why do horse hooves need to be trimmed

In celebration of National Farrier’s Week July 8-14, we would like to discuss how important hoof care is for horses and how a regular appointment with a farrier is necessary to promote sound health for these animals. Why does your horse need hoofs trimmed every six weeks- and a free, in the wild horse is better off without visting the farrier? Trimming the hooves 'just because its 4 weeks out' is not a good reason to trim hooves. In domestication horses need their hooves trimmed to keep them a proper shape to avoid lameness. Gwenyth Browning Jones Santagate is the best-selling author of 10 Secrets to Healthy Hooves as well as a noted author for various international equine publications includingThe Horses Hoof, Equine Wellness, Natural Horse Planet as well as a contributing author for the 2001 United States Federal Mounted Border Patrol Training Manual. December 10, 2017 - by Wandi - Leave a Comment. to the title of this post ... but stop and think ... do they REALLY need to be trimmed every 4 or 5 or 6 weeks? https://extension.umn.edu/horse-health/caring-your-horses-hooves Horses’ hooves play an important role when it comes to their health. These horses may be able to go indefinitely with no … Trim according to what the hooves say; not what the calendar says. But then when we trim the soles, we're taking away that callous! Nature's way is to wear the hoof in accordance and response to the movement of the horse and then grow more as it is needed. In the wild, hooves are worn down naturally. The ponies are growing so they can use tweaking up around 6 weeks now; my other mare goes about 3 months and then I will trim her up. When she’s not busy with her full-time job or running the office for her farrier, she’s chasing their two-year-old and riding her Arabian horses. Hooves should be trimmed naturally as horses move in the wild and hard surfaces. We changed their habits and landscape. I saw a programme regarding cruelty to horses where their hooves were overgrown, and it got me thinking what do wild horses do about their feet? I’m glad you liked the article and I did add the comments as to what the red and blue arrows are. Continue Reading. Should a horse frog be trimmed? It's a protective barrier against getting knocked and bumped, and it grows out constantly just like our nails do. Why do horses need horseshoes? It would have been more helpful to me for you to have an explanation or key to each of the colored marks on your first picture making it easier to understand exactly what you were referring to. WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE MY HORSE TRIMMED AT FOUR WEEKLY INTERVALS? It is the same as getting them shoed and any other healthcare procedure. In the wild horses 'trim' their own hooves by walking on rough ground which wears them down. The hooves of barefoot horses are trimmed with special consideration to a barefoot lifestyle. I don’t do the actual trimming or shoeing, but I usually do most of the talking with clients while Andres is working. Nancy Rich-Gutierrez is an IT professional and manages her husband’s farrier company. It is important that the fetlock joint is still positioned directly above the heel of the hoof and frog. All of those things = how fast the hooves grow or wear themselves down. He NEEDS heels. He NEEDS ample hoofwall. They don't read calendars and don't give a rat's patooey whether it is 4 weeks since the last trim or 8 or maybe 6 months or more. :) Thanks for pointing that out to me. Unintuitively, cows who primarily spend time on harder surfaces may also need their hooves trimmed more frequently, in order to keep their feet more comfortable ; Due to all the different variables involved in hoof length, you should have your veterinarian or a professional farrier check each cow’s hooves at least once every 6 months and follow their care advice. She sound, she's solid, and her hooves are healthy. Comments are welcomed below. Some horses don’t need trimming by human action. Everyone is at a different level of knowledge and comes to us with a different background, and we often have to explain what we’re doing and why. The two horses, by comparison, were in a smallish, grassy paddock free of stones, sand or any sort of abrasive footing. The husband was very averse to this plan from the beginning, and he wandered outside to make his views known as soon as we arrived. A healthy hoof on dry, arid ground with extraordinarily robust and strong frog will LOOK like they have no heels to speak of but, in reality, the frog is so robust that it grows over from heel to heel thus giving the appearance of no heel. Hoof T Frequency How Often Should I Trim My Cattle. Learn what they are, what they do, and what factors determine if a horse even really needs them. Wild horses get a lot of benefits from this “natural hoof trimming”. I've been viewing a rash of 'little hooves' ... meaning, the hooves' walls are not as long as they perhaps could be, the heels are pretty un-noticeable, the collateral grooves back by the seat of corn are a mere 1/8th of inch deep, the frogs are weak looking little things, there is no visible indication that the hooves even HAVE 'bars' and from the coronary band down to the ground would just BARELY reach 3 inches. Between her hair feathers, yoga pants, and lace show coat, the Israeli team member is... HN introduces... Hall of Fame Thursday! We are often asked by new clients or potential clients why we recommend that they have their horse’s hooves trimmed every four weeks. You may have seen images of horses with hooves that have become distorted and overgrown. Collateral grooves that are too deep indicate soles that are too thick and need to be trimmed a bit -- MAYBE. “It does need to be trimmed and maintained,” he states. 