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How Can I Help Improve My Horse's Hooves?

  • Maintain a regular schedule with your farrier. Base the interval on your horse's individual growth and wear patterns
  • Provide a clean, level, dry, well-lit, and adequately sized environment for use during farrier appointments. Manure and shavings should be removed. If you have a dirt floor, invest in stall mats.
  • Spend time working with your horse in the appointment area, so your horse is confident, relaxed, and well-mannered during his appointment. 
  • Clean your horse's hooves regularly. If Indicated, use a topical product to treat compromised tissue.
  • Reduce the acidity in your horse's environment. Acidic environments (urine, manure, recently cleared evergreen forest, acid rain, etc) provide prime conditions for fungal and bacterial infections in the hoof. Counteract this by spreading lime liberally both in the stall on a daily basis, and in turnout areas.
  • Dry out your horse's environment. Scrape paddocks and add sand until they have a place that is ALWAYS dry.
  • Provide free-choice hay, and limit or remove sugars in the diet. If your horse gains too much weight from free-choice hay, explore slow-feeder options.
  • Keep your horse at a healthy weight. Most horses I see are overweight! You should be able to feel ribs.
  • If you feed grain, learn about the latest nutrition research. Improved grain and "ration-balancer" product formulations are available, and better for your horse.
  • Reduce grass consumption. This is especially important during the first three hours after sunrise and sunset in the spring and fall, when sugar levels are highest.
  • Consider adding a hoof supplement or ration-balancer that contains Lysine, Methionine, and Thrionine. These amino acids are essential to healthy tissue growth. There are many on the market, and what will work for each horse is unique. Try one, and if you don't see improvement within three months, try a different one!