How to take care of a Horse’s Hooves – Expert Guide

This article covers everything you need to know about how to take care of a horse’s hooves.

This article covers everything you need to know about how to take care of a horse’s hooves.

The hooves of an animal are their lifeline, a popular statement made by farmers all around the world, most four-legged animals get increasingly restless if they are unable to walk or move around properly hence the necessary step of making sure that their hooves are properly catered for to avoid problems and complications that could lame them. That assertion is especially true of horses, their dependence on their hooves for survival is great and statistics show that the majority of lame horses never make it out alive, so in this article, I would be detailing how to take care of a horse’s hooves. 

Horse hooves are surprisingly delicate and can get complications fast, in fact, horses are extremely sensitive towards their legs, and so a great deal of care is needed over there.

How to take care of a Horse’s Hooves

I have written extensively on horse grooming and how to do basic care on the hooves, today we are going in-depth.- How to take care of a horse’s hooves

How to take care of a Horse’s Hooves

How Often Should You Pick Your Horse’s Hooves?

In learning how to take care of a horse’s hooves, you MUST ensure that picking and cleaning your horse’s hooves is done every day. This is to make sure that you keep it clean and keep you updated in noticing any problems gotten during the day.

Do horse hooves feel pain?

No, Horse hooves don’t feel pain, as there are no nerve endings in the hooves. Therefore, you can rest assured that the nailing of the horseshoe is painless.

Pick and clean your horse’s feet daily

 This is a key aspect of horse grooming and should be done at least once daily as I earlier intimated in my last post, now you may think of this as a basic chore but you are not aware of the wonders it does for your horse. 

There are several reasons why taking care of the hooves is extremely important but I feel one of the most important is that daily grooming of the hooves allows you to pay strict attention to the conditions of the hooves daily and identify a problem before it spreads. 

A lot of farmers are of the notion that picking out their horse’s hooves is the job of the farrier but this couldn’t be further from the truth, your farrier is like the equivalent of a dog groomer, their existence doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your dog a bath. If you regularly clean and pick out the hooves, you can be assured of a healthy horse.

You can learn how to pick your horse’s hooves here in this video: 

Now when grooming and picking out their hooves, pay attention to these

Thrush: This is a common occurrence in horses and is caused by standing in wet or filthy conditions for a long time such as in mud, rain, manure and what have you. If identified on time it can be treated with ease but if not, it can potentially cripple your horse. Once identified, treat and keep your horse in dry areas

Puncture:  Horses are really active animals hence they run over a wide variety of terrain, this can lead to them being punctured in the hooves by a lot of objects, now remember the word is puncture not trapped, trapped objects are to be removed, punctured ones should only be removed by an expert vet who would then advise you on a form of treatment. 

Cracks:  Cracks are also a common occurrence in horses and could mean a lot of things, most of the time, they are nothing to worry about and can be overlooked but sometimes they may lead to further complications if not taken care of. If your horse shows signs of pain near a crack, attach a horseshoe to it or take it to the vet. 

Abscess:  An abscess forming on the hoof of your horse is a clear indicator that something is wrong, and can be noticed if your horse’s hoof is warmer than the rest of the body. Quick identifications like this are why daily grooming of your horse is imperative.  They can be caused by punctures, bruises, or other conditions but once noticed should be treated immediately as they can lead to lameness

Understand Your Horse

 To be able to know if your horse is sick is only doable if you understand the personal normal state of your horse. Every organism is different, your horse is too, and understanding their normal state will quickly help you identify when something is wrong. Understand their sizes, hoof sizes, temperament and general normal conditions; these are extremely important when the diagnosis is being done

Regularly Take your Horse to a Farrier

Remember what I said when I used the dog groomer as an example, although you have to groom your horse’s hooves daily, for trimming and shoeing, its advised to take them to a farrier, now remember that this trip depends on the state of your horse and its breed, the average time is six to eight weeks is the average, but you can change yours. 

Learn how to remove a Horseshoe

 You don’t have to go to the farrier every time to remove the horseshoe if the need is, they are only a must when putting them on, and learning to remove them is for very important reasons. Sometimes the shoe might shift and if not removed can cause your horse serious pain and hoof damage, so ask your farrier to teach you, they are actually happy to do this

Perform Hoof Growing Practices

 The rate of hoof growth and hoof quality in horses is not equal hence if you desire a better quality of horse hooves, it’s your duty to make it happen. You can do the following

  • Regulate diet. Your vet can recommend hoof-friendly diets.
  • Biotin supplement: (These are useful to promote hoof growth, ask your farrier for a recommendation of the one that matches our horse. 
  • Exercise your horse. Regular exercise builds hoof strength so get used to taking your horse out for rides and walks to avoid rot and promote blood flow. 

Protect The Horse’s Hooves during Hauling

Transportation is a critical Time for horses as the ramp walk up and down can be stressful and their hooves could slip throughout the process hence the need to protect and cover it for the time of the trip.

You can make use of bell boots old-fashioned shipping bandages and bell boots or Velcro-fastened shipping boots to properly protect your horse’s hooves from wear, tear or harm.


In learning how to take care of a horse’s hooves, we must take the above points seriously. As they are very essential in the care of your horse’s hooves.

Dr. Cynthia Ford

Hey, I am Dr. Cynthia Ford an absolute gem of a Veterinarian. Bringing to Petcarely decades of experience. I’ve got an overflowing talent and passion for breeding and taking care of pets(all kinds of pets), educating/guiding their owners, and building responsible pet owners. My goal is to give pets all over the world a better life and to recommend the best tips, advice, and product(s) to every pet owner.

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