One of the joys of horsekeeping is hoof maintenance. Once every 8 weeks or so the horses’ hooves need trimming. The hoof is really kind of a crazy thing if you stop to think about it. A very simple or basic way of thinking about it is to consider it as a big ole toenail. Not a super attractive thought, but somewhat accurate in that it protects the tissue and bones under (really within) it and that it is constantly growing. In reality, hooves and hoof health can be very complicated and important things.
No hoof, no horse!
Now, I’m not going to pretend like I know a bunch of stuff about the intricacies of the physiology of the hoof, but I want to commend the farriers and veterinarians who are fascinated by hooves and know this stuff inside and out to keep our horses feet happy and healthy!
Our three horses, Small, Medium, and Extra Large, recently had their hooves trimmed by Jen, our fantastic farrier, and I was reminded how cool and weird the hoof actually is. And gross. Coming off a very wet, muddy winter, the crap (some of it literal) that came out of them was pretty smelly! I am certainly looking forward to warmer weather so everything around here can dry out a bit.