Thoroughbred Hoof Care: Foal to Racehorse to Sport Horse
South African farrier Robbie Miller, ASF, has decades of experience trimming and shoeing race- and sport horses. He shared his hoof care suggestions with industry members during the 2014 Cape Breeders Club seminar, held Jan. 27-28 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Starting with foal feet, he followed the horse’s natural progression to the sales, races, and, ultimately, retirement from the track.
“This is the basis from where your racehorse or sport horse is going to kick off from,” Miller said of the very early stages of hoof care.
He said farriers should trim foals’ hooves every four weeks, starting at 4 weeks old, to keep pace with their fast hoof growth rate. They should avoid addressing any carpal (knee) or tarsal (hock) angular limb deviations until the foal is 12 weeks old, he said, at which point the distal third metacarpal (lower cannon bone), proximal P1 (upper long pastern bone), and proximal P2 (upper short pastern bone) growth plates will have
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