feeding and care of horses
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Good hoof-care is essential for your horse. Many hoof disorders are the result of insufficient care and/or insufficient exercise. Hoof-care should start in the young foal.

Aside from the hereditary factors, the correct footing and the amount of free movement plays an important role in the development of the hoof. The condition of the hoofs will also effect the position of the legs. When the hoofs are in bad shape, the legs will assume an incorrect position.

Frequent inspection and - if needed - a treatment by the farrier are prerequisites for healthy hoofs. The daily care consists of picking the hoofs, which removes dirt and debris such as gravel or small rocks. A clean and dry stall can also prevent various hoof disorders.

Aside from adequate care, exercise is extremely important for the development of a healthy hoof and hoof joint, because it promotes the blood circulation. This is essential for the transportation of the nutrients that are necessary to keep the hoof healthy, elastic and in optimal condition.

Note: hoofs need moisture. Water is essential for hoofs.

On the other hand, greasing the hoofs can cause complaints, because it prevents the absorption of water and will dehydrate the hoofs.

Spending some time in a wet pasture is a great treatment for hoofs. The hoofs will become elastic and shiny without grease. In case the horse cannot get any pasture time, you can sponge off the hoofs daily.

Cracked hoofs

Cracked hoofs can be the result of a long period of very dry weather, insufficient exercise (and therefore an insufficient supply of nutrients), shortages in the nutrition or ill-fitting or old shoes.
In case the cracked or brittle hoofs are the result of shortages in the nutrition, it is advisable to give the horse extra building materials for the forming of new corneous tissue for at least 6 months. Pavo BiotinForte is the right supplement to improve the quality of the hoofs

Founder or laminitis

Founder is a serious metabolic disorder. It manifests itself as an inflammation of the inner epidermis. The inner epidermis (or corium) is situated behind the thick horn layer of the hoof wall and keeps the coffin bone in place. Symptoms of founder will be present along with lameness — usually in the front feet first. In response to the pain associated with the condition, the horse will shift weight to the back legs, with the front legs extended. This is the typical “founder stance”. The horse will be reluctant to move. An affected horse’s gait is typically short with rapid foot placement, hence the term “walking on eggshells.

Founder has several different causes

  • An excess of specific nutrients (protein-rich spring pasture grass or too much concentrates)
  • Too much feed all at once or a sudden change of food may cause the death of bacteria in the large intestine. This will release toxic matter that will be carried to the hoof in the bloodstream and create an inflammation in the hoof.
  • A retained placenta in the mare, when the afterbirth wasn’t expelled within 6 hours after birth of the foal
  • Overburden
  • Toxic materials or infections somewhere else in the body
  • When a horse has foundered before, the risk for re-occurrence increases

What can I do?

Acute founder

  • consult your veterinarian
  • discontinue the energy feed
  • feed only hay, no pasture
  • feed aPavo SummerFit bricket in stead of his normal ration of concentrates
  • put your horse on wet sand or in a muddy paddock to keep the hoof cool and to spread the pressure on the hoof
  • consult your farrier about special shoes

Sensitive to founder?

  • Be careful with big changes in roughage in the spring and the fall
  • Limit pasture time in the spring
  • If you let the horse out on pasture, then preferable on a pasture with long and stemmy grass
  • Make sure that the afterbirth of a mare is expelled timely
  • Pavo SummerFit gives your horse all the vitamins and minerals he needs, without the calories