Often times, a hoofcare provider is called out to look at a horse due to hoof health or lameness issues. The feet have a problem, so the owner wants us to fix the feet. I totally get that rationale, it makes sense, right?
The only issue is that the feet sometimes (or even often) AREN’T the problem. Think of hoof issues as a symptom, a “canary in a coal mine.” The feet give us insight into the body and what’s going on with the health of the horse. That means that just addressing the feet will often give us subpar results.
There are many factors that can affect hoof health, growth, and even angles. Nutrition, soreness in the body somewhere, conformation, saddle fit, rider balance, environment, etc. can all play a role in the feet we as hoofcare providers show up to.
In the latest podcast episode, Ida Hammer discusses some of the factors she takes into account when she starts working on a horse’s feet. She also expands upon how she approaches common issues, and when she might use glue ons shoes, FormaHoof, or other external applications to help in hoof rehabilitation.