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picking & cleaning feet

This is a discussion on picking & cleaning feet within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        02-18-2013, 08:18 PM
    I learned to ride at a Morgan show barn. The stalls were consistently trashed, and the horses had to stay in them. Worst thing, I never even learned how to clean a horse's hooves. They had terrible feet, and were often lame.
    When the woman went to show at Nationals, her sister came to take care of the barn. She was shocked that I was never taught how to pick out hooves.
    I moved barns that same year, and bought a quarter horse. He had sat out in the pasture for years, and he had a very bad abscess in the front part of his left-hind leg from stepping on a rock. Nobody even noticed until he started limping horribly. The first month I owned him, we were just getting that abscess drained and healed (yes...buying him was a shot in the dark!!) My boy will NEVER have that again. It is so important.
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        02-18-2013, 08:55 PM

    Hi JW !! I am so sorry about your boy- he is so lucky to have you. Grace has had an abscess & after 3-4 days of soaking in hot water & epsom salt she recovered quickly- (I rested my feet on either side of her leg- propped up on the bucket - sat & read a book !!) I worry about the issues you brought up also...I am in the "Western Barn" not the "Show Barn" and the mucking doesn't happen as often as I feel it should. I do it when I'm there. I have started scooping myself & using a big plastic tub- I'll pick her stall out, drag the bucket to the edge of the row of stalls & I find my bucket returns to me empty. Hmmm. I have learned to say to myself "it's not my barn" & to try not to worry about the other horses as they are not my "own"...Had to learn that the hard way.
        02-18-2013, 09:07 PM
    I clean my horses feet daily, definitely prior to and after riding, especially a trail ride when they are on rocks and in mud. While feet are clean when we go out on a trail, when we come home there can be all kinds of things lodged in the hooves.

    Not only rocks and other sharp stuff get stuck up in there, but manure is not good either all stuck up in there. Manure and urine can eat away tissue and harbor bacteria.
        02-18-2013, 09:38 PM
    I find hoof picking rather entertaining...maybe I'm strange.

    My BO has various students come different days of the week to do barn chores (my days are Saturday/Sunday) and I don't think a single horse gets its hooves picked by anybody but me unless they're going to be ridden. Unfortunately I can't be there every day (one of the reasons I want to move him closer - possibly to the property where we're hopefully *fingers crossed* renting a barn apartment). I was giving him a good grooming one day and I was being a paranoid mom even though his hooves didn't smell. Don't know if it was good to do really, but after picking, brushing, and rinsing his feet I gave them all a good squirt of some thrush medication we had laying around the barn...it said "preventative" on the bottle, so I thought it couldn't really hurt.
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        02-18-2013, 11:42 PM
    When I use boots, I don't pick them after a ride for obvious reasons - otherwise I always check and clean if necessary. I check their feet daily whether I ride or not. If there is clean dirt in a hoof...I leave it. If there is "apples" in one, I clean it thoroughly.
        02-19-2013, 12:31 AM
    I actually only pick after a ride. Being barefoot and on hard/rocky pasture, our guys always have ridiculously clean feet. They can pick up a pebble or stone from riding the gravel roads.

    When I boarded in our infamous Manitoba Gumbo (knee-high clay-mud), I was a picking & cleaning fiend!
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        03-03-2013, 10:40 PM
    I have to pick my mare's hooves regularly because the mud in our area packs like no other and thrush is constantly a problem.
    At the very least I pick her hooves out after I ride.
        03-07-2013, 07:32 AM
    Originally Posted by pinkpony555    
    i forgot to mention I am a newbie on this site, but I have had Grace for 7 years. She is stall kept & my boarding barn is not as clean as I would like either...(but as you are a foot fanatic like me) I also use a diluted bleach spray ( 60/40 bleach & water) about 2-3x a week. I am in Florida with lots of crushed shell on the ranch property...thanks for the news and anyone have a comment about the bleach & the dilution amount ??
    Personally I wouldn't use bleach on my horse anywhere. For cleaning feet other than using a hoof pick and farrier's loop knife, I use a diluted solution of Apple Cider Vinegar. It's antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and will keep feet in good condition. I spray it on, use a scrubbing brush on the hoof wall and then wipe off the excess dirt with a cloth.

    I check hooves before and after every single ride and also once a week if she's not being ridden. My horse is kept in a paddock with access to a large dam so she's often got muddy feet which can and do hide stones, twigs etc. I try to ride on softer surfaces but most of the roads and trails are gravel so she often picks up a stone or two. She is barefoot and I don't put boots on her either.
        03-07-2013, 03:50 PM
    When my horse's hooves are full of mud, I leave it as it helps support the hoof structures.
        03-08-2013, 12:04 AM
    Originally Posted by pinkpony555    
    anyone have a comment about the bleach & the dilution amount ??
    I have used bleach on my horse's hooves before, but only on the bottom and only heavily diluted (about 25/75). It really helps when you have a stubborn case of thrush. Then again, so does No Thrush powder. I never had any problems using bleach, other than getting bleach spots on my favorite jacket!

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