Instore Pickup & Local Delivery


Your Cart is Empty

  • Add description, images, menus and links to your mega menu

  • A column with no settings can be used as a spacer

  • Link to your collections, sales and even external links

  • Add up to five columns

  • April 26, 2024 3 min read

    Keeping Hooves in Optimal Condition

    Hoof health is a cornerstone of overall equine wellness. An unhealthy hoof can lead to a myriad of issues, not just in the foot itself, but throughout the horse's entire body. However, rehabilitating a hoof back to optimal health requires a multifaceted approach, involving good nutrition, regular farrier visits, and diligent hoof care maintenance. In this blog, we'll explore the critical elements needed to maintain and restore hoof health, ensuring your horse remains happy, healthy, and active.

    Understanding Hoof Health

    The hoof is a complex structure composed of the hoof wall, sole, frog, and digital cushion, among other components, all of which work in synergy to support the massive weight of the horse. The health of each part is crucial, as problems in one area can affect the others. Common hoof problems include cracks, abscesses, thrush, and laminitis. To rehabilitate and maintain healthy hooves, understanding the causes and prevention of these issues is key.

    Nutrition: The Foundation of Hoof Health

    Good nutrition is the bedrock of hoof health. The old adage "you are what you eat" holds especially true for horses. A diet deficient in essential nutrients can lead to weak, brittle hooves susceptible to disease and injury.

    Providing a balanced diet with access to high-quality forage, supplemented with commercial feeds and minerals designed for hoof health, can significantly impact the quality of the hoof growth.

    Some of the key nutrients required for healthy hooves include:

    - Biotin:One of the most vital nutrients for hoof health, biotin aids in the development of keratin, the protein that makes up the majority of the hoof wall. Supplementation can help improve hoof hardness, integrity, and growth.

    - Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These help reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the hooves, and improve overall cell health.

    - Methionine and Lysine: Essential amino acids crucial for protein synthesis and the formation of a strong hoof structure.

    - Minerals: Calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper are critical for hoof strength and development.

    If you are looking for a hoof supplement for your horse, some of our best selling and recommended supplements include:

    • Hygain Gleam
    • Hoofxtra
    • Farriers Formula
    • Kohnkes Own Reboot Hoof+

    Regular Farrier Care: Maintenance and Correction

    A skilled farrier is essential in both maintaining hoof health and rehabilitating damaged hooves. Regular farrier visits (every 6-8 weeks) ensure that hooves are properly trimmed and balanced, preventing undue stress on any part of the hoof or leg.

    Importance of Proper Trimming and Shoeing

    Improper trimming can cause or exacerbate hoof problems. For example, leaving the hooves too long can strain the laminae; too short can stress the sole and frog. A good farrier will tailor the trimming and shoeing to the needs of each horse, considering factors like hoof and horse conformation, the horse’s activity level, and existing hoof conditions.

    Hoof Care Maintenance: Daily and Specialized Care

    Daily hoof care is essential for monitoring hoof health and catching issues before they become severe. This routine should include cleaning the hooves to remove debris and inspecting for signs of disease or injury, such as cracks, thrush, or puncture wounds.

    Techniques for Rehabilitating Damaged Hooves include:

    1. Hydration and Moisture Control: Hooves that are too dry may crack, while those too moist may become soft and prone to infection. Use conditioners or sealants as advised by your farrier to maintain an optimal moisture balance.
    2. Hoof Supplements: As discussed above, supplements rich in biotin, amino acids, and essential minerals can support hoof repair and growth.
    3. Protective Footwear:In some cases, wearing boots or special shoes can help protect the hooves and allow them time to heal. For instance, horses with laminitis may benefit from therapeutic shoes that reduce pressure on certain parts of the foot.
    4. Topical Treatments: Antifungal and antibacterial treatments can help manage and prevent infections like thrush. Our best selling topical treatments include Kelato Hoof Prime, Keratex Hoof Hardener and Effol Hoof Hardener.

    Collaborating with Veterinary Professionals

    When rehabilitating a damaged hoof, it’s crucial to work closely with veterinary professionals, especially if the hoof issues are related to systemic problems like laminitis. Veterinarians can provide diagnostics such as x-rays to assess the internal structure of the hoof and recommend appropriate treatments and medications.

    Monitoring Progress and Adjusting Care

    The journey to rehabilitating a hoof back to health can be lengthy, requiring patience and diligent care. Regular check-ups with your farrier and veterinarian will help monitor the hoof's progress and adjust care plans as necessary. Keeping a detailed log of your horse's hoof health, including photographs and notes on dietary changes, farrier work, and any treatments, can be invaluable in managing and documenting your horse's recovery.

    If you would like to view our extensive supplement and topical hoof treatment range, visit us in-store or online!

    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.