Winter can be tough on hooves and legs. These tips from our sister site, Eventing Nation, can help you keep your horse’s feet and legs in good condition throughout the colder months.
Winter presents a unique set of challenges for equine wellness. This week we’re focusing on best practices for hoof and leg care in the chilly months.
- For best hoof care, pick your horse’s hooves daily to increase needed airflow to the hooves allowing Mother Nature to do her work. Pick the feet before bringing your horse into the barn so that you can save on clean-up.
- If your horse’s hoof has a foul smell, it is likely thrush. Pick well and spray Banixx Spray into the crevices and between the heels. If the thrush is chronic, use Banixx with a medicine boot to keep the hoof awash in Banixx Spray. Following the soak of 20 minutes, tape the hoof with VetWrap to prevent re-contamination.
- To keep hooves healthy, have a consistent schedule with your farrier! The farrier trims back the dead sole and frog to promote the growth of healthy tissue.
- Hooves grow more slowly in the winter months, so you might think “Ah! I can save some money … and see the farrier less!” Not necessarily a good idea. Cracks and abnormalities grow out more slowly in the winter, so it is better to stay ‘ahead’ of these hoof problems with regular maintenance.
- Frozen ground is hard and can easily bruise the sole. Pads maybe applied to protect the horse’s sole. Snowball pads (in snowy areas) may be an effective option for hoof health and rider safety.
- If you find yourself riding on frozen ground, it’s probably best to come back to a walk. Frozen ground makes a ringing noise as the horse moves over it at a trot, canter or gallop.
- The hair on your horse’s legs creates a protective barrier in winter; however, it also hides issues like crud/scratches/cuts. To clip or not to clip …? The cold air can be therapeutic on the legs, especially if the horse is in significant work or needs cooling therapies.
- Keep legs as clean and dry as possible. Mud can be a problem! Plan ahead to provide an area for your horse to be able to get out of the mud.
- To address leg issues, gently brush the dirt off and wet the legs with a sponge. Pour a quarter size dollop of Banixx Shampoo into the palm of your hand and gentle rub into the grungy/cruddy areas on the horse’s legs. Go for a ride, groom or clean tack. Then, after 20 minutes, rinse and towel dry. Repeat these steps daily or twice daily three or four days and the crud should be gone without burning or irritating the horse’s skin. For extra ‘power’ spray with Banixx Spray after completing the other steps.
Banixx is a fast-acting, affordable aid in the recovery of every kind of bacterial and fungal infection. Learn more at Banixx.com.