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The Basics of Owning a Horse

The most important tip that I can give to any horse owner is as follows.

It is a privilege to own a horse and not a right and with that privilege comes responsibility. The main reason that we shoe our horse is to obtain better performance from them. As most horse owners are aware, if we work the horse without shoes on hard surfaces, this will ultimately cause the horse to go lame.

There are a number of rules that the horse owner should be aware of when looking after the needs of their horses:

  • Check to ensure the horse has been shod correctly. If you are unable to determine this, ask someone who does know.
  • Record the date that your horse was last shod, as the shoes will need to be removed again in approximately 5-6 weeks. At this time, the horse’s feet will need to be re-dressed and either a new set of shoes or the existing shoes will need to be re-set.

Unfortunately, 90% of unsoundness in horses comes from the horse being either shod poorly or the shoes being left on the horses foot for too long. If the shoes are left on too long and the walls of the horses feet are allowed to grow over the shoes, this applies all the pressure and shock to the horses sole which in turns causes CORNS, WHITE LINE TRAUMA, QUARTER CRACKS, COLLAPSED HEELS etc. When this happens, the horse transfers his weight further up the legs in order to compensate for the concussion and soreness in his feet. This in turn causes the horse to alter his action thus causing impairment to his rhythm and balance.

Although the soreness is not always visible, if you as the horse owner allow this to continue, you will certainly notice the soreness develop within the horse’s feet over a short period of time.

The main reason for following the above steps is simply to ensure that your horse stays sound and is therefore able to give you years of work and pleasure.

Article courtesy of O’Dwyers Horseshoe