The Equine Podiatry Approach

A horse's hoof is a product of evolution; every structure has perfectly evolved to play an important role in facilitating efficient movement and protecting against injury. The Equine Podiatry approach, aims to heal a sick hoof by restoring and maintaining normal function. By enabling improved proprioception, natural bio-mechanics and better traction, we can reduce concussion, wear on soft tissues and joints, so the hoof can then function as nature intended.

Information

One of the most important tools in helping your horse on his barefoot journey is information. Notes will be taken on his history and from your first visit I will continue to monitor his weight and other key indicators of his health and performance.

All the structures of your horse's hoof will be graded and recorded on each visit, along with photographic records of each hoof. This is another tool in our tool box for monitoring your horse's progress. Once all the structures of the hoof are scored I will then work out your horse's Hoof Evaluation Score(HES). The score is marked 0 to ten, ten being perfect. Your HES will inform you, not only of your horse's progress but of what his hooves are currently capable.

Nutrition

Healthy hooves come from a healthy horse. So many hoof related problems can be linked to diet and nutritional imbalances. A horse who has a diet that is nutritionally balanced, will have the best chance in growing healthy hooves. When assessing this, it is important to look at all aspects of his diet from the grass and hay to any treats he may be getting. Sometimes all it takes are small changes to make a big difference.

Environment

Horses spend most of their time on their feet, even when they are asleep! So what they are standing on has a direct impact on the hooves. Keeping him in a clean healthy environment at ground level is another way of keeping hooves healthy. The types of surfaces your horse stands on also has a impact on hoof shape and we can use surfaces to stimulate the development of improved structure. With the proper stimulation we can also encourage and increase growth rates of good quality hoof horn.

Hoof Hygiene

Hoof health comes from the inside and a perfect healthy hoof should not require any topical treatments. However appropriate topical treatments may be considered if the hoof horn has been compromised and sometimes it is necessary to disinfect to prevent further bacterial degeneration. Any treatments that are recommended will be safe and will not damage healthy horn.

Trim

A slightly different trim to that of a farrier is used and our emphasis is on giving the horse the optimum trim to perform barefoot and establish a healthy barefoot hoof. Every trim applied is individual, not just to the horse, but to each hoof, and all remedial work that is done, is completely non invasive.

Hoof Boots and Pads

If your horse needs that extra bit of help, hoof boots may be suggested. Hoof boots are a fantastic tool for protecting compromised hooves, and allowing the horse to continue working. Pads may also be considered, they provide additional comfort and support for those horses, who need it the most. All pads are specially cut, fitted and adjusted to each boot.

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