Emergency Equine Hoof Care
Be Prepared for a Hoof Care Emergency
No matter what, every horse owner must be prepared for having to deal with emergency hoof care situations. You could be
miles away from a stable. To have your horse turn up lame, refuse to walk and clang along with a loose shoe, can be scary. Most
of the time, real hoof care emergencies happen without any warning, and need to be dealt with as soon as possible because any
possible injury could affect the future soundness of your horse.
One thing we highly recommend is that you keep an emergency hoof care supply kit handy. The kit should include:
- Brushes and hoof picks so you can clean up and examine the hoof
- Emergency trail boots in case the hoof needs protection
- A few basic farrier tools so that you can pull a shoe and trim the hoof if required
- Hoof testers
- Some bandages for pads and to hold bandages or poultices in place
- Ice boots and/or packs if there’s pain or inflammation
- Some sort of barrier to keep the dirt out
- Povidone-iodine and epsom salts
Ideally, you should practice emergencies with your horse - like making sure they'll enter a trailer! Learn a bit about recognizing
emergencies and the symptoms of a hoof emergency. Of course, keep key phone numbers handy - like your vet and your
So What Can Go Wrong?
Your horse could step on a nail or some sharp object. If it doesn’t remain in the foot, then clean it up and wrap it to keep the dirt out. If it does remain embedded, try to get a hold of your vet or farrier. If you do remove it, mark the exact spot, put on some antiseptic. Wrap it up to keep the dirt out.
If your horse throws a shoe while out raiding, or if it comes loose, pull off the dangling shoe and put a hoof boot on until you get back. Also, familiarize yourself with the most common hoof diseases, since they also can lead to an emergency situation if left unchecked.
If you notice sudden lameness, check for puncture wounds. Clean the bottom of the hoof - check for rocks, glass, nails, and for anything else that could have possibly done the damage. If there’s heat around the coronary band, it may indicate an abscess within the foot.
Broadly speaking, just about all but the smallest of hoof issues require the attention of a farrier or veterinarian. It's best to have it looked at right away. Waiting even a few days may lead to permanent lameness - and/or cost significantly more to correct!
Most horses don't live natural lives anymore. They live in pastures, paddocks, and stables, and because they don't get a lot of
exercise, they don’t get a chance to toughen their feet in their natural habitat.
In sum, daily inspection regular hoof cleaning - at minimum before and after every ride - but several times a week is best, regular trimming and shoeing are the bridges that gap the unnatural state that horses live in. Doing these things will prevent most hoof problems - and expenses.
We're always happy to teach our clients everything they need to know about hoof care and how to deal with emergencies!
What Our Clients Say
"We wouldn’t trust any other farrier with our horses. Kyle has worked really hard on helping us get our little girls roping horse as sound as possible! He’s very knowledgeable in all areas of hoof care. He genuinely cares about our horses. I also appreciate the fact that he goes the extra mile and invests in his business and takes time away from his family to attend clinics and seminars to gain more knowledge!"
Joe and Jamie Wolfe
"I want to say thank you to Kyle and Kristie. They have done a great job with our horses. They have given us some very good tips when we have issues. Very professional and nice. Would definitely recommend them to anyone who cares deeply about their horses."
"Very knowledgeable and kind. I was ignorant to horse hoof care before using foundation. They take care of my pasture princess with the same respect and professionalism they would a working horse. Kyle keeps me accountable with great advice and valuable information."
"There truly are no words. Mr. Kyle was professional from start to finish. He took the time to teach us about my mare's feet and for the first time in 2 years I can breathe knowing that we have the very best farrier. Thank you just isn't enough."
"In my opinion, I think they are the best of the best in the area. Kyle is always willing to listen to the client and the horse. He’s always going to conventions to continue his education. He has done an amazing job every time he comes! My gelding, Elvis loves Kyle so much!"