Hints & Tips Newsletter - April 2010

Hello my fellow horsey people! Well it looks like summer has finally arrived…..this week anyway!

My first contribution is appropriately about climate, dry feet and what this leads to. So what’s the impact of this great weather and all the sun and heat? Well take a look around and look how dry and hard the ground is. This is the same ground that was wet, muddy and horrible only a few weeks ago. Unfortunately this has a negative effect on the hooves of your ponies. Just like the ground, their hooves have dramatically reduced in moisture and this in turn makes their feet very, very dry, very rapidly. The constant concussion of walking, trotting and galloping with dry hooves on dry ground can lead to the feet cracking and breaking apart.

As good a farrier I am, owners themselves have a lot of responsibility to help their pony's feet recover and maintain good horn throughout the summer. As my clients will know, I believe that good foot growth, a tight shoeing schedule (max 6 weeks) and moisturiser and nutrition are important for your horse or pony’s health and comfort.There are many supplements to help increase horn growth, however the one I always recommend and have been impressed by is NAP PRO FEET. This will help increase the speed of growth, which in turn lets the farrier cut away as much cracked horn as possible at each shoeing to leave healthy horn.

The moisturiser I would recommend is KERATEX HOOF MOISTURISER (not hardener!). This liquid promotes moisturisation and gives more elasticity back into the hoof wall (there is a lot of movement in the hoof walls). I’m no scientist and these recommendations are based solely on my own experience, so I can’t guarantee they’ll work on every horse or pony. However I am lucky enough to have a girlfriend who runs a tack shop and believe me, we’ve tested every product possible. In my own experience, these products have consistently worked best.

These are just a few of my ideas for helping your horse in this weather change we are currently experiencing. For more information, see the link below to a piece of coursework I did within my training regarding cracks – I hope it is of interest.

Please do email me with any topics or advise you would like to see featured.

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