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Hoof Care

There's More to Hooves Than Biotin

May 2016

Hoof wall or horn problems, such as thin, brittle walls, flakiness, cracks, or soft and crumbly white line inevitably mean lost shoes, hoof tenderness affecting gait, performance issues and susceptibility to infections. Owners often turn to biotin supplements to improve hoof problems, but is there evidence of its effect? Karen Richardson reviews the research... Biotin, of the vitamin B family, is sourced by the horse from food and from microbial activity in the digestive tract. The biotin requirement for a normal horse is thought to be low and is estimated to be around 1-2mg per day. 

Research Review: Biotin and its Effects on the Hoof Wall

March 2016

Hoof wall (or horn) problems, such as thin, brittle walls, flakiness, cracks, or soft and crumbly white line inevitably mean lost shoes, hoof tenderness affecting gait, performance issues and susceptibility to infections. Owners often turn to biotin supplements to improve hoof problems, but is there evidence of its effect? Karen Richardson reviews the research...

Lessons from the Barehoof 'Rehab' Centre: Part 2, Trial by Laminitis

January 2016

Another Spring in southern Australia, another season of trial by laminitis. You’d think after everything that has been written about, spoken of and experienced with laminitis, that it would be little more than a memory or an occasional inconvenience. Everybody would be so well prepared that if the worst did happen and a horse was afflicted by laminitis, the symptoms would be routinely overcome with no lasting lameness. End of story.

Lessons from the Barehoof 'Rehab' Centre: Part 1

November 2015

Quite some years ago (circa 2002), we began to rehabilitate horses with hoof problems at our home farm ‘Mayfield’, which is tucked into a valley at the foothills of the iconic high country in north-east Victoria. This was also about the same time we began to look at the possible benefits of keeping horses barefoot, rather than the more traditional approach of corrective shoeing.

Navicular Syndrome: A Different Perspective

November 2015

In anticipation of the 2018 Bowker Lectures, which will take place in Sydney, NSW on 13th to 15th April, we revisit the fascinating presentation Prof. Robert Bowker gave at the 2015 Bowker Lectures, titled ‘The Good Foot: The formation of chambers and micro vessels and the effects of vibration’. Using navicular syndrome as a backdrop, Prof. Bowker presented his research findings and practical applications for providing the foot with the environment needed to develop and maintain a sound, functional structure. 

A Career in Hoofcare?

September 2015

Have you ever considered equine hoofcare as a career? If you haven't then, why not? A good, honest living can be made by caring professionally for equine hooves (so long as you are willing to put in the hours). There is and will always be plenty of work available. Just ask anyone with horses how hard it is to find a professional hoofcare practitioner when they need one. It seems there’s always more horses than there are farriers or trimmers.

Hooves don't do the tropics!

August 2015

Recently, I took a (working) trip up north just in time to catch the end of the wet season. We are regular visitors to the ‘Sunshine’ states, but we usually do a run of hoof management workshops during the northern dry, which means most of the hooves we see are robust, tough and shining examples of how equine hooves should be. However, for as long as we have been visiting northern horses in the dry, we have been hearing about the litany of problems that beset horses’ hooves in the tropical wet.

MSM & Healthy Hooves

July 2015

The best therapists don’t just strive to learn everything possible about their own particular modality, they also seek a working knowledge of the whole equine. They aim to heal, not just treat the symptoms.  This was the underlying theme of the recent Bowker Lectures in Victoria, where Master Farrier Andrew Bowe spoke about his interest in MSM, and the reported correlation between horses being supplemented with MSM and the absence of pathogenic hoof disorders. Feeding MSM for healthy hooves 

Oh No! It's a Hoof Abscess

July 2015

What is a hoof abscess? A hoof abscess is the body of pus that forms when invading bacteria breech the vascular ‘live’ tissue within a hoof and a local infection develops. Pain arises from the inward pressure generated by the gathering volume of pus. (See Photo 1 in PDF) All abscesses evolve. They begin when invading pathogens or foreign bodies are met by the body’s defence mechanism in the form of white blood cells, and rapidly increase in size and pressure before being sealed off from living tissue by a thin membrane.

Bringing Back Sexy

May 2015

Life happens  Health crises, financial upheavals, social breakdowns are all part and parcel of human existence. Unfortunately horses sometimes get caught in the storms of life and their basic needs don’t get attended to. In other words, they get neglected. The little things like neglected hooves, teeth and worming are bad enough, but how often do we see horses that are starving? What about the opposite when neglected horses do not have their feed restricted and develop pathological conditions such as acute laminitis. 

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