Pick Out the Feet Daily?

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Q: I read in a magazine a few days ago that it was safe to not pick out your horses hooves every day. I have been told that you should every single day I ride. The magazine said that the horses hoof was meant to hold dirt, and it spread out the weight on the foot. Who is right?



A: Who is right is not something I want to get into. My concern, as I am sure your concern is, is what is best for the horse. Whether dirt packed in the horse's foot distributes the weight of the horse upon the ground is not what is in question here. It is my opinion that your horse's feet should be picked out a minimum of twice a day, whether you ride or not. Here is my reasoning.

Dirt packed in the bottom of the horse's foot can hold such things as sharp stones, nails, pieces of glass and other things that can puncture or bruise your horse's foot.

Dirt also will create an oxygen-free environment between the dirt and your horse's sole, thereby allowing bacteria and other such unsavory things to grow. NOT good for your horse's foot!

You wouldn't want your horse to carry a nail all day long because some magazine says it is alright not to pick out the foot, would you?

If you are trying to decide who is right, you should always make your decision on the side of caution for your horse's well being.

Pick out the feet.

Geronimo Bayard
The American Blacksmith
Oakland, Oregon

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