A Total Approach to Hoof Management

With up to date research a scientific approach to hoof care is now possible. The sensitive nature of the hoof is now well recognised, as is the effect of environmental conditions. Unfortunately, as there is no one ‘wonder product’ to remedy all hoof problems a ‘total approach’ to hoof management is therefore the best policy.

The continued health of the hoof is vitally important. There are four key factors which contribute to hoof horn quality and growth:
• Genetics
• Farriery
• Nutrition
• Environment

The role of a farrier is essential. Regular shoeing is vital to minimise mechanical stresses from loose nails and prevents nail holes from becoming enlarged which provides an entry site and breeding ground for bacteria. However, you can guard against bacterial infection with regular disinfection of nail holes, cracks and the frog.

As well as making sure your horse is shod regularly, involve your farrier in a planned and therapeutic approach to hoof care.

A stabilised moisture content of the hoof is also essential and the external environment can be controlled by applying an appropriate dressing to either prevent or provide moisture to the hoof horn.

Horn quality and growth can be encouraged and maintained by using the appropriate product, in association with a tailored feed supplement.