In this article, you will find complete information that will help you gain a better understanding of How Often Should You Trim Horse’s Hooves?
Having a horse means becoming a proud possessor of a heap of responsibilities. Such as grooming, proper feeding, and providing them an appropriate living area.
But often, people disregard horse grooming since they believe it is unimportant. The horses living in the wild survive without it, so why wouldn’t their horses survive?
But there’s a huge difference between the horses living in the wild and those kept within stables; therefore, they require extra care. One of the most important parts of horse grooming is trimming their hooves.
Let’s dive in.
Horse Hooves Trimming Routine; How Often Should You Do It?
You should trim your horse’s hooves every 5-8 weeks. This is just a rough estimate because the period may vary depending on three factors that are as follows:
Days aren’t the only ones getting longer in the summer; horses’ hooves also grow at a surprisingly fast speed in the hot and humid weather. Therefore, the appropriate period to get your horse’s hooves trimmed in summers is between 4-6 weeks. As the hooves grow pretty quickly in the summer season i.e. from May to September.
On the other hand, in the winter season. It is best to trim your horse’s hooves within 6-10 weeks because hooves grow slowly in the cold weather.
In summers, flies breed faster, so the horses spend most of their time stomping on flies. Moreover, horses are more active during summers which might contribute to wearing out their hooves.
Most importantly, in summers, the weather is sometimes wet and at other times extremely dry; this inconsistency can cause cracks in horse’s hooves which may invite several new health problems for your horse; that’s why consulting a farrier frequently in this season is best for your horse.
In winters, horses’ hooves don’t need to be trimmed as often. This is because the winter weather keeps the hooves dry. This will slow down their growth and keeps them nice and firm.
Type Of Terrain
The type of terrain a horse travels on has a huge effect on the overall health of the hoove. Horses, in the wild, walk a lot on the terrain in search of food and water. This helps keep their hooves maintained and at a correct length.
The owners of horses that are kept in confinement have rough terrain. It has a somewhat similar effect to the one in the wild; however, the roughness of the terrain might harm the horses with flat and delicate hooves. In addition, the horse’s hooves get damaged or injured because of the stones and twigs present in the terrain.
Sodden and muddy terrain is the worst thing you can do for your horse as it may soften their hooves; as a result, making them highly sensitive, more prone to injuries and infections. So, horses that live on rough terrain need to have a farrier more often.
In the case of dry terrain, there’s one issue that your horse might become a victim of. That is cracks in their hooves. Since there will be no moisture in the terrain. This can cause the horse’s hooves to dry out leading to cracking. The bright side is that the hooves will need trimming less often as they grow slowly due to dryness.
In such terrains, it’s best to keep an eye on your horses’ hooves to determine when they need to see a farrier.
If your horse wears shoes, it might need the farrier frequently; on the other hand, barefoot horses can go a lot longer without a farrier as walking on the rough terrain will keep their hoof health in check.
Horseshoe Or Barefoot
The difference between barefoot horses and horses with horseshoes is quite straightforward; the barefoot horses, as the term already suggests, are the ones who don’t wear shoes. Therefore, barefoot horses need to see a farrier less than the horseshoe ones as the weight is distributed appropriately on the long foot.
An ideal period for barefoot horses to see a farrier and get their hooves trimmed is between two to three months.
A horse’s feet are bound to grow with or without a horseshoe; so, when a horse is wearing shoes, the feet don’t have any space to expand, which leads to an incorrect distribution of its weight. So, horses that wear shoes should see a farrier in a month or two.
Benefits Of Trimming Horse Hooves
Some horse owners still believe that horse hoof trimming is entirely unnecessary, and no matter how hard you try, these people won’t change their views.
But it doesn’t matter if they believe it or not, horse’s hooves’ health has a huge part in the overall well-being of the horse, and trimming them at an appropriate time is the best way to look after them.
Below are some of the benefits your horse will be reaping by getting its hooves trimmed every once in a while from a skilled farrier or by yourself.
Farrier visits can be a little too expensive, but they are mandatory if your horse wears shoes. On the other hand, if your horse is barefoot, then farrier visits for hooves trimming will be frequent, but the cost won’t burn a hole in your pocket as horseshoes do, and you can also trim the hooves by yourself’ all you will need is a little practice.
So, if you are looking forward to saving money, let your horse walk barefoot instead of opting for horseshoes. Moreover, you can cut the cost further by trimming your horse’s shoe at home without seeking help from a professional, but only if you know how to do it properly without hurting your horse.
Good Muscle Health
The muscle health of barefoot horses is way better than the shoe ones as they are not confined by shoes and can move naturally and more freely.
Therefore, a horse with deteriorating muscle health should not wear shoes because letting your horse walk around barefoot contributes to better muscle health at a faster rate.
Horses often become the victim of lameness due to an issue in the musculoskeletal system, which as a result, affects their stance or walk. As we already know that muscle health can be improved if the horse’s hooves are trimmed properly, so, to eliminate lameness, all you have to do is take care of your horse’s hooves’ health and trim them from time to time.
This way, there will be no pressure exerted in the painful areas, which will allow the horse to move easily.
Better Hooves Health
When a horse’s hoof is trimmed, blood circulation is two times better than it would have been without the trim. The improved circulation of blood ensures premium hooves health, which means the horse’s overall health is enhanced.
Moreover, horses feel more comfortable without shoes with bare and trimmed hooves, so it is better to opt for trimming instead of shoeing them.
Q.1 What happens when you don’t trim your horse’s hooves?
Ans: The frontal wall of your horse’s hoof should be at a 50 degrees angle to the ground, but when the hooves are not trimmed, this angle is not maintained, which leads to severe pain in the musculoskeletal system or lameness in your horse. As we have already mentioned in the article, trimming your horse’s hooves can improve their muscle health, which can also cure lameness.
Q.2 Should you trim your horse’s hooves?
Ans: Trimming your horse’s hooves can help you save money, as getting a horse’s hooves trimmed by a skilled Farrier is expensive. You can then invest that money for better care of your horse or courses for trimming hooves.
Q.3 How do wild horses maintain their hooves?
Ans: Wild horses spend the majority of their time walking and running on the terrain in search of food and water. This wears out their hooves naturally, which slows down the growth of their hooves and prevents cracking.
Horses are a luxury, and that’s why we should treat them accordingly. Keeping your horse’s overall health in check is your primary responsibility, and if you cannot take appropriate care of your horse, then you shouldn’t have it in the first place.
More and more people have been stressing the importance of trimming hooves nowadays, but some still stay against it; you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
Trimmed hooves are the makeover your horse needs every 2-3 months because hooves have a huge influence on your horse’s appearance.
Hopefully, this article has cleared up any questions you might have about when to get a horse’s hooves trimmed and why you should do it.