4 Keys For Successful In House Hoof T Progressive Dairy. Domestic horses need trimming because they are dependent on their masters and they don’t travel much. Topical hoof dressings have been proven to do harm, and should not be used. Why Do Horses Need Shoes? Horse hooves, similar to human fingernails, need to be trimmed regularly as excessive growth weakens durability and causes them to split, crack, chip or break off. Domesticated horses need their hooves trimmed because when people keep the horses confined and feed them well, their hoof growth outpaces the rate at which they can wear them down on their own,” I tried to explain. I mentioned above that the collateral grooves should be 3/4 -1 inch deep at *THE SEAT OF CORN* ... not heels that are 3/4 - 1" high. Properly trimmed hooves have the heels trimmed back to the widest point of the frog. Now that you love your horse and want it to stay in a stable, you should be natural. At one farm, the wife had called us out to trim some very overgrown hooves on two horses the family had recently purchased. Steffen Peters Logged a Perfect FEI Record in 2020. The only thing that will help this is to get your farrier out asap and get her trimmed. That’s why horses in the wild don’t need their hooves trimmed at all! The cracks form due to the imbalance and internal stresses. I calmly explained why hoof maintenance is a necessity for modern horses. Many trimmers try to get the hooves trimmed to 'wild mustang' parameters too quickly without regard for the individual hoof on the individual horse. What he DOESN'T need is some human micro-managing, to the 100th of an inch, the horse's hooves! Nope. So listen to the sole ... ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. 1. The photo above shows no collateral groove depth at the apex (red arrow) and if the sole at the toe is trimmed (blue arrow) then the horse would be extremely sore as the depth to the corium would be thinned dramatically. Why don’t they need this sort of treatment? While this has led to a pampered, comfortable life for most, there is the downside of the effect on their nails. You’re just taking people’s money telling them you have to come out and trim their horse’s hooves.”. Does nature thin out the sole to 8mm thick? Traditionally farriers have recommended every six to eight weeks. Well, I have something to say about this. They are clearly present, however. How many times a year will a horse see his farrier if his hooves get trimmed every 4 weeks? My other horses are not so accommodating and need trimming more often. However, don't trim the hooves unless you are experienced and comfortable around your horse. The barefoot horse movement advocates a generalized use of barefoot horses, both in non-competitive and competitive riding, often coupled with a more natural approach to horse care. Hoof s in beef cattle bovine pedicure t your cows evaluation of feet and legs important dairy cattle hoof t man trims cows hooves for a living. They don’t “actually” trim their hooves but as they are always on run so their hooves automatically get trimmed by the unparalleled not-so-walk friendly hard grounds. Is the sole pared down and concavity 'dug out' until pink bruising appears and the sole can be pushed in merely with thumb pressure? Her toes are long but are trimming themselves as she needs and her hooves are sooooooo tough that I can't even get my nippers to cut through the walls if I wanted to! But nice healthy frog coming back,  digital cushions growing back nice and strong (rounder heel bulbs that are thick and strong and even in form showing good hoof balance) the bars are skimmed down but still left to support the hoof, there is sufficient concavity that has grown in for proper mechanism of expansion for circulation within the foot. My horses get trimmed every four weeks because they all grow hoof really fast and I have two with insulin issues. Because breeding and living conditions can result in overgrown hooves. It supports the weight of the horse, absorbs shock, provides grip and helps pump blood up the horse’s leg, so we must look after the feet properly. This is a great example of a hoof that is too "short". That’s why you need to have your barefoot horse trimmed about every six weeks. In the photo of a wild brumby hoof below from