ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Care for your horses feet

Updated on March 14, 2017

'No foot, no horse'

It's an old saying, but nothing has ever made it out of date.

A horse is no better than his feet and no better than his legs. The fitness of his legs depend more often than not on whether his feet are all right.

The horse walks on two fingernails at the front and two toenails at the back, forming his four hooves, since each foreleg has only one finger and each hind-leg has only one toe. We call these single toes his feet.

You can leave it up to your farrier to trim and maintain the balance of your horses hooves. But it's up to you to check your horses feet daily, to inspect its health, to prevent numerous other troubles arising.

In the wild the hooves keep to a regular length, because they wear down as fast as they grow (and grow as fast as they wear down). But it would become torn, split, cracked or completely worn away if you put horses on hard unnatural surfaces and did not put shoes on them.

The metal shoe of course wears down also, but very slowly. Yet it does not prevent the horn from growing.

Illustration 1

Illustration 1
Illustration 1

Regular care and maintenance

Examine your horse's feet daily, or as often as you can, such as when you're grooming, and especially on his return from work. If you get dung or mud stuck in there, get it out with a hoof pick, If it remains the foot might become inflamed and develop a disease called thrush. Especially if the muck is impregnated with ammonia from his urine.

Operate the pick from heel to toe, not in the reverse direction, unless you want to run the risk of damaging the sole or frog. Examine the outer walls for any slight crack in the surface, which might be the beginning of a sandcrack. Check that the shoes are all right, and how soon it might be before your horse needs his feet trimmed.

The heels of horses that are forced to stand in filth are weakened by the constant moisture surrounding them and become breeding grounds for a variety of dangerous diseases. It is better to prevent foot ailments than to be faced with the necessity of curing them.

Illustration 2

Illustration 2
Illustration 2


Thrush is a disease of the frog, most commonly found in the hind feet. It is almost invariably caused by unsanitary conditions in the animal's stall. Horses will not get the disease if their stalls are kept clean and well bedded, and if their feet are cleaned out daily.

The first indication of the disease is often the disagreeable odor caused by the discharge from the cleft of the frog. This discharge is at first thin and watery, but later becomes dark, with a tarry consistency. Thrush should be checked quickly as it nearly always leads to severe lameness.

Treatment: First trim away all diseased parts of the horn so that an antiseptic may be applied to the affected parts. Liberal quantities should be applied to the diseased parts. Absorbent cotton stuffed into the cleft of the frog will usually keep the antiseptic in place, although a leather boot may be used in necessary. Obviously the condition of the stall should be corrected immediately.

Do you do it or do you get a farrier to do it?

Who looks after your horses feet?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)