The Biggest Summer Hoof Trimming Challenge

The Biggest Summer Hoof Trimming Challenge

A challenge during the  summer is overly dry or wet hooves. This makes the possibility of a crack or chip occurring higher. These issues can be a nuisance for any horse but particularly for horses with hoof moisture balance issues. 


Environmental conditions can wreak havoc with hoof moisture balance in the summer. Intense summer rains that lead to prolonged muddy conditions can soften the hoof wall. Followed by dry summer spells and stomping at flies the rapid changes can pose big challenges for overall hoof health. 


What can you do to deal with the strain that summer can place on your horses hooves? 

  • As noted above dramatic changes between dry and moist conditions can increase the likelihood of hoof ailments. Mindfulness in this regard can go a long way. While changing the weather may not be an option, pasture management and access to clean dry areas can go a long way. 
  • Keep up with your normal trimming schedule. This basic maintenance improves hoof balance and makes cracks or other issues less likely to occur. (6-8 weeks for most horses but horses with special needs or varying work load may require more frequent care)
  • Exercise care before and after riding. Keep the hooves clear of debris, paying special attention to the collateral grooves on either side of the frog. Take a moment to note any weak areas in the hoof, excess smell, or sore spots, early detection is key. Check/pick feet again after every ride to catch any damage early.
  • Diets matter in all seasons and in summer when your horse may be most active they may be even more crucial. Supplements can play a key role in success here depending on your horses’ needs. Weight management is VITAL and can be a struggle on summer fields.
  • Fly/bug control is another important factor. The more bugs bother your horse, the more he or she will stomp to get rid of them. Excessive stomping, especially on hard, dry ground, can lead to cracking. 

There are many different types of hoof cracks including grass, sand, heel, bar, toe, and quarter cracks. Different cracks can be caused by a variety of factors but most are superficial. Both superficial and serious cracks can become permanent if not properly addressed. If you have questions about specific cracks, you can ask your hoof care professional.

 

Do you have additional questions about trimming for this summer? Let us know HERE or call at (860) 238-7967.


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