You should have a comprehensive understanding of how your horse’s hooves work before you can ensure they are kept healthy. Also, having your horse’s hooves seen to every four to six weeks is a small price to pay to avoid problems developing. The importance of healthy hooves can therefore not be underestimated.

Some tips: High quality hay and lucerne are not only good for the horse’s digestive system, but help to ensure healthy hooves. You should also evaluate your paddocks from time to time. If they are too moist or too dry, include water baths or oils in your daily hoof care routine. If the climate is dry, allow the water trough to overflow. This helps to keep the hooves moist. You can also blend seaweed and rose hip and feed this to your horse. Rose hip is very high in biotin and helps to ensure good quality hooves. It also contains vitamins C, E, K and nicotinamade, and makes a good tonic for an ill horse or one recovering from illness. Horses suffering from thrush due to a cracked heel also respond well after being fed dry rose hip. Cold pressed rose hip oil is a remarkable hoof dressing. It gives the hoof suppleness, preventing excessive chips and cracks. Another effective natural substance is kelp powder. It is highly palatable and rich in minerals such as calcium, iodine and potassium. Kelp is especially useful when you are feeding horses with little access to good grazing. Horses that suffer from brittle, slow-growing hooves will also benefit from kelp. Feed about 50g/day fresh or dry kelp (For a better understanding on how your horse’s hooves work, contact Kim Dyson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please state ‘Horse therapy’ in the subject line). (The photos of Ferdie and Charmaine Leygonie’s beautiful horses were provided by Charmaine).