Like human nails, a horse hoof requires proper nutrition, moisture, and trimming. Proper care helps to keep the foot healthy, improving balance and preventing cracks or other problems.
Vitamins E and A support healthy hoofs. Have your feed and hay professionally tested to ensure that it contains all the proper nutrition which your horse needs. It’s vital to the animal’s overall health and essential for hoof health that horses eat a well-balanced diet all year. Supplement the diet by providing necessary vitamins, once you’re sure of what is missing from the current feed.
The wall of a hoof is a hard outer layer which protects a sensitive inner tissue. Horse owners often apply protective coverings to the bottom of hoofs to ensure support and safety for the horse. Healthy hoofs self-trim, but trimming gives an extra measure of care. Attention to the horse hoof is especially vital during the winter when snow tends to pack into the hoof causing problems.
Attentive owners will trim hoofs often, paying close attention to the outer shell and underside, which will reflect the hoof’s health. During dry, cold months, they may apply moisturiser to keep the hoof hydrated. Practising hoof maintenance year-round helps avoid serious problems, such as a disease, infection, or lameness.