Essential Hoof Care: The foundation of a sound horse.

Dr Jim Rawlinson BVMS MBA MRCVS

The hoof is essential for a sound horse, so regular care should form a key part of your horse’s management routine.

This time of year can be challenging as moisture is important for healthy hooves but horn can be prone to drying out. This situation can be made worse by some topical hoof products. A good hoof oil can nourish and protect the hooves and also provide a shine to finish off a smart turnout. But some ingredients, for example alcohol, can dry the hoof out making it more prone to cracks and damage. Choosing a product that is alcohol-free allows hooves to continue to absorb moisture to retain their strength and flexibility.

Even a healthy hoof can still have problems. Foot hygiene is crucial all year round. Ensuring hoofs are regularly picked out, cleaned and soles are dried will help prevent infections such as thrush. Traditional products like Stockholm Tar can help keep the frog and sole healthy but are not a substitute for good hygiene and should only be used after thorough cleaning and drying.

Injuries to the wall and sole can occur at any time, even to healthy hooves. Because the hoof wall protects so many delicate and important structures, any injury should be treated with care and urgency. Any suspected punctures should be discussed with a vet, as some might need professional treatment. Any cracks or damage should be cleaned and protected against infection.

So remember, the health of your horse’s hooves is in your hands. Regular hygiene and care help keep them in top condition and also means you spot issues early so can tackle them effectively.

Nettex has a range of quality products that support healthy hooves, helping to protect against damage and to limit the risk of infection.

Nettex Traditional Hoof Oil is alcohol free and contains natural ingredients to support hoof hygiene and help maintain healthy, conditioned hooves whilst providing an attractive shine whether in the show ring or for everyday use.

Nettex Hoof Tar is a highly effective version of Stockholm Tar, but giving less mess and less waste. It forms a waterproof barrier to protect the sole of the hoof and has cleansing properties to help maintain a healthy sole and frog.

Nettex Frog Health, with powerful cleansing agents and is specifically designed to help dry out any discharge from the frog that can result from long periods standing in stables or wet fields.

Nettex Hoof Master with Violet and Nettex Hoof Puncture Plus are ideal for your horse’s first aid kit.

More information on the Nettex Hoof Care Range along with expert advice can be found here

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