Help your horse keep his shoes on!
A horse shoe isn’t forever - hooves grow, nails loosen, horses play. But if you have a horse that seems to be yanking his shoes, consider these factors:
Your horse’s overall health and hoof health. Your Veterinarian and Farrier can help you access these things. Brittle and dry hooves are prone to cracking, which may play a role.
Your horse’s Farrier schedule. Waiting too long between Farrier visits means your horse grows a lot, then is trimmed a lot, so he’s going to extremes between visits. A shorter time frame between visits means that your horse stays more comfortable and doesn’t hit those extremes.
How wet is your horse’s environment? Too wet or too dry can lead to the horse shoes coming off before they are due. Try to avoid letting your horse soak in mud or water or the opposite.
Speaking of mud, it won’t actually yank off a shoe, but it will make the front feet stick, which makes the hind feet more likely to catch the front and remove the shoe.
What’s the fly situation like? If your horse spends a lot of time stomping, his shoes will be more likely to come off. Use fly boots in combination with other fly control methods.
How balanced and sound is your horse? The unbalanced horse has the same problem as the horse in mud, his hind feet might be faster than his front. Here, a trainer and a Veterinarian can help you.
Does your horse have a vice? Kickers and weavers put undue strain on their legs and hooves and shoes. Address the reasons for the vice and perhaps the shoe yanking will abate!
As you are uncovering the reasons for your horse’s shoe pulling shenanigans, be sure to use bell boots for prevention, and a hoof bandage if the shoe is pulled.
How Do Epsom Salts Work?
Epsom salts, available at most tack shops, feed stores, and pharmacies, is magnesium sulfate. It’s chunkier than regular salt, and dissolves easily in water. In the horse world, epsom salts are commonly used for helping to treat a hoof abscess. When epsom salts get wet, the absorb moisture, which is the “drawing out” part of treating an abscess.
Ichthammol is a dark and sticky black salve that draws out infections. It’s made of a base ingredient, like beeswax or paraffin, mixed with sulfur rich shale. The shale starts as sedimentary rock, and through a series of steps becomes an oil of which ichthammol is made.
Horse Hoof Anatomy - The Frog
When you look at the horse’s hoof in great detail, there’s a lot more going on than just the sole, wall, and what’s inside. The frog has some critical functions in the hoof as well as the rest of the horse.
The frog is the spongy triangular shaped tissue on the hoof bottom. The apex, or pointy part, points to the front of the hoof. The base is wider and extends out the back of the hoof. The hoof’s center of gravity is at the approximate apex of the frog.