Active hoof care for my horse?

Aktive Hufpflege für mein Pferd?

Opinions differ as to how important and sensible hoof care is for horses.

From "nature will take care of it" to "a lot helps a lot", there is a wide range of opinions in the equestrian scene. Above all, it is important to understand how and what the hoof is made of and how it functions.

The hoof as a protective capsule and shock absorber

The horse's hoof, which forms a kind of capsule around the "toe bones" of the horse, is made up of different types of horn. Depending on its composition, the horn is softer in some parts of the hoof and thus better able to absorb water, while in other parts it is hard and shiny. The sole and the outer horn wall are made of hard horn, while the frog, the bale horn, the glaze layer and the white line are made of soft horn. The glaze layer on the hoof plays an important role because it regulates the hoof's water absorption.

Healthy horse hooves - optimal water content

The horse's hoof adapts to its environment, which unfortunately is not as practical as it may sound: After all, if it is very dry in the summer, the frog and ball area, which actually provides elasticity, loses important moisture. It becomes hard and loses its elasticity, which can lead to increased stress on the horse's legs, including the sensitive ligament and tendon areas.

Is watering the right hoof care for horses?

Many horse owners then water their hooves extensively in the summer and then let their horses go back to the pasture or stable. However, this tends to make the problem worse, as the rapid alternation between water absorption and release dries out the hooves even more, making them brittle. Especially horn splits and brittle horn are often caused by too much moisture or too much watering. On the other hand, it is ideal for hoof care in extremely dry summers if the horses can use the dewy grass very early in the morning to walk in it.

Use hoof grease/oil and hoof balm carefully

Those who use hoof grease should do so after briefly watering the hooves with the hose, especially in the summer, to "seal" the horny layer so that the absorbed water cannot escape as quickly. With this type of application, hoof grease can be quite useful - but in general it is important to use care products rather sparingly!

What can you do for a healthy horse hoof?

Unfortunately, many horses live in less than optimal conditions, incorrect feeding and lack of exercise make it even more difficult to keep their hooves healthy. And no matter how much care is taken, if your horse's "basic care" is not good, the hoof will not stay healthy in the long run. Moderately dry conditions are good and important for hooves, because permanent moisture makes the horn soft, sensitive to bacteria and fungi and the risk of infections increases significantly.

Besides regular professional hoof care, enough exercise, not too much weight and a good attitude with correct feeding are the best hoof care for your darling! 🔥🐎🙌🏼

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.