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picking & cleaning feet
I am a newbie and have taught myself to clean my barefoot mare's feet before and after our ride. Everyone in my barn picks out their horses feet before they ride-never after.I did it once after a ride, and found pebbles/shells/gunk in her feet which would have stayed there till we rode again in a few days. But in those few days, she may go lame. Just wanted to share- because I love her big feet !!
Agreed, it is SO important to pick feet and I see people who don't do it at all! I'm sure your mare really appreciates being put back with clean hooves, too!
I just started boarding my horse and the ground isn't quite as nice and dry as my old stalls. Ive started to get fairly anal about hooves. I find myself picking them before rides, after rides, during bath time, before and after turning out, and whenever I clean stalls.
I'm glad you do that! I feel like a lot of people don't understand how important it is to clean hooves well and often. At my old barn, she always had HUGE stones in her hooves, because their pastures were full of them. Imagine having to walk around with rocks in your shoes for a couple of days. I couldn't stand seeing some people NEVER clean their horses feet. I know people who's horses feet only get cleaned every six weeks when the farrier comes out.
Don't feel weird for cleaning them before and after. I'm the same way if not worse. I always carry a hoofpick in my back pocket in case we walk somewhere muddy and we'll be walking across gravel afterwards. It doesn't hurt to care too much. C:
Interestingly enough there is a current debate on the need for such frequent cleaning of the barefoot pasture living horse.
Everyone agrees that the shod, or stall kept horse needs frequent cleaning but other wise maybe not.
You need to clean both before and after just as you are doing. And barefoot pasture horses also need cleaning frequently, as they too can pick up something in their hooves.
Just be careful whenever you're cleaning feet! About 3 years ago, one of my mares had thrush, so I was cleaning her feet twice a day. Well, she didn't like it, and dropped her back foot on top of mine. I was wearing heavy duty boots, but my foot swelled to the size of softball. Long story short it was incredibly painful, so be careful with feet!
It is best to do it before and after. You can get away with not cleaning after if you don't ride where there are stones, twigs, or other objects. We just rode yesterday in snow and didn't clean after. In the summer when we ride down the gravel road, we do clean after too.
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We pasture our horses, every time we clean their hooves before anything and after everything. Other than that they actually don't need it. So sometimes it just depends on the horse, the pasture, etc.
big "ole feet"
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 ??
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