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How To Checking a Horse’s Feet

There is a well-known saying: "No foot, no horse" The vast majority of lameness problems originate in the feet (see p. 138), so anything that has a harmful effect on the feet is painful for the horse and reduces its ability to work. You need to check all four feet every day.
How To Checking a Horse’s Feet
How To Checking a Horse’s Feet

This includes picking them out, looking for injuries, and checking that any shoes fitted are not loose. The feet must be checked regularly by a farrier and trimmed if necessary, whether or not the shoes are worn out. If a shoe comes off, ask the farrier to come as soon as possible. Never work a horse with only three shoes; it is better to remove the shoe on the other side to keep that pair of feet level.

Neglected feet:

Signs of neglect On neglected feet, the hoof walls start to crack and break away at the bottom. The walls splay out, becoming concave. Some problems, such as laminitis or a sudden change in diet, result in horizontal ridges in the hoof wall.

Lifting a front foot:

1- Stand close to the horse’s shoulder, facing the tail. Place the hand nearest the horse on the animal’s
shoulder, and move it down toward the leg. This lets the horse know you are about to pick up its leg, so it will not be startled.
2- Reach around the back of the horse’s leg and then run your hand down the inside. Keep a light but firm pressure on the leg.
3- Press backward and upward on the back of the pastern to encourage the horse to lift its foot. If it
does not, grip the pastern and pull the foot up and back.
4- When the horse lifts its foot, support the leg by putting your hand around the hoof wall, with your palm against the inside wall. If you need to examine the foot or use a hoof pick, tilt the sole up.

Lifting a hind foot:

1- Stand close to the horse; that way, if it kicks, it will hurt less because the leg will have built up little momentum. Run your nearest hand down the horse’s hindquarters.
2- Bring your hand around to the front of the leg just below the stifle. Then run it down the inside of the lower leg, maintaining a light but firm pressure.
3- Take hold of the back of the fetlock. Squeeze it gently, and pull the joint upward and forward. This
should encourage the horse to lift its foot up off the ground.
4- Raise the foot so that it is well clear of the ground, but do not hold it up too high or you will unbalance the horse and cause it discomfort. Hold the foot steady by putting your other hand around the toe while you release your grip on the fetlock.
5- Support the leg by taking hold of the toe of the foot from the inside with your original hand. Let the foot rest in your palm. You cannot tilt the foot as much as a front foot.

Using a hoof pick:

Pick out the feet at least twice a day, and check the foot at the same time for any disorders. Choose a hoof pick that is not too sharp. Clean the grooves beside the frog first, then the sole of the foot. lways
work toward the toe to avoid damaging the frog or the horse’s leg, should the pick slip. Remove all mud and debris and any flaking horn.

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