If your horse or horses are shoed then you already know the importance of maintaining their shoes and looking after them.

On average, hooves tend to grow about 1/4 to 3/8 inch every month. Given that an average hoof measures 3-4 inches in length, horses essentially renew their hooves annually. Hooves that grow rapidly are considered of superior quality, making them easier to maintain through regular trimming and shoeing.

Horse hooves tend to display variation in growth rates, particularly during the winter months. Despite the seasonal shifts, you still need to maintain your scheduled shoeing or trimming routines and your farrier is there to help. Dion Clegg offers the horse shoeing Ribble Valley horse owners need and we’re exploring hoof maintenance in more depth below.

Essentials of Regular Hoof Maintenance

The care and management of a horse’s hooves is unique to the individual animal. This is why you require a professional to provide shoeing and hoof care service. Routine attention to hoof care forms the foundation of healthy feet and includes:

  • Regular Cleaning and Inspection: A daily process of lifting and cleaning the hooves while assessing their condition. This practice help you to quickly notice issues such as wear and tear on shoes, splits, cracks, flares, and misshapen hooves.
  • Farrier’s Expertise: A pivotal aspect of routine hoof care involves engaging the services of a skilled farrier. Proper trimming and shoeing are essential for the horse’s well-being, as errors can result in lasting harm.

The Role of your Farrier

A farrier’s expertise is nothing short of invaluable in the realm of equine hoof care. This professional’s selection should be undertaken with great care, keeping in mind the critical role they play. Correct trimming and shoeing hold the key to a horse’s welfare, as erroneous practices can lead to severe complications.

Ensuring the proper balance of a horse’s feet is essential whether shod or unshod. The intricacies of balance are paramount, as inaccuracies could potentially trigger lameness, exacerbate conditions like navicular syndrome and laminitis, and impede the horse’s overall movement and development.

The decision of whether to employ shoes depends on factors such as the horse’s workload and activity type. Front shoes might suffice in certain scenarios. Collaborating with the farrier is pivotal to determining the best course of action for each individual horse.

Planning a Hoof and Horse Shoeing Maintenance Schedule

Shod horses ideally require reshoeing every five to six weeks to ensure optimal hoof health. Unshod horses, despite softer surfaces, still necessitate regular visits from the farrier to maintain well-balanced and appropriately trimmed hooves.

Dietary considerations also come into play and the right nutrition can positively influence hoof health. Optimal hay quality and the correct vitamins and minerals, along with access to clean water, can enhance hoof health. Addressing nutritional deficiencies can contribute to this improvement.

Farrier Services and Horse Shoeing Ribble Valley

Dion Clegg is an experienced and qualified farrier working in the Ribble Valley area. He provides both hoof care and horse shoeing in the Ribble Valley area. Get in touch to book an appointment.