To preserve your horse’s soundness and minimize farrier bills, pick out hooves daily so you can discover problems early. Remove all manure and mud from the sole and clefts of the frog, checking for rocks, sticks and nails. Check the frog crevices for the black, foul-smelling signs of thrush.
Look at the bottom of the hooves to be sure the hoof has not grown over the shoe. Check for loose clinches by running your fingers over the outer hoof wall. If you feel sharp or rough clinches (nail ends), your horse’s shoe is probably loose and needs your farrier. Hire the most knowledgeable and experienced farrier available and have your horse trimmed or shod every 6-8 weeks.
Don’t over use greasy hoof dressings that can make the hooves too soft. Use a hoof sealer to help maintain a healthy hoof moisture level. If a horse is in very wet and muddy conditions, apply hoof sealer several times a week to absolutely clean and dry hooves.
To prevent lost shoes, don’t pasture in wet, boggy fields. Minimize bathing. Keep a hoof boot on hand to protect the hoof when your horse loses a shoe.
Regular exercise is important for overall health and especially healthy hooves. With exercise, blood flows around a horse’s body and his legs and hooves are well nourished. If a horse lives in a stall or small pen, the decreased blood flow can lead to leg and hoof problems.