one side of the horse - Ronald Searle

Further Hoof Care

Following up on last week’s post about Simple Hoof Care, this week a short film on further hoof care. The method shown here is still relatively simple but this time we look at the use of conventional trimming tools and techniques.

The video lasts just over six minutes. 

bottom of hoof

Simple Hoof Care

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which is causing COVID-19 casualties around the world, is disrupting all walks of life and many activities we took for granted have ground to a halt. Not least of these is the horse world and all associated with it. Some countries have put severe restrictions upon leaving the house/property. Other countries have banned horse-riding altogether –even in private– since an accident would add yet another problem to the already overburdened medical services.

Clearly, whatever the local situation, horses are getting less exercise but their hoofs are still growing. And the farriers and hoof care specialists are hanging up their tools for the duration with many equestrian centres closing, or being obliged to close, their doors and ‘unnecessary’ work being suspended.
For many owners, this is a hand in hair situation – what to do now.

For this reason, we have compiled a short video showing how you can maintain your horses hoofs in an acceptable condition until your hoof care specialist is back out and about…

Lucky Luke

Prior knowledge of hoof care is not a pre-requisite and you will not damage your horse’s feet nor cripple him. You will need access to some basic equipment but it is advisable to obtain a proper farriers’ hoof rasp. These cost between €30 and €60 (£25 & £50) and can be bought at any online farriers suppliers (check Google for your nearest stockist). When buying a rasp, make sure it is a 14 inch double-edged rasp (one side will be rough, the other fine). Smaller models and multi-faced models are not easy to use because they do not allow a flowing motion; larger models are unwieldy. Do not buy a Riders Rasp™; this is of little use other than to cosmetically pretty-up the edge of the hoof and certainly has no place is proper hoof care.

4-edge hoof rasp

The multi-faced rasp, far left, and the Raid Riders Rasp, left.
Two tools of very limited used and best avoided.

So, here is the video. It is only five minutes long (±675mb). We hope it will be informative and help you out in these trying times. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to mail us at info@sabots-libres.eu

Stay safe.

Coronavirus and the Horse

For many of us, it is a trying time and, with more and more countries implementing a lock-down, a complicated one. Equestrian centres are closed and, in many cases, even owners are being turned away from visiting their horses. A time to reflect on the welfare of the incarcerated horse…

Boxed Horses Overview

A great many owners consider keeping their horses stabled —incarcerated— as being normal; but now it is the owners themselves that are incarcerated in their own homes. However, they are lucky; they still have some space to move in, unlike the horse, cramped up in what amounts to a telephone box. The owners have the luxury of a separate toilet, unlike the horse, standing —involuntarily— in his own excrement for much of the time. The owners can still eat when they want —and feel the need— to; the horse, with a digestive system adapted to much more frequent replenishment, 12 to 16 ‘meals’ in every 24 hours, is restricted to just two meals a day – and then food for the most part completely unsuitable for his digestive system.

Clearly there is little that can be done at the moment for those horses suffering such incarceration; hopefully, when this period of crisis is passed, owners will reflect on the misery they inflict on their horses simply through their ignorance. Owners in general consider that they are doing the best for their animals but all too often, their best is little better than a purgatory since the owners perceptions are based upon human needs and desires and not on those of their animals.

Remember that if you are under lock-down and your horses are not being tended to by an equestrian centre or similar, you are still responsible for their welfare. That means you have derogation to tend to your animals’ welfare provided you respect all other regulations in force. Horses (and other domestic animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits, rodents etc.) are not vectors for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

This article was also published in The Equine Independent on 23 March 2020