The old saying "No Hoof - No Horse" is so true and something we should never forget.
The Australian climate is particularly harsh on horses feet with often remarkable variation in moisture content in the environment over short spaces of time. When you add the hardness of the surfaces many horses work on to the equation, there is little wonder many horses have problems with their feet. But there are three simple things a horse owner can do to protect their horses feet:
1. Diet Management
Management can be easier and flare-ups less frequent and severe if hoof integrity is optimum and goof growth is maintained. A good, balanced diet is essential in achieving this goal, with careful attention paid to overall sugar levels, protein levels, quality and mineral levels. There are many hoof care nutritional supplements available, with most containing biotin, some amino acids and minerals known to be important for hoof growth.
2. Correct Trimming/Shoeing
Correct trimming or shoeing at regular intervals is vital so the hooves maintain good angles at all times.
3. Environmental Regulation
Environment regulation can be one of the most difficult areas to manage, but also one of the most important as it minimises the chances of many hoof infections such as abscesses, thrush and white line disease. There are paint on products available to help dry out hooves, which can help minimise bacterial and fungal infections, by regulating the moisture level within the hoof. These are are available from the VH Saddlery Shop.
Dr Victoria Hamilton is an icon in the Australian Equestrian Community, with a wealth of experience as a veterinarian, coach, breeder and international dressage competitor. As one of Australia’s top dressage riders, her love of horses is contagious and apparent in everything she does.