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Why Do We Care For Ponies Feet?

By March 24, 2021April 1st, 2022No Comments

Why Do We Care For Ponies Feet?

Ponies and horse hooves (feet) keep growing just like your fingernails. You would think that walking around on them would keep them trimmed back, but that is not always the case. It can cause cracks and chips in the hoof. Regular trims from the farrier are the best prevention and result in good conditioned feet.

horse looking over a fence

What are horse and ponies feet made of?

The hoof itself is made up of the same stuff as your fingernail, called keratin. The protein, keratin, is a major component of hooves and hair. Keratin is made up of amino acids. Vital to the development of connective tissue, biotin plays an important role in the health of your horse’s muscles, skin, hair, and hooves.

Do Ponies Feet Keep Growing?

The hooves grow continuously and when shod the hoof cannot wear down as it can (in the correct conditions) with an unshod pony. Even horses in hard work can be unshod but it is still the most popular way to protect the horse’s feet.

Pony with overgrown feet

IMAGE SOURCE redwings.org.uk

What Happens If The Feet Are Not Trimmed?

Not looking after the feet of horses and ponies is considered neglecting the welfare of the animal. The old saying “No Hoof means No Horse” is a fact.

Damaged, weak or overgrown hooves can mean your horse will probably go lame, and you’ll have no horse to ride or drive. This is as true now as it ever was, and why good hoof care is essential. Without healthy hooves, your horse won’t be very useful or happy

Who trims overgrown horses hooves?

kirk Dexter hot shoeing a horseA hose shoe being forgedFarrier Kirk Dexter filing horse foot

Who are Farriers?

Farriery, or the shoeing of horses and similar animals, is an ancient craft, believed to have been practiced first in the Roman Empire. A farrier is a skilled craftsperson with a sound knowledge of both theory and practice of the craft, capable of shoeing all types of equine feet,

The Farrier will pick up the hoof and use a metal rasp to file down the outer wall of the hoof to keep them neat. Foot trims for ponies can be every couple of months. A set of shoes costs around £85 is every six weeks.

horses foot and frog with shoe on

Why Do We Put Shoes On Horses?

We put shoes on working horses to help aid the durability of the hoof. The shoe prevents cracks and splits in their feet. Balanced trims by a good farrier and good nutrition are the most important factors of good hoof health.

If the horse must travel over rough surfaces such as modern roads, gravel tracks, uneven hard ground it is important to put shoes on their feet. Fortunately, the ponies at Farmer Palmers do not work hard for a living and only need regular foot and frog trims. (See the long point in the center of the foot).

Do Horse Shoes hurt when being put on feet?

Definitely not if the foot is looked after by a professional farrier. Because horseshoes are attached directly to the hoof some people may people that putting them on and removing hurt.

It is a pain-free process as the tough parts of the foot don’t contain any nerve endings. Similar to our fingernails when they become long.

 

Horses hoof with shoe on

How Long Do You Leave Shoes On Their Feet

Six Weeks because the feet keep growing, just like children, and after 6 weeks the shoes are either worn down or do not fit properly

 

 

Why Do We Care For Ponies Feet? written by Sandra Palmer 25.3.21

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