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How to take care of your horse’s hooves? Logo PaskaCheval

A horse must be feel good in his head, as well as in his feet. Because they are constantly in use, and because they play an essential role, hooves need regular and appropriate care.

What is a hoof?

hoof is what we call a horny box. Located at the very end of the limbs, the hoof covers and protects the internal structures of the foot. Its plantar surface is made up of the sole and the frog. Its visible external surface is called a wall, or crust. Smooth and slightly ribbed, the wall is white or pigmented. It is comprised of several zones from front to back: the wall, toe, quarter and heel.

Why is hoof care essential?

The hooves play a central role in the horse’s movement. With each movement, with every stride, and in conjunction with the internal structures of the hoot, they actively help propel the horse as well as absorb shocks and pressures. In order to act as cushions, hoof elasticity is key.

The horn must be flexible enough and have sufficient moisture levels. It should not be too dry, or too wet, otherwise various problems will appear and will bother the horse. Several types of damage can be observed on hooves when they are not properly cared for: cracks, fissures, corns, dystrophia ungulae, thrush in the frog, etc.

How to care for your horse’s hooves?

Hooves can quickly deteriorate, quite quickly in fact. The horse’s living conditions, its activity, the climate or even horseshoeing can have an effect on their condition. As a result, their hooves should be visually inspected and regularly cared for. It is essential to clean out the hooves as well as provide the appropriate care, especially for horses living in stalls. Drying ointments containing Norway tar can be used in winter to protect the hoof from moisture, whereas moisturising ointments and hoof oils should be used in summer to prevent the horn from becoming too dry. These products are applied to clean, dry feet, once or several times per week depending on the condition of the hooves. If you have any questions, and/or if foot problems appear, ask a blacksmith for advice as to which treatments are the best ones.

Treating a horse's foot with ointment

On average, the hoof wall grows one centimetre per month from the area that is called the perioplic ring, very close to the coronet band. By helping to improve blood circulation in the foot, physical activity encourages this natural hoof renewal. Horse feed also does this as the combination of nutrients (minerals, proteins, vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids, trace elements, etc.) enables healthy hoof growth. If the horse has nutritional deficiencies, horn quality and growth may be affected. This is why, if the horn is not growing fast enough, which makes it more difficult for blacksmiths to do their job, a treatment with biotin is often recommended. Combining the needed micro-nutrients with the keratogenesis process, i.e. horn production, and biotin will help to strengthen and restructure the hooves and stimulate their growth. Administered as a food supplement, the treatment should be given over a period of several months. This is the case with Paskabiotin 2015, the biotin formulated by PaskaCheval.

In order to have healthy feet and good horn quality all year round, PaskaCheval supports owners and offers biotin and a full range of ointments and balms. Find them at your nearest distributor.

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Paskacheval is a range of plant-based feed supplements and external care products designed to enhance the performance and well-being of every horse.