Understanding Your Horses Hoof Care

Understanding your horses hoof care needs.
Our horses are part of our Family.
They hold a very special place in our lives.
They are our partners in our work together.
They provide us pleasure.
In return we care for their needs.
It is important to understand that in this domesticated
existence in which they live horses are completely vulnerable
to the conditions we impose on them.
They depend on us for shelter, food and health care.
Because of this we must assume the role of advocate for the
horses well being.
To be your horses advocate you must master the knowledge
necessary to make good decisions.
Of particular importance is your horses hoof health.
As your horses hoof health advocate you must attain a level of
knowledge that will allow you to oversee the work of your
hoof care provider.
I do not in any way mean that you need to learn to trim or
shoe your horse.

What I am saying is that you must understand the
uniqueness of your horse as an individual and what your
horse’s specific needs are.
You need to be able to recognize when your horse is in its
comfort zone and what was necessary to get him there.
Establishing a data base is your first step.
You will develop a history of his work and his care in the past.
You will look at his present work and care.
You will develop a plan for the goals you want to accomplish.
Putting all of this information together you will get a word
picture that will allow you to communicate effectively with
your hoof care provider.
You need to know when your horse is balanced and in his
comfort zone.
Balance is not some allusive mathematical formula.
Set formulas are almost impossible to apply to living beings;
there are just too many variables and exceptions.
If your horse is out of balance i.e. his parts don’t appear to
flow together, stress will result. And stress will cause
Learning to identify this physical harmony of parts in your
horse is important.
This is done through observation.
Look at your horses conformation, how he stands at rest, how
he uses his body to move forward.
The position and placement of his feet and legs will determine
his ability to move forward.
Imbalance will complicate his efforts to go forward.
By learning to see when your horse is in his comfort zone you
will be better able to oversee his hoof care.
All horses are trimmed the same…except for the difference!
The musculoskeletal structure of every horse is essentially the
The things that make your horse different are…
His conformation
His environment
His job
Keeping your horse barefoot is only appropriate if your horse
can comfortably and safely continue to do the job you have
assigned to him.
Formulaic procedures simply do not work on every horse.