have your horse trimmed or shod every 6-8 weeks.

    Don't over use greasy hoof dressings that can make the hooves too soft.  Use a hoof sealer to help maintain a healthy hoof moisture level.  If a horse is in very wet and muddy conditions, apply hoof sealer several times a week to absolutely clean and dry hooves.

    To prevent lost shoes, don't pasture in wet, boggy fields.  Minimize bathing.  Keep a hoof boot on hand to protect the hoof when your horse loses a shoe.

    Regular exercise is important for overall health and especially healthy hooves.  With exercise, blood flows around a horse's body and his legs and hooves are well nourished.  If a horse lives in a stall or small pen, the decreased blood flow can lead to leg and hoof problems.


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