Early Summer Hoof Care

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Good nutrition, living conditions and overall care influence the health of a horse, but maintenance on your horse’s hooves is quintessential to keeping them sound and comfortable. Improper hoof care can affect the horse’s overall health and wellbeing.

The old adage, “No Hoof, No Horse” speaks volumes. Routine appointments with your farrier will keep your horse healthy and happy. Most of the time a six- to eight-week span between trims is sufficient, however hoof growth is effected by changing seasons and the horse’s overall genetics, therefore the length between visits may vary. After evaluating your horse, your farrier will be able to set up a customized service schedule.

“Each and every horse is different,” says Chris Jaeger of CJ’s Shoeing in Bend. “Overall strength and weaknesses have to be evaluated to keep a horse in the best physical condition.” Jaeger continues to say that having farrier visits help prepare the horse’s feet get back in shape for the summer.

Between cattle ranches, rodeos and competitions alike, horses are big business in Central Oregon. They range from working to pay the bills to playing babysitter. A horse with untended or improperly treated hooves can become hurt and unable to perform its job.

Proper hoof care can prevent damaging and painful problems such as thrush, problems with tendons, cracks in the hoof walls and keeps their hooves balanced to alleviate pain. “Horses with healthy hooves live longer.”

Jaeger states following these two basic maintenance tips between farrier visits will help assist in your horse’s hoof health, as well as make the farrier visits easier and cheaper. “Picking out their feet two to three times a week is a great preventative. And the more you handle their feet, the easier it is for your farrier.”

With the arrival of warmer weather and longer days, keeping the practice of healthy hoof care will have your horse enjoying it right along with you.

Chris Jaeger at 541-420-2090 or chris.jaeger@ymail.com.

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