Hoof Care

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We have all heard the saying “No hoof, no horse.” Hoof care is a vital part of ensuring horse health, but the best ways to keep hooves healthy are often hotly debated. We worked with UC Davis veterinary hospital farrier Shane Westman, APF-I, to share ten things you might not know about horse hooves.

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Each season brings with it certain needs for equine care, and an annual horse health care agenda can help with some of the planning as the months rapidly roll by. Horse owners are good at knowing the value of organizing and preparing ahead to help their horses stay healthy, and to budget for the more expensive seasonal needs ahead of time.

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Is your farrier certified with the American Farrier’s Association (AFA)? Did he or she serve an extensive apprenticeship at the beginning of their career? Does your farrier pursue additional education?

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The old adage “No Hoof, No Horse” can be a painful reality for owners who struggle with chronic hoof health issues in their horse. The four hooves of a 500-kilogram horse are expected to carry large amounts of body weight. When the compression force of work such as galloping is factored in, each of those four feet may be carrying as much as 3,000 pounds of force.

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Farriers need to work closely with horse owners to spot the subtle signs of the painful condition laminitis, a new study in Equine Veterinary Journal reports. During this unique study researchers from the University of Surrey’s School of Psychology and School of Veterinary Medicine conducted in-depth interviews with farriers and horse owners to understand how their relationship and their approach to equine care can help prevent laminitis.

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