HOOF CARE PROGRAM FOR YOUR HORSE The Trim is simply one small aspect of success in having a healthy rideable barefoot horse.
But regular trimming is an important part of natural hoof care to get tough, sound, lame free hooves.
So find an experienced hoof care professional to give your horse a functional and optimal trim to get your horse on the road to strong, healthy feet, competent and capable in performance.
You will find your trimmer is not only keen to look after your horse’s hooves but can also help with information about natural horse keeping.
Your trimmer may also be a trained boot fitter and can assess, fit and supply you with boots that best suit your riding.
If you decide you wish to start trimming your own horses, there are several courses you can undertake in Australia.
There are also many weekend and one day clinics run by professionals such as www.wildabouthooves.com.au You can also find some great internet sites which help you such as those listed at the end of this book. Julie Scott competing on her unshod horse Going barefoot is a big change from what most of us have been taught about how to care for a horse.
But while it is a big adjustment to make, it is extremely rewarding, and the result will keep you far more in tune with your horse, enhance your relationship and will take your riding and horsing around to a whole new level. Be aware of the importance of trimming foals and establishing healthy hooves early with a natural lifestyle “Shoeing is a necessary evil” is a quote from many horseshoeing textbooks.
For many years, nailing on a metal horseshoe on the bottom of the hoof has been the undisputed modality for protecting the hoof.
The adverse effects from incorrect and irregular shoeing include, but are not limited to: separation of the hoof laminae by the nail, lack of frog support, and contracted heels, stopping development of young horses’ hooves, corns, long toe/low heel syndrome, thin soles.
Applying metal shoes to the bottom of horses’ feet has continued because there have been no good alternatives for protecting the hoof.
Until now….. HOOF BOOTS Convenient and ready to go whenever you are Boots are the perfect option for hoof protection! These days, horses can be fitted with boots that protect hooves from excess wear, bruising and concussion.
Current technology has provided us with many choices of hoof boots which have been designed with the performance horse in mind and are a genuine alternative for hoof protection.
Boots are also an ideal tool to help the horse to heal from common hoof problems such as laminitis and founder, navicular syndrome, quarter cracks and contracted heels by protecting the hoof and allowing the natural physiology of the hoof to work to heal itself.
The benefits of the boots • A hoof fitted comfortably inside a boot made of tough, flexible materials is free to expand, contract and torque side to side with each step.
The hoof is meant to spread on weight bearing.
It is the natural shock absorbing feature of the hoof.
A booted horse also has much less concussion as the hooves are supported by a rubber base. • Most horses will transition successfully to barefoot by using boots.
There should be no “down time” as your horse can be ready for work by quickly donning a pair of boots.
Boots can be slipped on where the terrain is too tough for the condition of the hooves at any time. • Some horses may always need protection whilst ridden and the perfect option is a set of boots. • If you are planning on a long distance ride – boots can be fitted to protect the hoof from excess wear.
But they can then be taken off again once your ride is finished! • Hoof boots make horses comfortable enough to land heel first, importantly allowing the correct biomechanics, and stopping the damaging effects of incorrect limb loading during locomotion which can be caused by pain in the hooves. • Boots can withstand rocky terrain and miles of riding – some report up to 1500 km. • Easy to use.
Quick to fit.
A person familiar with the boots can have them fitted in less than one minute.
It is important that the boots fit well.
If unsure, have them professionally fitted. • Boots are a cheap alternative when you consider how long they last! • Horses often only need to have boots on the front hooves as these bear approximately 70% of a horse’s body weight. “Boots are the most appropriate option for the distinguishing horse person when added hoof protection is desired.
They complement the functions of the hoof rather than antagonizing it—this is the bottom line.” – Dr.
Tomas Teskey – DVM ALL HORSES ARE PRONE TO LAMINITIS Laminitis is extremely common and often the owner is unaware of a mild laminitic attack.
Put simply, laminitis is inflammation of the sensitive laminae in the hoof, causing a breakdown of the bond between the hoof wall and the coffin bone inside.
When rotation occurs it is called Founder.common cause of laminitis is eating rich, green grass and excessive weight gain.
But it can also be caused by concussion of the hooves on hard surfaces (road founder), over-eating grain, infection from retaining afterbirth, excessive weight bearing on one leg, stress, medications, and as a result of irregular trimming/neglect. • Reluctance to move freely, may • • • • • • Signs of laminitis: Late clinical signs: (Founder) • Lies down a lot or, if standing, will not move • Distorted hoof capsule • Bounding digital pulse • Sole hot to the touch • White line stretched • Will not allow you to pick up a foot • Stops eating • Sole bruise in the shape of a coffin bone • Shifting weigh from foot to foot (swaying side to side). • Standing with front legs stretched out, back arched, trying to lean back to get weight off toes. • When asked to turn, the horse rocks backwards onto haunches, lifts head up and lurches around because it hurts to turn the feet.
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