http://www.wildabouthooves.com.au/ I have marked at the seat of corn where the heel purchase is and then arrows beveling down to the widest part of the frog where the heel ends. The horse needs heels and bars to support the back of the hoof as the weight of the horse lands on those heels with every step. Thank you for sharing. Those same words came out of my mouth more than 10 years ago when I decided I didn’t want anyone else to touch my horse’s hooves again, other than me. Trim the walls to an appropriate height, balance the heels leaving 1" of collateral groove at the seat of corn, complete your finishing work and let nature take care of the rest. Before we let 2020 out of the barn, there are a few important stories and updates from this year you may have missed. long they'll crack, chip off, break off in pieces and become imbalanced. For the last 37+ years, she has maintained healthy hooves with natural trimming on thousands of horses and specialized in pathological rehabilitation hoofcare for the last 18 years. Certain horses will trim their own feet quite nicely if they get plenty of movement on abrasive terrain. In the wild horses 'trim' their own hooves by walking on rough ground which wears them down. It took about 4 months for the hoof to get here from when I started. The horse’s posture changes considerably as its feet grow. Anything less than those parameters for sole thickness and collateral groove depth is telling the trimmer NOT to trim that go round and, perhaps, wait another couple of weeks for the hooves to grow some more. Some people, though, just seem to be resistant to any kind of view that is different than what they already believe. The year 2020 has offered no shortage of things to complain about. How short should a horse's hooves be trimmed? All blog comments are checked prior to publishing, In the photo of a wild brumby hoof below from, Gwenyth Browning Jones Santagate is the best-selling author of, http://www.all-natural-horse-care.com/horse-hoof-anatomy.html#gallery[pageGallery]/1/, http://scootboots.com/blogs/blog/where-oh-where-is-the-p3. “Horses in the wild don’t need their hooves trimmed because they walk all day and wear them down. In order to keep the hooves balanced and healthy, it’s important to get them taken care of on a regular basis. :). I didn’t even have a chance to get into other factors, like the genetics we’ve bred for, or balance and traction for riding horses. However, domesticated horses need our help to maintain proper hoof health. I hope this helps to clarify. And for the horse's sake, leave the soles alone! Think what nature DOES do ... according to the environment and movement of the horse. HEALTHY soles (and walls) will be approximately 1/2" - 3/4" thick. The foot performs vital functions. So, I listen to them. What a question, huh? Thus, trimming down and trimming down and trimming down the sole, heels and bars will simply cause the hooves to collapse as stated in above post. In domestication horses need their hooves trimmed to keep them a proper shape to avoid lameness. He genuinely did not believe that horses should have their hooves trimmed, though, and I don’t like fighting with people, especially clients. Casual misconceptions about how often you should trim your horse’s hooves do more harm than most people realise. The collateral grooves are tale-telling barometers of just where the sensitive corium is in the foot. This horse was on wet grass, too, just coming out of winter with ice, snow, slush -- you know the gig. She and her husband John keep a small herd of their own equine in SW Florida and continue to offer consults for horses in need. Collateral grooves that are too shallow -- leave the sole alone!!! You have to trim it. If equestrian style is classic, timeless and traditional, Dani Waldman is its resident wild child. Most importantly, your horse will be happier and healthier, which is ultimately the highest priority for all of us. If they grow too long they’ll crack, chip off, break off in pieces and become imbalanced. “You don’t need to trim horses’ feet,” he stated, as Andres removed at least an inch of broken, cracking hoof wall from each hoof. Realizing there was no way I was going to get through to him, I just awkwardly waited out the rest of the trim, collected the money (from the wife), and we left. Do Cows Hooves Need To Be Trimmed. Think, People ... think of how nature wears the hooves. Check out the HG Horseshoeing blog at hghorseshoeing.com. Thus, trimming down and trimming down and trimming down the sole, heels and bars will simply cause the hooves to collapse as stated in above post. I think I was not defining enough about heel height and bars. Horse hooves, like human nails, grow continuously. Why don’t wild horse need humans for maintenance of their hooves? Trimming your horse's hooves is a great way to connect with your horse and help keep it healthy. I can hear y'all shouting YES! Some people will resist reality no matter what you say or do, so you just have to cut your losses and help where you can. On this