5 Common Hoof Problems

In the same way that your feet support everything you do – and ache after a long day – so do a horse’s hooves. Some days, they even have to carry your heavy body around as well, absorbing the impact of rocky terrains and uneven ground. Using the same logic and reasoning, it would make sense that hooves would be prone to injury and disease. Unfortunately, your horse can’t exactly massage their own feet or tell you when there’s a problem. So, you need to be able to know what issues can arise, and what to do in the event that they do.

5 Common Hoof Problems

  1. Thrush: This infection is common and often affects the hoof’s frog. You can usually spot it in the grooves along the side of the frog as well as the centre. The easiest way to identify thrush is by its distinct smell as well as how it looks; it releases a black discharge and is accompanied by a strong and unpleasant odour. You’ll need to consult your vet if you suspect that your horse is suffering from thrush to develop a treatment and prevent the condition from returning.
  2. Quarter Crack: This is a vertical split that happens in the hoof’s quarter, usually around the widest part of the heel and hoof. If the crack is severe, it could even leave the horse unable to move or walk. The treatment method will depend on the severity of the crack, with minor cracks requiring improved maintenance and balance, while more extreme cases may need stabilisation. Speak to your vet if your horse has a crack in one of its hooves.
  3. Hoof Bruise: This is a bruise, and as with any other bruise, it occurs when the tissues within it are damaged, resulting in a haemorrhage in the tissue. It’s identifiable as a discoloured patch on the hoof wall or sole. The severity can range from feeling sensitive to leaving your horse immobile. The best form of treatment is rest and protecting the area from further harm.
  4. Hoof Abscess: This is an infection that occurs inside of the hoof, resulting in a sudden inability to walk. In some cases, this may come and go. Every abscess is unique, although the most common form of treatment is abscess drainage. Speak to your vet if your horse is suffering from an abscess to determine a treatment plan.
  5. White Line Disease: As the name implies, a white line will appear on the space between the hoof sole and wall, separating the layers which leads to structural issues and an inability to walk. Once again, treatment will depend on the severity to speak to your doctor as soon as the line appears. The sooner you intervene, the better.

Walk A Mile In Your Horse’s Shoes

Imagine being in a tremendous amount of pain and not being able to do a thing about it? This is every horse’s experience when it comes to injury and disease. It’s important to be observant when it comes to looking after your horse and take note of any behavioural changes. Prevention is better than cure, and the sooner you intervene, the better. Save taking a gamble like you’d enjoy at a real money casino, you’re horses feet are important!


About Doreen Cohen