“No hoof, no horse” — how is that well-known phrase interpreted when looking at hoof maintenance from the farrier’s perspective? SmartPak’s Hoof Health Consultant responds.
From the SmartPak Blog:
We often talk or hear talk about the idea of “no hoof, no horse” and the importance of regular hoof care and maintenance. But what constitutes maintenance, and more importantly, why is maintenance so important? We asked our Hoof Health Consultant, Danvers Child, to tackle this tough question.
At a basic level, maintenance is as simple as establishing a consistent schedule with the farrier to trim or shoe every five weeks or so. Along with regular visits from the professional hoof care provider, maintenance also includes using a hoof pick daily to clean and inspect hooves, and other routine concerns such as applying topical treatments to the hooves in order to address issues such as minor thrush or excessive moisture.
Moving beyond that basic level of care, however, and addressing the concern of why maintenance is vitally important, we have to look at the goal of maintenance: to maximize overall health and soundness. Additionally, we generally want to promote and enhance performance and foster longevity. And, to that end, hoof care and maintenance isn’t something that happens every five weeks when the farrier arrives; likewise, it’s not simply a matter of using a hoof pick daily.
Instead, it requires us to look at maintenance as a “whole horse” concern that involves more than appearance and begins to focus on biomechanical concerns and issues of balance, support, gait, movement, and overall health. In effect, it’s not simply a matter of looking at the foot; it becomes a matter of looking at the foot in relation to the whole horse.
What else did Danvers Child have to say about horse health through hoof health? Click here to read the rest of his response.
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