Cleaning hooves, overdoing it? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 30 Old 05-09-2013, 06:56 AM
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I usually just pick my horse's hooves out anytime I'm handling them for riding or training. Their days off from work their hooves usually don't get picked out. But picking out daily should be fine.

I would think rinsing them off with the hose daily would be fine as well - as long as they get put someplace dry afterwards so their hooves have a chance to dry out. This is not needed by any means and you could easily stop this all together if you wanted. I only rinse hooves off if they are super muddy and they are going to get a trim.

I think I would stop with the soap and water though. Soap tends to pull out oils and could potentially dry the hoof of natural oils and lead to cracking.

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post #12 of 30 Old 05-09-2013, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
^^Bowker maybe? I know he advocates leaving it there. Many horses over here(including mine) live in places with dams or streams as their water source & I've never found a problem with it. I don't tend to pick my horse's hooves out unless I'm about to trim them, or booting for a ride I usually do. I do think it depends on the environment, state of hooves, environmental bugs, etc as to whether/how much you can afford to ignore it - eg. if the horse was in a gluppety stable yard, manure, etc, I would be picking them daily & restricting this environment if/as much as poss.
Lots of good advice; this ^^^^ sums it all up nicely

Except for my recovering foundered horse, my other three might get their hooves picked once or twice between 4-week trims

Their hooves and frogs are as healthy as they can be. Proper diet and a correct trim for each horse is instrumental.

My horses are on 22 acres of pasture and come in to dry stalls every night.

My horses' hooves stay healthy in spite of me, not because of me. Except for the recovering foundered horse. I look at his hooves every day and file them, as needed, in-between the formal-4-week visits
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post #13 of 30 Old 05-09-2013, 09:34 AM
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I think picking out your horses hooves daily is a good thing. I might not get out to my horses every day, but their feet get picked out every time I do.

I think of it as: If there was a rock wedged in there and I went for a ride and didn't check their feet first, how would *I* like to walk around with a rock in my shoe?

Washing every day? That kinds sounds like overkill to me. Especially the soap once a week, is too much. Soap removes oils that are necessary to hoof (and hair coat) health. Sure, it's fine to do a bath once in a while, but I wouldn't do it once a week.

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post #14 of 30 Old 05-09-2013, 11:31 AM
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I buy into "leave it in there". The argument to leave clean dirt in makes structural sense to me. I live in a dry environment, and probably wouldn't leave it in if it were buggy bog or something. I check each day, if it is pooh...I clean, if it is fine moist dirt, I am quite happy to leave it.

Like loosie, I have had my horses in wet environments where their water source was creeks, which they drank from them and crossed daily and walked on moist pasture - and there hooves would get packed w grass/clay mix. No problems w their hooves, ever. They were softer, of course, which was appropriate for their environment. When put in a dry rocky climate they quickly adapt and become rock hard. However, if you want to wash them (an effort that I don't see as necessary at all), I would think it would affect the hoof health no differently than if they walked through a creek....but I would lose the soap.
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post #15 of 30 Old 05-09-2013, 12:07 PM
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If the mud isn't turnout that has become "manure tea," then I wouldn't worry about it. Your horse needs to be to stand in a clean, dry place, sometime every day. If you can stall them at night, or you have a dry shelter, this will suffice. Hosing the hoof down daily doesn't allow it to dry out. Instead, it gives your horse "dishpan hands," so to speak.
I don't pick out my horse's hooves every day. In fact, I have to make time to do so, but my farrier always gives me a good score on their hoof condition. During the winter they are all stalled at night for about 10-12 hours. During the Spring, Summer and Fall, they just have access to their shelter.

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post #16 of 30 Old 05-09-2013, 12:21 PM
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I pick ours out every weekend when I check to see who needs to be trimmed that day (if anyone).
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post #17 of 30 Old 05-09-2013, 01:37 PM
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I pick out feet about twice a week we ride every day most of the dirt comes out on its own.
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post #18 of 30 Old 05-09-2013, 08:33 PM
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I should have added that I can't ride anymore. When I did ride, the horse wearing the bridle always got his hooves checked before and after every ride

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post #19 of 30 Old 05-09-2013, 08:48 PM
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When horses are on pasture the hooves may pack with mud but sooner or later it drops out on it's own. As it dries a little it's interesting to study as it's a perfect duplicate of the walls, sole and frog.
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post #20 of 30 Old 05-10-2013, 09:52 AM
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My horse finally got over the thrush, and she is in a very dry paddock with access to dry shelter in case of rain. I pick her feet out before and after every ride (we have gravel walkways) and that's about it. If I don't ride that day I don't pick them out. I did notice that since her getting a great trim about a week ago, her frogs have slowly started to look normal. She's still sensitive as all h*ll, but I'm ordering some easyboots instead of getting shoes.

I did used to wash her feet, and the above poster is right: is did cause her feet to become soft.
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