Spring is a beautiful time of year. The first crocuses of the year are poking their bright green heads out of the ground. The sounds of robins fill the air and everything begins to turn lush again after a long, dreary winter. Unfortunately, when it comes to horse hoof care, spring isn’t all good things. Having the right hoof care supplies on hand and following these five spring hoof care tips can make this season even more enjoyable for both you and your horse.
Win the Battle Against Thrush
Muddy conditions and warm temperatures create the perfect conditions for thrush and other bacterial infections. Thrush is an insidious hoof infection that starts around your horse’s frog. Bacteria will find its way into the folds around your horse’s frog and start to eat away at the healthy tissue.
Thrush is notoriously smelly. If you pick up your horse’s hoof and get a whiff of something rotting, then you might be dealing with thrush. It almost smells like a miniature compost heap. You may also notice an odd black goo-like substance as well. In some horse’s hooves, it may almost seem like powder. If you see this, you are definitely dealing with a thrush infection.
While thrush is so common that many equestrians think of it as “no big deal,” it can actually make your horse go lame. As the thrush eats away at the frog, it can spread very deep into the hoof and impact crucial internal structures. Quick and decisive action is essential to keep it from spreading.
It’s a great idea to always have hoof care supplies, like Life Data Hoof Clay, on hand, in case of infection. This pliable, antimicrobial clay packs easily into areas around the frog, as well as into hoof defects and old nail holes. Designed to remain in place, it provides long-acting protection against a wide spectrum of bacterial and fungal infections, including thrush.
April Showers Bring May Flowers and… Hoof Problems
You’ve probably heard the phrase “April showers bring May flowers.” For equestrians, April showers also bring mud. Muddy paddocks and pastures aren’t just a bain that’s known for sucking off muck boots, dirtying horses, and wreaking havoc on spring grass growth. Rain and wet conditions can actually oversaturate hooves.
What many equestrians don’t realize is that our horse’s hooves actually expand and contract in wet and dry conditions. The wetter the environment, the more the hooves expand. But our horse’s hooves can only absorb so much moisture without it having a negative impact.
Rain and wet conditions lead to softer hooves and unbalanced hoof growth. The rain-soaked ground doesn’t provide as much abrasion, so your horse’s hooves aren’t naturally worn away as quickly as they would be in dry conditions. This can cause your horse’s hooves to become unbalanced. Be prepared to increase the frequency of farrier visits each spring. Working closely with your farrier is an important part of horse hoof care and will help keep your horse sound every spring.
The increased moisture can also cause your horse’s frog to slough off. While this is a completely normal process, it can lead to tender feet. Consider adding Lincoln Eucalyptus Hoof and Sole Dressing to your stockpile of hoof care supplies. This antifungal, moisture-regulating hoof ointment protects against brittleness & cracking, as well as saturation & flaring dependent upon the conditions.
Protect Your Horse on Trail Rides
Warmer weather means it’s time to get out and ride! Few things in life beat an enjoyable spring trail ride on a good horse and in perfect weather. But if your horse is barefoot, you may be tempted to avoid gravel roads and rocky trails. This is a smart way to avoid stone bruises and causing tenderness in your horse’s feet, but it can feel disappointing and limiting to watch your friends ride off down the road while you’re stuck at home.
Don’t get left behind. With Cavallo Trek Hoof Boots, you can go anywhere. Built-in sole relief and an inside rim for sole, frog and bars relief protect your horse’s hooves no matter what trail you ride on. Wide velcro closures ensure that your boot will not fall off of your horse's foot, even when you’re riding through mud, water, and rocky footing.
Adding a set of hoof boots to your stock of hoof care supplies is still a good idea, even if your horse is shod. Nothing is worse than getting halfway through a trail ride only to find out your horse has lost a shoe. Having at least one hoof boot on hand during a trail ride will ensure that you can ride safely home in case of a lost shoe.
Get Ready for Shows with Preventative Horse Hoof Care
Spring means the start of show season. If you’re ready to get out there and win at your next rodeo, the last thing you want is for your horse’s feet to hold you back. Sore, tender soles, stone bruises, thrush infections, and abscesses are all common spring horse hoof care conditions that can prevent you from heading to your next horse show or rodeo. Luckily, good preventative hoof care can keep your horse sound all spring long.
Picking out your horse’s feet on a daily basis, regular farrier visits, and using preventative horse hoof care supplies will all help to keep your horse sound and comfortable all spring long. Get in the habit of using a preventative hoof care product after picking out your horse’s hooves. Use something that is effective, but gentle enough for daily use.
Try adding Hooflex Natural Dressing & Conditioner to your horse hoof care supplies. This ointment comes with a convenient applicator brush and is made with herbal ingredients such as tea tree oil, arnica, comfrey, and avocado oil. Combined, these all-natural ingredients support shiny, healthy hooves and maintain the hoof’s moisture balance.
Stock Up on Horse Hoof Care Supplies
You don’t want to be stuck in an emergency without the supplies you need to take care of your horse’s hooves. Having preventative and treatment products on hand will ensure that you’re ready for anything. You should also have a set of hoof boots on hand to help you treat abscesses, protect feet from stone bruises, and replace a lost horse shoe.
Here’s our list of essential products you should have on hand this spring:
- Hoof Pick
- Lincoln Eucalyptus Hoof & Sole Dressing
- Life Data Hoof Clay
- EquiFit Hoof Savers
- Magic Cushion Hoof Packing
- Hooflex Natural Dressing
- Cavallo Trek Hoof Boots
Get everything you need to keep your horse’s hooves healthy this spring with our extensive collection of hoof care supplies. Shop our selection of horse hoof care products today!