HorseIllustrated.com readers cast their vote in the weekly poll on “On average, how often do you have your horse’s feet trimmed?” to learn more about the frequency of hoof care by our readers. Catch the poll results on this page, along with more resources on the topic of hoof care.
The foot is the foundation of a healthy horse, so it’s important to know how to safely pick out a horse’s feet and take good care of them.
The horse’s foot is made from the same material as your fingernails; it’s always growing and has to hold up all of the horse’s weight. If something is wrong with the hoof, your horse can go lame.
You’ll want to have a farrier see your pony every four to eight weeks to trim or shoe him. Ponies and horses with very tough hooves or those in light work may not need to wear shoes and can be maintained with regular hoof trims. If your horse gets ridden a lot, especially on hard ground, he may need front shoes or shoes on all four feet.
Special types of therapeutic shoes are available if your horse faces a particular challenge, such as navicular or thin soles. Your vet and farrier will advise you if these are needed.
Beyond this poll, you can learn more about daily hoof care, things to look for in regards to your horse’s feet, and how to pick hooves safely and correctly.