To clean out hooves or not??? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 36 Old 03-03-2014, 06:32 AM
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I am by no means an expert in this field but the reason I clean the horses feet before I ride is to inspect them. YOU cannot see what is hidden below the dirt, manure and such, so you have to pick. I also do it after I ride. There usually isn't any thing there, but sometimes a small rock will get caught from the gravel drive and I am sure the horse is happy that I have taken it out.

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post #12 of 36 Old 03-03-2014, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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My thought for cleaning them frequently is....even though the horse re-packs them soon after, that at least I got a little bit of air in there to kill bad bugs? Hmmmm.....I guess I'm re-thinking this practice.
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post #13 of 36 Old 03-03-2014, 08:43 AM
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I clean mine before and after I ride and every couple days.
I don't worry about thrush so much as I do about rocks getting compressed into the white line and sole.

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post #14 of 36 Old 03-03-2014, 09:01 AM
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The first time I had heard of leaving it in, I did. I happened to be try cantering that day, and lo and behold, the pack flung itself out, smacking the wall loud enough to make me jump. Horse jumped too, but 39 year old just jumped without breaking stride. So walk trot it seems to be fine, but cantering could send clumps flying. Of course, that might not cause a problem outdoors.
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post #15 of 36 Old 03-03-2014, 09:08 AM
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I find that the only time my horses feet do get 'packed' is when its muddy and surely that's when the highest risk of thrush must be - so I always clean them out. In the dry weather there's never anything in their feet
I would also worry about tiny sharp bits of stone getting forced in to the sole and causing abscesses if the feet were packed solid - because wet weather does tend to soften the foot and make them more vulnerable to that sort of thing happening
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post #16 of 36 Old 03-03-2014, 09:13 AM
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I check my horse's feet before every ride. Usually in the summer, there is nothing in their feet. In the winter, I pick out the ice. In the muddy spring, I pick out the manure and mud.

I, personally, have never heard of it being "good" to leave all that in there.
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post #17 of 36 Old 03-03-2014, 09:28 AM
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Here is another element to the question... what about pasture kept horses in the snow... do you pick out the high chunks of snow? Our 2 get clumps over an inch high in their hooves.. of course, the times I pick them, they get them right back, so I guess it is like everything else! Though we do have lots of rocks, so I try to pick a couple times per week, to be sure there isn't a rock hiding under the snow..
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post #18 of 36 Old 03-03-2014, 09:36 AM
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I've always been a "pick everyday" kind of person (though, I don't have any good rationale for it, just what I was taught as a kid). However, I remember reading a thread like this a couple of years ago, and wondered if my mare would ride any differently if I backed off on picking and only did it every couple of days.

Wouldn't you know it, the first time I tried leaving her feet without picking for a couple of days, she moved out terribly on our first ride. And when I picked her feet afterwards, she had a giant, sharp rock wedged deep in her foot- could have been there a couple of days, who knows. Poor thing. I know the odds of that happening again are probably highly unlikely, but it was enough to put me back on the "pick everyday" team.
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post #19 of 36 Old 03-03-2014, 09:42 AM
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I live in southern Arizona. Around here, this photo of Mia is pretty normal:



I clean them if I see anything significant, and mostly to check for rocks before and after a ride. I only clean them for rides.

However, after our rare rains, cleaning them out will sometimes reveal a stink that I'm sure is not good. Since it is normally dry, I just clean them, then ride them somewhere with sand. By the next day, they are fine. My assumption is that living in a wetter place would result in a lot more stinking feet. I don't plan to move & find out, however!
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post #20 of 36 Old 03-03-2014, 09:52 AM
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I was always taught that when it was wet yoh left the mud in the hoof. In fact the only time I clean their feet out is before a ride and check them after I'm done. During the summer when it's dry we make mud zones around the water traughs so they have to get stuff in their feet. I've never had a case of thrush or any ailment from this practice. It does depend on the individual thoufh! :)
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