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Horse Hoof Care

Hoof care includes farriery, picking out the hooves, and dealing with problems with a farrier and veterinarian. Articles include topics such as evolution of the equine foot, dealing with issues (such as laminitis, thrush, abscesses, etc.), using boots for protection, using products such as oil and hardener, dealing with mud, tips from farriers and veterinarians on foot care, dealing with sore feet, helping your horse deal with the farrier, behavior involving the feet, barefoot vs. shod, natural hoof care, vocabulary of farriers, shoeing solutions, care during winter, spring, summer, and fall, and more. If you want to keep your equine partner's feet in good health, then check out the archives of Horse Illustrated for answers to all of your pressing questions involving horse hoof care.

From Texas A&M; College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical SciencesThe purchase of a horse alone can be costly enough, but horses have certain requirements that need to be met that generally far outweigh the cost of the horse itself....
Q: I recently bought a three-year-old mare. The first time we had the farrier out, she immediately became nervous and wouldn't cooperate with them. The farrier's assistant put a chain over her nose, which didn't help at all. Now...
Hooves are made of a hard, crusty protein called keratin. You cannot add keratin by painting it on – it is produced by specialized cells within the hooves called keratinocytes, which rely on a nutrient-rich blood supply.Key nutrients for...
  Abscess Symptoms: Abscesses in the hoof are typically characterized by sudden-onset, severe lameness. In some cases, the horse may refuse to put any weight at all on the affected hoof. The horse will be sensitive in the area of the abscess...
When horses arrive at a rescue facility with their hooves in poor condition or a severe hoof ailment, it’s a major cause for concern—as the saying goes, "no foot, no horse.” Depending on the hoof issue, it could affect...
Much has been made about all the extras and the precise care the barefoot horse needs. Some of this advice is valid, but some of it should be carefully considered. Here's what the experts have to say: Hoof Boots: "I have...
If your horse wears shoes, you've probably had one go missing at some point. Horse shoes often get stuck in the mud and twist off. If your horse has a long stride, he can pull a front shoe off with his...
The distinctive clank of a loose shoe is never a welcome sound for a horse owner. In most cases, a loose shoe will probably put your horse out of commission until the farrier arrives.Tools of the Trade Clinches: The end of...
Q. My farrier recently recommended that my horse be outfitted on the hind with shoes that have trailers. He suggested this because my horse twists his hind legs a little (one leg more than the other) when he walks...
A horse that over-reaches grabs the heels of his front feet with the toes of his hind feet. Often, a horse is predisposed to over-reaching due to a compact build and disproportionately long legs. Performance horses are also in...
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