It’s great to maintain a regular schedule with your farrier, but professional hoofcare is only a small part of what it takes to keep your horse’s feet at their best. Here are the other major components:
Nutrition. What you put into your horse’s mouth has a major impact on his feet. A high-sugar, high-starch diet is the biggest culprit contributing to cases of laminitis and founder. Most horses can live quite healthily on free choice grass hay alone. If you must give your horse feed, make sure it’s a low-starch/low-carb feed (beet pulp or rice bran based-feeds, for example). TIP: NO MORE SWEET FEED! Additional tip — use a grazing muzzle if turning out in the rich spring grass.
Environment. It’s tough to provide a clean and dry environment for our horses to run around in here in Kentucky. How do you keep their feet from turning to mush? TIP: Spread pea gravel in areas where your horses tend hang out. This helps dry out their feet (good for thrush prevention) and gives the bottom of their feet a nice massage (great for developing healthier frogs and soles).
Exercise. Horses were born to move. TIP: Make them move! Ride ’em, lung ’em, turn them out with an aggravating buddy, or build a paddock paradise (check out Jaime Jackson’s link on the right).
Pete Ramey’s web siteis filled with tons of resources including educational material and research articles.
Pete Ramey’s thrush tool and recipefor
EasyCare hoof boots and accessories
Jaime Jackson’s guide to natural horse boarding.
Kathryn Watt’s research on the prevention and treatment of laminitis through diet.
Foster's Farrier Service • (502) 533-7758 • firstname.lastname@example.org