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Horse Hoof Care
Maximum Hoof Power
Practical Guide to Lameness
Horse For Sale by Cherry Hill
Your Horse Barn DVD
Horsekeeping On A Small Acreage

Excerpts from Maximum Hoof Power

A Horseowner's Guide to Shoeing and Soundness
by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh, CJF, RJF

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Barefoot or shoes?
Sometimes it might be better not to shoe your horse.

"To determine whether barefoot is a viable option for your horse, first weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Then evaluate your horse's hoof conformation to see if it resembles the "ideal" hoof that can go barefoot or the "problem" hoof that should not. Finally, take into consideration the additional management factors which may affect whether a horse can safely go barefoot. " from Chapter 4

"Natural" Shoeing & Trimming
This is nothing new or magic. It's just following sound established shoeing principles.

"No matter what style of riding you prefer or what event you enjoy participating in, your horse should be shod following the guidelines outlined in Preventive Shoeing (Chapter 5). Your horse's soundness and comfort must be the first priorities and these can only be achieved by trimming and shoeing the hoof in balance and alignment and as naturally as possible." from Chapter 10

Not the process of making shoes, but that irksome clicking sound when your horse's back shoes hit his front.

"Assuming management and training factors have been evaluated and modified if required, shoeing may be able to help eliminate the problem of persistent forging or over-reaching. Most corrective shoeing is based on restoring a horse's normal hoof configuration and balance." from Chapter 9

Lost shoes
Caused by poor shoeing, bad management, imperfect conformation or lousy luck?

"If a horse loses a shoe soon after he is shod, it is likely due to him stepping on the shoe or getting it caught on something. If a horse loses a shoe later in the shoeing period, it may be due to worn nails heads or loosening clinches. The large majority of lost shoes are front shoes." from Chapter 15

What is this smelly stuff? How concerned should you be?

"Thrush is caused by an anaerobic bacteria that thrives in the warm, dark recesses of the hoof. If left untreated it can invade sensitive tissues, especially deep in the central cleft of the frog, and cause lameness. Thrush will also inhabit separations and cracks in the hoof wall, especially if the horse is in a moist environment. Cleanliness is the best prevention and the first step of any treatment program. Sugardine is very effective for treating thrush." from Chapter 11

Hoof cracks
Most cracks can be prevented. Does hoof dressing really help...or hinder?

"If your horse is getting adequate exercise and the footing of his stall, pen or pasture is well-drained, the moisture balance between the inner and outer layers of his hooves probably remains at a relatively constant, healthy level. However, if your horse stands inactive for long periods of time, sufficient moisture may not be delivered via the blood to the hoof and his hoof walls may tend to contract. On the other hand, if his hooves are too soft from water, mud, frequent baths, or excessive hoof dressing, they contain too much moisture and the hoof spreads and the layers separate." from Chapter 14

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