Hoof Problems

The old saying 'No Hoof No Horse' is as true today as always but is the hoof the symptom or the cause of a problem? We aim to help identify the answer to this for your equine & provide a solution.

Laminitis; Navicular; Founder; Cushings; Insulin Resistance; are often connected, some leading to others on a feedback loop, but not always. Sometimes hoof problems are acute, as a result of injury or stress on the metabolism / body of the horse. Sometimes they are chronic, such as a horse becoming laminitic every Spring, each time increasing the risk of serious long term problems within the animal. It is possible to predict, prevent or minimise issues in many cases. Rings on feet, fat pads, a swollen sheath, changes in behaviour, a reluctance to move & problems picking up feet are some of the signs something is wrong.

High Heels; Club Feet; Long Toes; Poor Digital Cushions; Weak Frogs; Cracked Walls; sometimes are simply taken as the condition of the feet, possibly because it is not known how to improve them. It is important to address all these problems in a way the horse can cope.

Then there is the soft tissue; the tendons & ligaments in the leg are so strong, yet so fragile. The muscles, tendons, nerves, blood vessels; the whole body is connected so a problem in a foot can cause problems elsewhere. Have you ever considered how your horse moves, how you ride & even what bit or rug your horse wears & how it affects the wear patterns on the feet? This is all something we take into consideration with our clients.

Theoretical trimming, or trimming to certain parameters; the toe should be within certain measurements for example, are great, but not always appropriate for a horse. Trimming to xrays is important but sometimes this can make a hoof look better but not fix the problem.

We take pride in our whole horse approach to trimming, considering all the theory & guidance but supporting what the hoof needs at the time for optimal comfort & long term healing of the horse. For example, her heels may be too tall but the tendons in the leg may be contracted so dropping the heels too quickly too far could cause an irreversible problem in the leg. Or we may not do much to the hooves but suggest a bodywork review.

We look forward to maintaining or moving towards healthy hooves with you!

How do your trim sessions work?

We take a history for your equine, watch them move, review the hooves & explain what we are going to do before we do it. We will trim as needed each session & will apply or leave you with hoof protection if appropriate. We will then see the animal move again. Videos & photos will be taken to add to your file so we can follow progress over time (these are kept confidential).

How often should I have my horse trimmed?

Every horse is different. Some will need a trim every two weeks to start with, gradually increasing the time between visits. Most will require 4 - 6 week visits for optimum hoof development & maintenance. However, this is very dependent on the health status of the hooves, the horse's environment, exercise level, age, overall health status & whether our guidance is followed by the owner.

My horse needs trimming but is not good at having her feet done can you help?

Yes, but please tell us when you contact us. We will need to leave enough time to work with your horse to help her understand how to allow us to help her feet. We may leave you with some homework to do. Going under a horse to trim feet can be dangerous so we will trim your horse for what she stands for. We do not want to get hurt!