There’s a relationship between a horse’s diet and hoof quality. However, the farrier often has to help educate new owners about the importance of feeding the foot.
New horse owners often are unaware of the relationship between the horse’s diet and the quality and health of its hooves.
Often it’s up to the farrier to help educate owners, answer questions or point new owners in the right direction to learn more about the importance of diet in foot care.
The farrier may not have much influence, though, unless the owner can recognize there’s a problem, says Stephen Duren of Performance Horse Nutrition.
“Often people only listen after they are already in a wreck and can see for themselves that the hooves are not healthy,” he says. “It’s a long way back from there to regain hoof health, but the farrier can recommend some changes.”
One of the most common traits shared by a number of pet owners is humanizing their animals.
“On a cold winter night, we as humans are comforted by a warm, cozy house and a nice, hot stew,” says Darren Owen, owner of Indian Fields Farrier Service in Suffolk, Va. “It’s natural for us to want to bring that comfort to our horses because they often are outside or in a barn. Horses aren’t aware these things exist and simply don’t need it.”
Duren suggests using the analogy of human health — looking at poor fingernail and toenail quality.
“This is often related…