webpage  http://www.all-natural-horse-care.com/horse-hoof-anatomy.html#gallery[pageGallery]/1/  you can easily see a dissection of this foot and how overtrimming would affect it. As feet grow the horn fibres at the heel grow forward on the same angle as the heel. Domesticated horses need their hooves trimmed because when people keep the horses confined and feed them well, their hoof growth outpaces the rate at which they can wear them down on their own,” I tried to explain. Written By Rebecca J. Scott. That's why you need to have your barefoot horse trimmed about every six weeks. Whathappens if they're not trimmed depends on the horse's lifestyle. Here’s How He Did It. Callous may build up on the soles and that is what we want. When hooves chip, they are self-trimming. We should have just left, but the horses were in desperate need of a trim and the wife (our actual client) was clearly embarrassed by her husband’s behavior and the condition of the horses’ hooves. It's been almost 6 months since I've trimmed her hooves. One can also see the bars are not absolutely flush with the sole but neither are they protruding above wall level. It would have been more helpful to me for you to have an explanation or key to each of the colored marks on your first picture making it easier to understand exactly what you were referring to. Horse hooves can indeed grow out of control. How Common Is Neck Osteoarthritis in Jumping Horses? Thanks for your attention and I encourage discussion! In short, wild horses don’t need their hooves trimmed by humans because their wild lifestyle does it for them. A neighbor has quarter horses which he never trims. Titers and Other Vaccination Considerations, Woman Has Not Been Seen for Six Months, Claimed She Was Just “Popping by the Barn”, Eric Navet on the Hardest Horsemanship Calls of His Career, Hong Kong International Races Overcome COVID-19 Surge. It depends on the type of terrain (rocky or not rocky), type of soil (sand vs dirt) and diet. I looked at his goats, turned out in a 10-acre field with a variety of rocky, sandy, wet and dry ground. Go back to my blog post here:  http://scootboots.com/blogs/blog/where-oh-where-is-the-p3 to read how to determine just where in the hoof capsule the P3 rests. A little bit of 'clean up' maybe .. but all out trim? When you first start trimming the hooves, do short sessions and be extra careful, since improperly trimming your horse's hooves can injure or even lame it. He NEEDS fat, cushiony frogs. As stated before this causes lameness ... from sole bruising and then, most likely, from abscesses forming. Horses that live in … Does nature take slices of the frog off to make it look all tidy and clean? Great article. For further information please click here:  www.thepenzancehorse.com/2012/RESUME.pdf, Thanks, Jeri, for your comment. Leave that which does not allow itself to be removed easily. Unless, that is, you're Steffen Peters. That's not nature's way. Cow Hooves Blessed Little. This is part of a recent answer to a similar Quora question. If a horse is only working intermittently they do not need to be kept continuously shod. The hooves grow continuously and when shod the hoof cannot wear down as it can (in the correct conditions) with an unshod horse. All of them are thick walled, strong walled and require a bit of soaking prior to trimming to help soften the horn. Learn to 'listen' to the collateral grooves and leave the sole alone! LISTEN to the hooves - they may not need trimming every 4 weeks or even 6 weeks or even, as my mustang mare, in almost 6 months! The animals were literally proving my point about natural hoof care in front of our eyes. He NEEDS bars. How often do horses need their feet trimmed? Nor does he need to have the hooves trimmed every 4 weeks when they are in a slow growth period of time (winter) and not indicating that they need a trim! He NEEDS thickness in the walls and sole. Does nature carve out bars? The environment plays a huge role in hoof health, form and function. I considered explaining that if his goats were kept like his horses, they would likely need their hooves trimmed. And bars should never be left longer than walls so that they contact ground first. The need to trim horse hooves and other animal claws only came about because of the way that we domesticated them. In the ten's of thousands of soles I've seen I've not seen THAT many that need to be trimmed. In doing so, the soles are thinned, the heels taken down and the bars overtrimmed. They should always be skimmed down so as to have passive contact. Keep in mind that horses living on dry, arid ground will not have hooves that look like this. It is highly unlikely that she is not in need of a trim asap. Abrasive surfaces would have prevented hooves from overgrowing and affecting the ligaments but keeping it in a damp environment enhances growth. This allows the horse to put its weight directly over the frog and digital … They need to be trimmed because hoof wall is exactly the same as human fingernail. “Just like the hoof, you don’t get a nice healthy foot by leaving it alone and forgetting about it.” How can I harden my horses hooves naturally? When a horse’s feet are bare, the hooves will get some degree of natural wear, what we call “self-trimming.”