Winter is a time of wet weather and mud. At this time of year we often see problems such as foot abscess’s and thrush (infection of the frog). The change from dry weather to wet, and horses standing in mud, makes foot problems a real possibility. Here are some tips for how to help prevent these more common problems:
Regularly clean out your horse’s feet and inspect them for signs of infection. Spotting a problem early can make treatment much more simple.
Try to ensure your horses feet are regularly trimmed during winter. A well-shaped, healthy foot is much less likely to have problems. Hoof cracks and thin soles are a great way for mud and infection to enter a horse’s foot, so addressing these early can really help.
Regular exercise helps promote healthy feet. Improvements in blood supply, and allowing the foot to dry out will lower your risk of infections. Horses that get out and move are much less likely to have problems than horses that stand around in mud all day.
If possible provide a shelter or dry area to stand, to allow their feet to dry out.
Regularly clean your horses yard or paddock of manure to ensure a clean surface for them to stand on. Consider fencing off the really muddy parts of the paddock to prevent your horses access to them. If you notice a problem, contact your vet for advice. They are your best source of information and assistance when it comes to the health of your horse.