You have probably all heard the old saying, “No Hoof, No Horse!” There is no truer saying in the horse industry! I had the farrier out today to trim/shoe 3 of my horses. Feet are something that I have a tendency to overlook at times, however my horses seen by the farrier several times a year. Certainly not as often as I should, I have the herd done when I can, with the shod horses getting done more often. Client horses get done regularly as the client pays for the farrier.
I have one mustang that gets her feet done twice a year because she has such good feet that hold their balance. My barrel horse gets done every 10-12 weeks and the others get done when they get long. (Sorry that I currently have no photos of their feet, will try and get some soon.)
So as my farrier (who has been trimming/shoeing my horses for almost 10 years) commented on how well my barrel geldings feet were looking. I waited longer than normal to have him reshod, but with a race coming up this weekend I wanted to make sure he was ready on all levels. I have struggled with a case of whiteline disease in this horse’s front feet mostly. Well, his feet are almost back to normal with solid soles, thick white lines and strong heels. The other two that got trims had no thrush and very line white line disease.
So do you want to know my secret?
I feed my horses, wait for it, wait for it::
OAT HAY and OAT HAY PELLETS!
Yes that’s right, the dreaded forage that everyone stays away from is the reason my horses’ feet are in such great shape! I have always fed oat hay and I have always had my horses feet done at least several times year. The oils that are excreted from oat hay are good for your horse. Oat hay is the reason why my horses have healthy hooves without a lot of added supplements.
I know that not every horse can have oat hay and that there are a lot of people that look at me funny when I tell them that I successfully feed my horses oat hay without major issues, but it works for me. Remember no hoof, no horse! Just giving you something to think about 😉