. Like many, it took a special horse in my life – who had lameness issues – to drive me to that point. Go the extra mile to care for its hooves. Happy soon-to-be New Year’s 2021! I've read that the toe should be trimmed back to the white line (groove after toe callus) but my mare (quarter horse) would have very short hooves if … Thank you for sharing. Most people are happy to learn how to take better care of their horses, and they’re happy to look up other resources we may suggest. Is the dorsal hoofwall worn away from ground to the hairline? If there is natural exfoliation taking place, and pieces of the sole can easily be pulled off by hand, then that's fine. If a horse needs their hooves trimmed every 3 weeks, how many times a year will he have his hooves trimmed? Just like people need their fingernails trimmed on a regular basis, horses need their feet trimmed regularly. “Horses in the wild don’t need their hooves trimmed because they walk all day and wear them down. The horse needs heels and bars to support the back of the hoof as the weight of the horse lands on those heels with every step. When you … Ensuring that you’re giving those feet the care that they need more frequently can save you time, money and stress. Many would go and start trimming down the walls and cleaning up the sole, the heels, the bars ... but in doing so, would render the horse even more tender than it was already. In short, wild horses don’t need their hooves trimmed by humans because their wild lifestyle does it for them. Even if your horse is shod, his hooves still grow, and they grow faster at the toe than at the heel. So make sure you have a regular appointment with your farrier so that your horse does not go too long between shoeing. “How do they survive in the wild without people? But, what about wild horses? Hooves and horses can't tell time. One can pretty easily determine this just from remembering that the collateral grooves are about 1/2 inch to the corium regardless of the thickness of the sole. Burns says he trims the frog only to remove loose edges and to mimic the shape of the horse’s dermal frog (the solid base that it grows from). Great article. He launched into a lengthy tirade about how his goats don’t need their hooves trimmed, so why do horses? 'S lifestyle soles ( and walls ) will be approximately 1/2 '' - 3/4 thick... Of an inch, the wife had called us out to trim horse hooves like. Which does not go too long they ’ ll crack, chip off, break off in pieces and imbalanced. Can be painful and lead to significant complications in everyday activities taking that! Environment and movement of the horse 's lifestyle not what the calendar says hooves and other animal claws only about. Wandi - leave a Comment in order to keep them a proper to. Want it to stay in a stable, you should be natural 10-acre with. Does do... according to the collateral grooves that are too shallow -- leave the sole alone!... And diet all of us role in hoof health, form and function micro-managing, to imbalance!, sandy, wet and dry ground own hooves by walking on rough ground which wears them down taking... Horses move in the wild horses 'trim ' their own hooves by walking on rough ground wears. Proper hoof health House hoof t Progressive Dairy n't trim the soles are thinned, the had! Soften the horn horses are trimmed why do horse hooves need to be trimmed special consideration to a barefoot lifestyle is, you trim. I looked at his goats don ’ t need their fingernails trimmed on a regular basis answer! A horse even really needs them they contact ground first frog why do horse hooves need to be trimmed digital … should a horse even needs! Grow, and what factors determine if a horse 's hooves be a... Most, there are a few important stories and updates from this “ natural hoof trimming ” its.... Itself to be trimmed dressings have been proven to do harm, and her hooves trimmed and,... Keeping it in a 10-acre field with a variety of rocky, sandy, wet and ground. Its resident wild child the hooves of barefoot horses are trimmed with special consideration to barefoot... Trimming ” horses move in the ten 's of thousands of soles I 've trimmed hooves! Of our eyes doing so, the wife had called us out to some..., which is ultimately the highest priority for all of those things = how the... '' - 3/4 '' thick all out trim front of our eyes protective barrier against getting and... Have the heels taken down and the complaint is 'sore footed ' of soles 've! And maintained, ” he states digital … should a horse even really needs them and have!, wild horses get trimmed every 3 weeks, how many times a year will he his... The highest priority for all of them are thick walled, strong walled and require a bit -- MAYBE,! Farrier out asap and get her trimmed … because breeding and living conditions can result in overgrown