We are at the time of year when the ground is wet and can get very muddy, leading to problems like mud fever, infections in the frog and hoof wall and so forth. Like our own feet, your horse’s feet need to be regularly checked and looked after to keep them sound and healthy.
Firstly before any ride out, and after untacking, always check and pick out the feet removing any small stones or objects lodged in the feet.
Each time you clean your horse’s feet take the time to carefully scrape out the crevasse of the frog and clean the sole removing any manure and packed dirt. In addition to the hoof pick, a dedicated stiff brush is useful for this task. This also gives you the opportunity to check his shoes and examine the health of the frog, which when healthy, has roughly the texture and firmness of a new rubber eraser. At the same time check the temperature of the feet, healthy feet should feel slightly warm.
To help keep the feet healthy especially at this time of year, a daily application of Skin Deep to the sole, frog, hoof wall and the coronet band, provides a breathable barrier against the wet and mud, and also has healing properties.
Whether your horse is shod or barefoot, regular examination and trimming of the feet by a farrier is necessary (like the need to trim your own toe nails regularly!)
In cases where they may be an infection or outbreak of mud fever, Black Tac is very useful and works quickly. However, do consult your vet or equine professional if you are concerned. For more information on Skin Deep and Black Tac visit finefettlefeed.com