5/11/2009

Spring shedding time

Well it is spring time, time for shedding. Not only do horses loose their winter coat in the spring, we also shed our frogs.
Horses shed their frogs twice a year, any more than that and you want to check for thrush or other hoof issues.
When a frog begins to shed, it is a flap of insensitive tissue that can be trimmed as if it was a flap of dry skin. Don't pull it off! Use pruning sheers like the Corona AG 5030 Grape Sheers above to remove the part that's lose. These sheers are wonderful because they are easy to sharpen, have a curved edge and blunt tip. They are also inexpensive tool for trimming frogs, cutting bale twine and as a general stable shear. They are easily found on-line or in garden centers.
Other tools for removing bits of lose frog include hoof knives, exacto knives (be VERY careful!), wire hardware brushes, hoof nippers, large scissor-type nail nippers or any similar tool.
Watch to make sure your horse does not develop thrush, which can happen easily in the damp spring weather. The other thing that happens once irrigating starts is the soft hoof/dry hoof cycle. Hooves dry out and get hard, sometimes cracking if left too long, when the ground is dry-when the pasture is being watered the hooves then soften up, which can cause "folding" in hooves left too long. It is very important to keep hooves properly trimmed during, especially during this time of rapid growth and more riding.
Good hoof care is important for the health and well-being of your horse. Start trimming your horses when they are babies, it is never too early to set their little hooves down the right path. Too many horses are lost because of poor hoof maintenance. They are set up to become navicular, to have under run heels, constricted heels and other problems. If the problems continue over the span of several years they can be unfixable and the horse will need to be let go. Harley Darling is an example of a fine horse whose poor hoof care history made his hooves unrehabbable, such a waste.
Life is so good! Oh and Jack told me to remember to say: Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR

4 comments:

One Red Horse said...

Our mom loves her Corona Shears. She does our hoofs herself and keeps a good bevel going from quarter to quarter - this helps to keep our hoofs from splitting and cracking. We are VERY happy she decided to keep us barefoot.

Red and Lyra

mommanator said...

OOOO that doesnt look like fun!

Powell River Books said...

My first horse hated to have her feet touched. It was always a challenge to get them clean, and the farrier always had to twitch her. Not fun to watch, and probably even less fun to experience. Whatever she remembered from her past regarding her feet just kept getting reinforced I am afraid. - Margy

Skitto and Peanut said...

wow very interesting information, thanks fur sharing this.

 

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