Understanding Hoof Health
The hooves really are the window to the rest of the body. If there is any sort of health issue in the horse it will show up in the feet because the hooves are always growing and changing. Hooves can heal and strengthen, if only we understand and address the root causes of the problems.
There's 3 parts to successfully address hoof pathology and healing your horse's feet:
Define The Problem
We need to get clear on what the root cause of the problem is, rather than just focus on symptoms
We need to know where we're trying to get to, if we want the best chance of getting there.
Now we need to figure out what we need to get us from where we are, to where we want to be.
Below are the most useful articles I've published to help you understand hoof problems and how to solve them.
Fix Your Horse's Hooves
It’s Not Normal For Barefoot Horses To Be Sore
It’s not normal for a barefoot horse to be sore.Half of me can’t quite believe I have to say that, and the other half of me feels like I should say it again. It’s not normal for a barefoot horse to be sore. Well – now we know which half won that battle 😀 Pain is a sign
Does The Camera Lie?
We’ve all seen a photo of a friend at some point and hardly recognised them because they really don’t look like that. It can be the same with hooves. Hooves can be baffling to photograph. If the camera angle isn’t right the hoof can look completely different in real life compared to how the photo looks. The
What Do You Mean ‘My Horse is Footy’?
I often hear people, and see people online saying ‘my horse is footy’ but the other day I was asked a rather insightful question on the facebook page in response to a meme… What do you mean by ‘footy’? ‘Footy’ is a term we use a lot in the UK (sadly) and I have to admit, if
How Important Is Hoof Balance?
A lot of focus is placed on getting perfectly balanced hooves. We all look at the outside of the hoof capsule and make our judgement as to whether the hoof has been properly balanced by whoever has trimmed or shod it. But have we really considered what balance is, and what balance means to the whole
Unsung Hero – The Ultimate Tool for Rehabilitating Hooves
When it comes to rehabilitating hooves, there’s a little unsung hero. It doesn’t get the kind of attention nutrition does. Maybe because it’s not as complicated or confusing as nutrition sometimes is. Nutrition needs frequent and repeated discussions. Maybe because once you’ve done it, you sort of forget about it. ‘Out of sight – out of
Good hoof balance should focus on more than just the feet. The focus should be on whole horse health. A healthy horse has healthy feet. The hooves are constantly regrowing and regenerating, so if there’s a health problem, it’s going to show up in the hooves. While having correctly balanced hooves is important, it’s also
Strengthening Hooves – What You Need to Know!
Yes! We’ve finally got there! The nitty gritty of how to strengthen the hoof capsule! I feel a little mean though, because it may turn out just a little anti-climactic after the build up we’ve had! If you missed the awesome build up, then I’ve listed the articles below. Please do read them first, as
A Sensitive Situation – Sensitive Hooves Demystified
So in the last post we were talking about conditioning hooves to strengthen the hoof capsule so it’s able to function correctly and perform to a higher level. But there’re more reasons for a horse to have sore feet, than lack of hoof structure. Sensitive hooves are usually due to internal structures. The ones with
In Good Condition – Hoof Conditioning Guide
Conditioning is a term used for so many things. There’s mental conditioning or physical conditioning. On both occasions it tends to be describing how robust the thing is. How hard are you holding on to thought patterns that have been instilled in you, or how much physical strain you can endure. What about hoof conditioning? Conditioning
Understanding Hoof Problems
White Line Separation
White line separation is a common problem, often causing great worry to horse owners, and leaving them obsessively scrubbing at the white lines digging out stones, and in what little time they have left, tearing their hair out. It doesn’t have to be that way though. It can’t always be completely fixed, but it can
Long Toe, Low Heels; How Leverage Affects Laminar Attachment
How much will the leverage caused by a long toe and low heels really weaken the laminar attachment of the hoof capsule? Let’s look at what’s really going on. What causes it and how can you stop it? Archimedes said he could move the earth if you gave him a long enough lever and a fulcrum
Underrun Heels Explained Part 3
What’s happening to the internal structures in a horse with underrun heels and how do the forces on the hoof capsule help or hinder the recovery? In part 1 we looked at the hoof capsule,In part 2 we looked at the position of the internal structures,Now let’s look at how they go together… When the heels have
Underrun Heels Explained Part 2
It’s what’s on the inside that counts… right? How do the distortions in the hoof capsule affect the internal structures of the foot? So we had a look at what was happening on the outside in Part 1 Hoofgeek.com/underrun-heels-explained There’s a few things that happen to the pedal bone when the heels underrun. First lets look at
Underrun Heels Explained
Underrun heels are a very common problem (or pathology) with hooves. It’s so common to see underrun heels that many people don’t even realise that it’s not ‘normal’ for a hoof to be that shape. You’ll often hear them called low heels, though I’d argue that you can have low heels without them being underrun, it
You Can’t Cure Laminitis!
Well that’s a bit of a defeatist attitude isn’t it! Stay with me here, there’s hope I promise… Horses can get over laminitis, I’m just not sure they can be cured of it. You see, laminitis isn’t a disease, really. Firstly, lets define some terms so we’re all on the same page, and debate is centered
Flare – How Do You Stop It? When Should You Trim It?
Here’s a question from Jess, multi-part questions in fact. I like multi-part questions 🙂If you consistently trim away flare does it cease to grow back? Or does the mechanical stimulation from the rasp trick the hoof into thinking that it is wearing away fast and therefore the hoof grows faster resulting in more flare? Is there
What Are Those Funny Lines On Your Horse’s Hooves?
I need to start with an apology. You may (or may not) have noticed I’ve been a bit MIA for a while. I’m sorry for that. I had a small problem, that was then made significantly worse by a reaction to pain medication. While I’m told I was entertaining I’m not sure I’d have been
Cracks Part 3: Why Cracks Get Worse
In Cracks Pt 1: The Real Cause of Hoof Cracks we talked about imbalance in the horse and the hoof. In Cracks Pt 2: Hoof Wall Cracks we covered how the hoof landing affects the structure of the hoof wall and how different kinds of crack can develop. Now lets look at why cracks get worse and
Cracks Part 2: Hoof Wall Cracks
In Cracks Pt 1: The Real Cause of Hoof Cracks we were talking about what forces were acting on the hoof capsule during the stride. These uneven forces can create distortions in the hoof capsule and cracks can develop in sites of weakness. Having these forces going in directions they weren’t meant to causes a site of instability.
Cracks Part 1: The Real Cause of Hoof Cracks
Hoof cracks seem to cause a lot of worry and stress for horse owners. Even tiny little ones. I think there’s a number of reasons for this: 1. You can easily see them as they’re visible without having to pick the foot up2. They look bad, particularly on a white hoof3. No matter how little you
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