05: Preventative Care for Hoof Health

Action Point:  Arrange a regular schedule with a trusted farrier and take time to become familiar with the shape and condition of the hooves of each horse to be able to actively monitor for changes or signs of trouble.

Rationale: As the saying goes “no hoof, no horse”! Discussing any and all background knowledge and previous hoof maladies a horse has experienced with your farrier, along with any current concerns, is key to the development of a sound and effective preventative care plan for the horse. Knowledge of hoof anatomy and signs of hoof stress are invaluable tools in the early detection of problems, facilitating prompt and effective treatment.

05: Hoof Specific Additions to First Aid Kit

Action Point: Add clean hoof boots, a hoof knife, and epsom salts to the first-aid kit in case of a hoof puncture or abscess.

Rationale: When a hoof puncture is discovered the sole of the foot should be carefully cleaned and covered with a protective bandage or clean boot to prevent further contamination. If the object that punctured the hoof is protruding past the bottom of the foot it is advisable to gently remove the object and mark the entry point with a hoof knife or marker prior to covering the foot. Doing so will prevent the object from being impacted further by the horse stepping on it, potentially causing more harm. If an abscess is suspected, soaking the hoof in warm water and epsom salts will help drain the infection. 

If the puncture is in the middle to rear region of the frog, immediate veterinary attention is necessary due to the high risk of penetration of a synovial structure (coffin joint, navicular bursa, deep digital flexor tendon sheath) which could be life-threatening. 

Penetrating Injuries in Horse Hooves

Penetrating injuries of the foot

Penetrating Nail or Other Object in Sole, Hoof or Frog

What Should I Do If My Horse Punctures a Hoof?