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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.

When a horse won’t tolerate having his foot picked up, it’s not some quirky behavioral issue that you should learn to live with. For the horse’s own safety and his general well being, and the sanity of your farrier,...

Hoof Abscess

Q. If I suspect that my horse has a hoof abscess, what first-aid protocol should I follow while waiting for the veterinarian to arrive?A. Usually, horses with hoof abscesses are severely lame, meaning lame at a walk (grade 4...
If you suspect that laminitis (or founder, as it is known in layman’s terms) is to blame for your horse’s sudden lameness, call your veterinarian immediately. Then, follow this first-aid protocol while waiting for the vet’s arrival. As you...

Your horse needs regular hoof care and farrier visits for his health and soundness. Read on for all of our resources on diagnosing and treating common hoof ailments, recognizing lameness, and developing a plan with your veterinarian and farrier...

Winter Horse Shoeing

Riding in the snow can present shoeing challenges. What shoes, if any, you choose for your horse is a decision made with your farrier. But if you’re looking at options, consider these tips from Dallas Morgan, a Certified Journeyman...
Before choosing a farrier, make sure he or she has the professional knowledge to do the job. Check references, investigate education/training and ask about professional association membership.In addition to professional knowledge and skill, your relationship with your farrier is...

Painful Subject

According to an IDEXX Laboratories survey of more than 2,000 horse owners and trainers regarding equine lameness, joint pain is plaguing our horses. Here’s what respondents said:• Approximately 50 percent revealed that their horses suffer from some form of lameness.• More...

Zero In On Soundness

When veterinarians evaluate horses for lameness, they usually provide the owners with written descriptions of what they observe. For example, “Lame at trot, left fore, +3 ... ,” is what you might find scrawled in a vet’s notes. While...
Farrier nailing a shoe on to a horse's hoof

The Barefoot Life

  You’ve decided to let your horse go barefoot but are receiving conflicting advice on how to best manage him. You thought you could just have the shoes pulled and let your horse go, save for the occasional trimming.   But some...
 Like a bike with a flat tire or a tennis racket with a broken string, a horse with poor hooves has limited usefulness. But how to keep a horse’s hooves in their best condition is an often discussed and...
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