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Hoof Trimming

Hoof trimming should be carried out on a regular basis to help prevent overgrown walls. If the walls of the hoof are overgrown, it makes them more prone to chip or break off unevenly, resulting in cracks that can predispose your horse to lameness as the foot becomes unbalanced.

How often should hooves be trimmed?

Every horse is different, but regular trimming around every 6 weeks is recommended for most  horses. The time between trimmings will vary depending on the individual horse and how quickly the wall grows.

The growth rate can vary by many factors, including:

  • season (the wall tends to grow slower during winter or in dry weather)
  • the type and frequency of work the horse is doing
  • where the horse is kept (stall vs. pasture)
  • feed quantity and quality
  • Inflammation or infection within the foot, as well as the horse's general health, can also affect the rate and quality of hoof growth.

A farrier can help    

Most horse owners use a trained farrier to carry out hoof trimming because it is important to strike the right balance and avoid excessive trimming. The goals of hoof trimming are to return the foot to its normal length and shape, and to ensure that the bottom of the foot is level, so that the frog and the hoof wall are the main weight-bearing surfaces.

To do this, your farrier will:

  • remove dead, flaky material from the sole
  • remove any loose "tags" of frog material
  • rasp with a file to remove any rough edges and to level the foot