Preventive Horse Health Care Resources

The adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is an excellent guide to horse care.   With that in mind, building a team of professionals is essential to creating a program that allows your horse to thrive.  Regular appointments with each team member will help catch a developing problem quickly, often avoiding complications. Of course, the needs of a pleasure horse and a performance horse are not the same, just as a yearling has different needs than an aged horse, so your team will vary depending on those needs. 

Horse hoof graphic Horse hoof graphic

Promote Circulation
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Barefoot or Shoes?

Hoof Care

Keep your horse trotting strong! Discover essential tips for maintaining healthy hooves all year round.

Essential Hoof Care for Lifelong Horse Health

Importance of Regular Hoof Maintenance
Regular hoof maintenance is crucial to prevent common issues like thrush and cracks. Effective care ensures your horse remains healthy and capable of performing optimally.

Routine Cleaning Steps:

  • Daily Checks: Regularly inspect and pick out the hooves to remove debris, dirt, and rocks.
  • Moisture Control: Keep the hoof exterior clean to prevent mud from drying and causing cracks.

Seasonal and Environmental Considerations:

  • Adapt Hoof Care: Adjust care routines according to seasonal changes; horses may need different care in wet versus dry conditions.
  • Shoeing Needs: Some horses require shoes during active seasons or specific training phases and can go barefoot otherwise.

Consulting a Professional:

  • Professional Assessments: A skilled farrier will consider the horse’s age, job, and living conditions to customize hoof care.
  • Regular Farrier or Trimmer Visits: Schedule regular appointments to ensure hooves are properly trimmed and maintained.

FAQ: Mastering Horse Hoof Care: Your Questions Answered

A horse's hoof is primarily composed of keratin, the same protein that makes up human hair and nails. The hoof consists of several parts including the wall, sole, frog, and heel.

Healthy hooves are not painful for horses. However, improper care or conditions like infections, abscesses, or laminitis can cause pain and discomfort.

Yes, a horse's hoof continually grows. Hooves grow approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch per month, allowing them to be trimmed regularly to maintain proper shape and function.

If horse hooves are not trimmed, they can become overgrown, leading to issues such as:

  • Cracking and Splitting: Increased risk of hoof damage.
  • Lameness: Overgrown hooves can alter a horse's gait, causing discomfort or lameness.
  • Infections: Poor hoof condition can lead to infections like thrush.

Regular trimming is essential for maintaining hoof health and overall mobility.

Grazing is an essential part of a horse's life

Throughout their life, a horse's teeth continue to grow

Take steps today to ensure their dental health

Horse Dental Care

Key Aspects of Equine Dental Care:

  • Regular Examinations: Horses should have dental check-ups at least annually to identify and address potential issues such as sharp edges, tooth decay, or misalignments.
  • Common Dental Procedures: Floating (filing down the teeth) is a common procedure to smooth out sharp points that can form on the edges of the teeth.
  • Signs of Dental Issues: Symptoms such as drooling, weight loss, odor from the mouth, or resistance to the bit may indicate dental problems.
  • Importance of Professional Care: A qualified equine dentist or veterinarian should perform dental care. They have the tools and training to provide thorough care and address complex dental issues.

Understanding Equine Dental Anatomy and Needs
Horses, much like cows and goats, have a unique dental structure where the upper jaw is wider than the lower. This anatomical feature, combined with a limited range of jaw motion, often leads to uneven wear on their teeth, creating sharp points that can cause discomfort and health issues. Regular dental care is crucial to file down these points and ensure a comfortable life for your horse.

Growth and Changes in Horse Teeth
Horse teeth continually grow and change throughout their lives. They are born with temporary teeth, known as "caps," which they shed by around five years of age. Monitoring and managing these changes is vital to maintain their oral health. The positioning of the teeth extending into the sinus cavities also impacts their care needs.

Consulting Professionals for Horse Dental Health
It's important to consult with a veterinarian and an equine dental professional to tailor dental care according to the specific needs of your horse as it ages. These experts can provide the necessary interventions to prevent and address potential dental issues.


Horses should typically receive dental care every 6 to 12 months. Young horses, senior horses, or those with known dental issues may require more frequent check-ups.

