I've posted about grazing risk factors before but our summer has been so warm and wet that many people are still struggling with spring-type grass conditions despite the fact that its now August.
The good news is that there are lots of things you can do - limit grazing during high risk periods, use a muzzle, treat any metabolic issues and if all else fails use hoof boots for work on tougher terrain.
Here are some facts for you:
- A trim does not have to be aggressive to cause lameness. If a horse has a compromised foot then simply backing up the toe or removing a small amount of apparent "flare" can damage the horse's foot balance and leave it lame or less capable on uneven ground for weeks.
- No horse should be sore after a trim. Some horse's feet are hard to read but if a farrier or trimmer makes a mistake they at least shouldn't repeat it - so let them know if your horse is sore. If they insist on doing the same again, its time to change to someone who will listen to you and the horse.
- It isn't safer to use a farrier; it isn't safer to use a trimmer. All you can do is be guided by your horse and his soundness but I can guarantee you that there are few, if any, horses made sounder by trimming - there are still many who are less capable after being trimmed, so be careful!
- Appearance isn't everything. How the hoof is loading and how it is landing IS everything. A trim which compromises the latter to achieve the former will cause the horse problems.
PS: Someone said to me the other day "I know you are anti-trimming..." - no, I'm not anti-trimming. I'm just anti lame horses...