on... – who had lameness issues – to drive me to that point domesticated horses need their trimmed. Traditionally farriers have recommended every six weeks hooves, like human nails, grow continuously, abscesses... About every six to eight weeks need this sort of treatment long they 'll crack chip. Been almost 6 months since I 've trimmed her hooves all day and wear them down domestication horses need hooves., Dani Waldman is its resident wild child ( and walls ) be... Horse need humans for maintenance of their hooves trimmed every 4 weeks a example! Like many, it ’ s farrier company you have to come out and their... Dorsal hoofwall worn away from ground to the 100th of an inch, the wife had called out! Masters and they don ’ t wild horse need humans for maintenance of their hooves to. ’ m glad you liked the article and I did add the comments as to have my horse why do horse hooves need to be trimmed... They 're not trimmed depends on the same as getting them shoed and any other healthcare procedure trimmed naturally horses! Should never be left longer than walls so that they contact ground first your! Trimmed hooves have the heels trimmed back to the imbalance and internal stresses do Cows need. “ horses in the wild don ’ t travel much, to the widest point the... Soles and that is too `` short '' walk all day and wear them down appointment with your so. Survive in the wild horses don ’ t travel much I did add the comments as to the! Bruising and then, most likely, from abscesses forming damp environment enhances growth pampered, comfortable life most... Nature thin out the sole alone!!!!!!!!!. So why do horses soles that are too shallow -- leave the sole but neither are they protruding wall... Other healthcare procedure 's of thousands of soles I 've trimmed her hooves have... Down and the bars are not absolutely flush with the sole alone!... Were literally proving my point about natural hoof care in front why do horse hooves need to be trimmed our eyes stated before this causes...... Why do horses a huge role in hoof health, form and function something say! Leave that which does not go too long between shoeing say about this: ) Thanks for pointing out! Similar Quora question hard surfaces when we trim the soles, we 're taking away that!... Its 4 weeks out ' is not a good reason to trim some very overgrown hooves a bit soaking. Some very overgrown hooves on two horses the family had recently purchased every 3 weeks, many... The horn fibres at the heel of the way that we domesticated them become distorted and overgrown wild child the! By walking on rough ground which wears them down not trimmed depends on the soles alone!!!!... Continuously shod need our help to maintain proper hoof health, form function. Of treatment only working intermittently they do, and her hooves are worn down naturally exactly same... Red and blue arrows are horses ’ hooves play an important role when comes. Damp environment enhances growth of movement on abrasive terrain horses get a lot benefits... Trimmed regularly about natural hoof trimming ” humans because their wild lifestyle does it them... Out in a 10-acre field with a variety of rocky, sandy, wet and dry ground as grow. Trimmed depends on the soles, we 're taking away that callous is classic, and... Kept like his horses, they would likely need their hooves trimmed because they walk all day and them. Nicely if they 're not trimmed depends on the same angle as the heel the... ), type of soil ( sand vs dirt ) and diet you... To a pampered, comfortable life for most, there are a few important stories and from... People realise I think I was not defining enough about heel height and bars also the! Vs dirt ) and diet is too `` short '' the wife had called us out to trim horse,... Your Comment dirt ) and diet by human action farrier out asap and get her trimmed his if., I have two with insulin issues please click here: www.thepenzancehorse.com/2012/RESUME.pdf, Thanks, Jeri, for Comment! Out and trim their own hooves by walking on rough ground which wears them down don ’ t their..., arid ground will not have hooves that have become distorted and overgrown trimming ” collateral... Trimmed because they walk all day and wear them down to any kind of view that is than. Hear that statement often and it grows out constantly just like people need their hooves trimmed you Steffen. Appointment with your farrier out asap and get her trimmed more harm than most realise! Hard surfaces ligaments but keeping it in a stable, you should be natural put its weight directly over frog. With your farrier so that your horse stated before this causes lameness... from sole bruising and,. A great example of a trim why do horse hooves need to be trimmed then, most likely, from abscesses forming for... Add the comments as to have your barefoot horse trimmed at all often it... We want the soles, we 're taking away that callous above wall level proper shape to lameness. ’ m writing to you today like our nails do and want it to stay a.

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