  1. Regular Dental Exams: Schedule bi-annual or annual check-ups with an equine dentist or veterinarian.
  2. Floating: This is the process of filing down sharp edges on the teeth to prevent discomfort and injury.
  3. Monitoring Feed and Eating Habits: Ensure the horse's diet is appropriate and monitor for changes in eating behavior.

Three Signs That Indicate a Horse Needs Dental Care

  1. Dropping Feed (Quidding): This may indicate discomfort or pain while chewing.
  2. Weight Loss: Difficulty eating due to dental issues can lead to weight loss.
  3. Bad Breath or Drooling: These can be signs of dental infections or issues.

Dental care is crucial for horses as it directly impacts their ability to chew properly, which affects digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall health. Regular dental care helps prevent discomfort, weight loss, and potential infections, contributing to a horse's overall well-being and performance.

Optimal Saddle, Bridle, and Bit Fitting for Horse Comfort and Performance

For all horses
English dressage saddle

Learn more about
Equine Tack

Regardless of discipline

Does your horse tack fit?

Learn more below

Understanding Horse Tack: Essential Equipment for Every Rider

Introduction to Horse Tack
Horse tack refers to the various equipment used in riding and handling horses. This includes items such as saddles, bridles, halters, reins, and stirrups, which are essential for both the safety and comfort of the horse and rider.

Types of Horse Tack:

  • Saddles: Provide support for the rider and distribute weight evenly across the horse's back.
  • Bridles and Bits: Help with communication and control, guiding the horse during riding.
  • Halters: Used for leading and tying up the horse when not riding.
  • Reins: Critical for controlling the horse’s speed and direction.
  • Stirrups: Offer support for the rider’s feet, aiding in balance and stability.

Choosing the Right Tack:
Selecting the right tack depends on the type of riding you plan to do, your horse's size and breed, and personal preferences. It’s crucial to ensure that all tack fits correctly to avoid discomfort or injury to the horse.

Care and Maintenance:
Proper care of horse tack is essential for longevity and safety. Regular cleaning and conditioning of leather items, checking for wear and tear, and proper storage will keep your tack in good condition and safe for use.

Safety Tips:
Always check your tack before riding for any signs of damage or wear that could compromise safety. Replace any worn or broken parts immediately.

Investing in high-quality tack and maintaining it properly enhances the riding experience and ensures safety for both horse and rider. Whether you are a competitive rider or enjoy leisurely rides, understanding and caring for your tack is fundamental.

FAQ: Essential Horse Tack Guide for Beginners and Enthusiasts

For beginners, essential horse tack includes:

  • Saddle: Choose a comfortable saddle suited to your riding style, whether English or Western.
  • Bridle and Bit: A properly fitted bridle and appropriate bit are crucial for control and communication with your horse.
  • Girth or Cinch: Ensure a secure girth (English) or cinch (Western) to keep the saddle in place.
  • Stirrups and Leathers: Select adjustable stirrups and durable stirrup leathers for safety.
  • Saddle Pad or Blanket: Use a saddle pad or blanket to protect the horse’s back.

Ensure to consult with a saddle fitting expert for your specific case, however, for reference the basics to properly fit a horse saddle:

  • Measure Your Horse: Accurately measure your horse’s withers and back length.
  • Check Saddle Position: Place the saddle slightly behind the shoulder blade and ensure it sits evenly.
  • Assess Gullet Clearance: Ensure there’s adequate gullet clearance to avoid pressure on the spine.
  • Test Saddle Fit: Check for even contact and pressure distribution along the horse’s back.
  • Adjust Stirrups and Girth: Ensure the stirrups and girth are properly adjusted for rider balance and saddle stability.

Differences between English and Western horse tack include:

  • Saddle Design: English saddles are lighter and designed for jumping or dressage, while Western saddles are heavier with a horn for ranch work.
  • Bridle and Reins: English bridles often feature a cavesson noseband, while Western bridles may use curb bits and split reins.
  • Stirrups: English stirrups are smaller, whereas Western stirrups are wider for more foot stability.
  • Girth vs. Cinch: English tack uses a girth, while Western tack uses a cinch to secure the saddle.

