How to Care for Your Horse’s Hooves in Winter
Winter will be coming soon, and I enjoy snow sparkles during this season. I also enjoy ice-skating which is pleasant for me. Not only this but as a horse owner, I like horse riding during this season as well. But in order to keep your horse happy and healthy, you must pay special attention to your horse’s hooves in the cold winter season.
To protect ourselves in winter, we cover our bodies with an overcoat, but what about outdoor animals, like a horse? Like we humans, we also protect horses in the winter by covering them with the blanket, use a heater to warm your horse barns, increase the amount of hay you feed them, and many more. All these problems are remembered by the horse owner, but the one most important problem your horse faces during the winter is their hooves.
Generally, we try to minimize horse riding during the winter. If you do ride your horse in the cold, then be careful because a horse needs special care in the winter.
As the season changes, the requirements of your horse should also be changed for hoof care, energy, food, water, shelter whether your horse lives in a barn, box van trailer, or a single axle box trailer. Don’t ignore horse hoof care because horse hooves grow differently, as well as many seasonal problems occur during this season with your horse’s hooves. To keep your horse’s hooves healthy in winter you must keep in mind some tips.
- Shoe condition
- Land condition
- Poor hoof
- Heartbeat increased
- Black dots on sole
- Injured hoof
If you find any of the above signs in your horse, then you immediately take care of your horse’s hooves. If you avoid these hoof problems, then you should not have to worry about these symptoms in the first place.
Tips to take care of horse hooves in winter
As we know due cold and snow horse hoof may suffer from many problems. But by regular checking Horse Hooves in winter you can easily avoid this problem.
Clean Your Horse’s Hooves Regularly
Just like in other seasons, you should regularly clean up your horse’s hooves. During the winter, mud, snow, and ice can insert themselves into your horse hooves. Take your horse’s hoof and clean it thoroughly with a hoof cleaning brush. By doing this, one can prevent thrush from forming.
Use Proper Shoes
If your horse wears shoes, then it becomes risky to walk on snow and ice without risk of a fall. During the winter months you should use special horseshoes, like snowshoes or studded shoes. As a horse owner, you should also use snowshoes for your horse hooves during the winter which may protect your horse’s hooves against the snow.
Let them dry
In case, if your horse stands out in the snow for the whole day, then make sure you bring your horse inside and let their hooves dry out indoors. For that, you should provide shelter for your horse where they can dry out easily. If you don’t dry your horse’s hooves, then there may be a chance that your horse hooves will become soft and weak.
Clean barns or stalls regularly
Due to heavy snowfall, it may be possible that your horse stays inside in the stall, barns, or box van trailer or single axle box trailer (in case of traveling). So, in this case, you should clean these daily. If it is possible, clean it twice a day when the horse is inside for an entire day. The dirty enclosed place may force your horse to stand in a wet and dirty place, which causes thrush.
To keep your horse healthy in winter, make them wear a winter horseshoe. For that, meet your farrier and ask about winter shoeing and trimming schedules.
Just like us, the horse also needs blankets to protect against snow and cold. So, make sure your horse’s blankets fit them properly. You should immediately remove any extra-long leather strips to protect your horse from getting a shoe heel infection.
While preparing your horse barns or stall for winter, make sure your horse can’t run away from the barns. If they do, then it may cause any injuries. To remove the risk, fence off low areas where water collects.
Alice Roberts works at Debon Trailers as a community manager. Debon Trailers has been designing, developing, and producing horse trailers since 1995, driven by their passion for horses. We developed to provide high levels of comfort and safety for the horses being transported. Debon trailers is a leading manufacturer of horse trailers, single, double & tripper horse trailers across the UK and Ireland. For any kind of suggestions use the comment box below. We welcome your suggestions about this blog.
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