Got Healthy Hooves? Here’s How to Keep Them That Way
Consider the big picture, from farrier care and diet to environment and genetics, when working to keep horse hooves healthy
My horse is barefoot. And sound. And his feet look pretty great, if you ask me. What can I do to keep them this way? Are there special products I should be using or certain ways I should be managing them? What if someday he needs shoes?
These are just a few of the many questions horse owners ask about their horses’ feet. They’ve heard about or have managed less-ideal feet, so it’s only natural to want to keep things going the way they are and stave off problems. We gathered advice from two farriers on how to have the healthiest of hooves, with or without shoes.
Paul Goodness, CJF, a farrier at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s (VMCVM) Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, in Leesburg, Virginia, says horses’ feet are fairly resilient and can adapt to many conditions, but sometimes they need a little help. Travis Burns, CJF, TE, EE, FWCF, assistant professor of practice and chief of farrier services at the VMCVM, agrees, and says horse owners can do many things to help their horses maintain healthy hoof
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