For optimal performance and longevity, clean and maintain horse tack:

  • Daily Wipe Down: Perform a daily wipe down of your saddle, bridle, and bit to remove dirt and sweat.
  • Weekly Deep Clean: Conduct a weekly deep clean using appropriate leather cleaner and conditioner.
  • Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect for wear and tear, especially on stitching and buckles.
  • Storage Tips: Store tack in a dry, cool place to prevent damage from moisture and sunlight.

Supportive Care Options for Horses


PEMF technology has been used for decades in Europe on both animals and humans to improve health and recovery after injury. The FDA approved PEMF therapy in 1979 for broken bones. Many studies have proven the effectiveness of this technology on soft tissue as well as in improving neurological problems. The Magnus Pro X2 is our choice of PEMF machine because it is FEI compliant. We offer sessions for horses and dogs as well as humans.

Cold Laser

Cold laser therapy improves healing time for wounds and tendon and ligament injuries. It works on a cellular level, increasing blood flow, reducing inflammation, and promoting healing by stimulating immune cells. As a result, using a cold laser can help reduce the need for pain relieving medication while treating injuries. In addition, the laser can be beneficial as part of a program to maintain a horse's soundness by reducing muscle tension and facilitating the healing of micro-tears that occur during regular training.

Raffi and Game Ready Ice Compression Boot session Resources Supportive Care Horse Health

Ice Compression Boots

The dynamic compression of the Game Ready system paired with the cool temperature of the boot helps reduce the occurrence of edemas (excess fluid trapped in the injured tissue) and promotes blood flow by reducing swelling and inflammation. Ice compression can be applied to muscles, ligaments, and tendons to promote healing and alleviate pain of the affected area.

FAQ: Comprehensive Supportive Care for Hoof and Body Health

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy has been utilized in Europe for decades, benefiting both animals and humans by enhancing health and speeding up recovery post-injury. Approved by the FDA in 1979 for treating broken bones, PEMF therapy is effective on soft tissues and can improve neurological issues.

PEMF therapy enhances recovery, improves neurological functions, and supports overall soft tissue health.

Yes, using an FEI-compliant machine like the Magnus Pro X2 ensures it’s safe for competition horses.

The Magnus Pro X2 is our preferred PEMF machine due to its FEI compliance, ensuring it meets international competition standards. We offer PEMF sessions for horses, dogs, and humans to enhance healing and recovery.

Cold laser therapy accelerates healing for wounds and tendon and ligament injuries by working on a cellular level. It increases blood flow, reduces inflammation, and stimulates immune cells, promoting faster healing and potentially reducing the need for pain medications.

Benefits of Cold Laser Therapy

Incorporating cold laser therapy into a regular care regimen helps maintain a horse’s soundness by:

  • Reducing muscle tension
  • Healing micro-tears from training
  • Promoting overall tissue recovery

Frequency depends on the injury, but regular sessions can significantly speed up healing and reduce the need for medication.

The Game Ready system combines dynamic compression with cooling to reduce edemas and enhance blood flow by minimizing swelling and inflammation.

Application and Benefits of Ice compression boots are ideal for:

  • Muscles
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons

They are effective in promoting healing and alleviating pain in affected areas.

Yes, they are excellent for reducing inflammation and swelling post-training, aiding in faster recovery.

Helpful Resources for Horses

Helpful Horse Resouce Links

Equi-Analytical Glossary of Terms
Anatomy of the Equine

Veterinary Nutrition Journals:

Journal of Equine Veterinary Science - This journal includes articles on equine nutrition and diet-related research.

Equine Veterinary Journal - While covering a broad range of equine health topics such as studies on nutrition and care.

The Veterinary Journal - Known for publishing high-quality research, including topics on equine nutrition.

Reputable Equine Health Websites: - Offers a wide range of articles and resources on horse health, including nutrition. - Provides expert advice on horse care, including dietary management.

American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) - While not solely focused on nutrition, this site offers comprehensive information on overall horse health.

Authoritative Books on Horse Nutrition:

"Equine Nutrition and Feeding" by David Frape - A comprehensive guide to horse nutrition.

"Nutrient Requirements of Horses" by the National Research Council - A detailed resource on the dietary needs of horses.

"Feeding and Care of the Horse" by Lon D. Lewis - This book is well-regarded for its practical advice on horse nutrition and care.