24 May 2019

Elite Equine and Summer Hoof Care


Gil Riley, veterinary expert, discusses the effect of summer on your horse’s hoofs:

“The sun has got his hat on and it’s a wonderful time of year to enjoy our horses. But beware the sun may have turned the ground to concrete and your horse’s hooves brittle. Add to this an increase in stones, hard work, poor hoof quality or imbalance and you could find you have a lame horse. But problems can be prevented with good hoof care.

The weight-bearing hoof wall can wear down on hard ground so the sole takes more concussion, leading to “foot soreness”. A horse working on hard ground should be shod on all four feet, or at least on the weight-bearing front feet.

Poor hoof balance – evident by long toes, collapsed heels or flat feet – means contact with the ground is not absorbed well and the foot does not “break over” into the next stride, which can lead to cracking. Re-shoeing should be determined by how quickly the horn is growing so that any conformation change resulting from growth can be corrected.

Dry ground leads to more stones so picking out hooves before and after turnout/work in dry weather is vital.

Dry weather can lead to dry horn making it prone to cracking. Some cracks are incidental while others can run deep from the sole to the coronet. Known as ‘sand cracks’ these can cause pain and may require remedial shoeing. To reduce the potential for sand cracks:

  • Apply hoof moisturiser on the horn daily, making it less brittle and more able to bend
  • Feed a hoof supplement rich in the amino acids cysteine and methionine, the vitamin Biotin and the mineral Zinc to generate good quality horn.” [1]

Elite Equine 100% organic rosehip supplement is naturally enriched with biotin to help you take care of those hard working hoofs.

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Photo by Jenniferoosting on Pixabay