Equine hoof bruises can limit a horses mobility and function not to mention their happiness level. It can be an unnerving sight when a horse comes up lame - even from such a simple thing as a bruise.
There are many different ways a horse may get a hoof bruise. One can spot a bruise from underneath the horses hoof in the form of a darker usually reddish discolourization. Sometimes the bruise will not show till the farrier pairs the sole with his knife. Hoof bruising can be managed and in most cases alleviated with the right combination of treatments.
Temporary Vs Chronic Hoof Bruising
There is the accidental hoof bruise that can happen when a horse mis-steps or kicks out at a hard surface. Hoof bruises such as these are seldom a long-term concern and will be cut out by the farrier as the hoof grows.
On the opposite side, there are the "chronic-bruisers" that will come up lame on a seemingly constant basis. In these situations, supplements, living conditions and horseshoes with pads must be considered.
Factors to Consider for Chronic Hoof Bruising:
- Living Conditions - Make sure the area the horse is living in is not littered with an assortment of sharp obstacles
- Hoof Quality - Poor hoof quality will allow chipping, splitting and bruising
*Hoof supplementation may help
- Hoof Conformation - A hoof of poor conformation will be more prone to bruising - often called "shallow footed"
*Farrier will advise shoes or adjust trim accordingly
Written By: Josh Emsley