Friday, February 21, 2014

The Importance of Hoof Care in Foals

In addition to training and teaching I also am a not for hire barefoot trimmer and yesterday I once again trimmed the 10 month old Mozzie Man.

His first trim was at a month old and he has been trimmed on as needed about every 2 months.

Hoof care is extremely important in foals.

Consider the Kayan people who from a very early age place brass rings around the necks of their women to elongate them.

What begins here.

Ends here.  

The same thing happens with foals although maybe not as extreme.  

Toed in, toed out, club foot, etc all of these conformational faults are exacerbated and amplified when a foal's hooves are not properly maintained from a early age.  

We have to trim adult horses' hooves because they loiter in little paddocks or meander around a few acres instead of traveling 20-40 miles a day in search of forage and our foals are no different.  

It is also important to note that a lame (not bearing weight or traveling abnormally) foal is something that must be addressed immediately.  Since foals grow so quickly a few weeks of untreated lameness can result in life long hoof and limb issues that would not have occurred naturally.  

And if the above were not enough to make you want to keep a close eye on your hooves.  I can speak from experience that it is 1000% times easier to train a 300 lb foal to stand (nicely) to be trimmed than it is to teach a 700, 800, or 1000 lb horse.  

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