This proverbial saying is recorded from the mid 18th century; in North America, and literally means, no hoof, no horse. Looking after the hooves of your horse is critical. Neglected hooves can be dangerous and can lead to discomfort, pain, disfigurement and even lameness.
The single most important thing you can do for his hooves is to pick out your horse’s feet. Cleaning your horse’s hooves regularly will give you a chance to monitor the health of the foot, check the shoes and remove any sharp objects that may be lodged in there. Don’t think that this is only a job for your farrier, every horse owner can do this themselves.
EQUUS Magazine has a simple guide to cleaning a horse’s hooves. Read more.
They also share these great tips:
- If you are left-handed, you may be more comfortable holding the hoof with your right and and cleaning with the left.
- Stand close to the horse and face the tail. This will lessen the chance of you getting kicked.
- This procedure can be used on foals, along with tapping the hoofpick on the bottom of the hoof to prepare the young horse for future farrier visits.
The last step in cleaning a horse’s hooves is always to apply some hoof conditioner, massaging it into the coronary band, hoof wall and sole on each hoof to promote horn growth. Regular use of Mane ‘n Tail’s Hoofmaker will maintain stronger, more flexible hooves. It’s not greasy or sticky and contains no petroleum or pine tar.
Wait! There’s more!
Yes, Hoofmaker was originally developed for horses to moisturize dry, cracked, brittle hooves. But since it is applied to the hoof by human hands, many people using Hoofmaker on their horses noticed dramatic improvement in the condition of their own hands and nails. See for yourself!