Progressive Hoof Care
Darrell Covert, CHCP - PF
Certified Hoof Care Professional
Providing Pocatello and S.E. Idaho in
Natural Hoof Care and farrier services
Liberated Horsemanship Certified 2008
As a farrier and hoof care provider it is my focus to provide horse owners with the correct hoof care option for their horses. There is rarely a one
size fits all solution to hoof care practices; therefore, I advocate any hoof care option as needed. I will work with you and your horses to develop
a hoof care system that is right for you and your horse. This includes:
Natural hoof care, does not always mean unprotected.
We have found that Easyboots and Delta boots provide excellent
protection without impeding the natural function of the hoof. Find
out more at www.easyboot.com.
The Progressive Hoof
Toe or quarter clips
Are sometimes required to reduce the shear forces on nails to
help weak hooves. A farrier can also use less nails.
Here I am fitting an arab with a front toe clip.
Image- courtesy of Ronald Aalders
Almost everything we do to our horses causes some sort of stress. Its called domestication. Stress in its many forms can cause issues with
your horses health and the condition of his hooves. Reducing or managing stress levels for your horse is therefore a critical component in
natural horse / hoof care. Lack of socialization can be the single most stressful issue for your horse. As herd animals horses rely on each
other for safety and mental well being. Isolation is cruel for a horse.
Proper diet and feeding may be the most important factor of horse care. Everything the horse eats will manifest itself through the hooves in
a positive or negative way. Many owners provide feed that is too high in (NSC) non-structural carbs that result in weakening the lamina
causing laminitis and founder. Laminitis in most cases is the result of toxicity and too many horses are over grazing on pastures and/or
provided feed that is too rich in NSC, all of which are foreign to the wild horse. Free choice grass hay with a varied mix of grasses is the
best source of feed. Horses are conditioned to eating small amounts all day long. If you cannot provide free choice then feed in many small
piles over a large area, the longer it takes your horse to eat the better! Nutrient poor feed can be a problem, so always provide a salt and
mineral block. The articles and resources found in www.safergrass.org will help horse owners everywhere learn to avoid these founder traps
caused by inappropriate diets.
Life-way and Environment are Crucial to the Quality of Hoof Care:
- Genetic inheritance involving poor hooves, require shoes when NHC and boots are not an option.
- To protect a very thin soled horse 24/7 until adequate sole depth is achieved.
- Provides traction / way of going for horses involved in venues requiring high levels of athleticism.
- Alter or correct conformation, interference or correction of gait.
- Used as an RX option for a variety of pathological issues that require therapeutic shoes.
There are various reasons why horse owners will choose a shoeing option, here are some of the most common.
Advantages of Shoeing Horses:
- Natural hoof care
- Fitting and modifying hoof boots
- Traditional farriery
- Hot fitting and shoeing
- Corrective and therapeutic shoeing
Advantages of Natural Hoof Care:
- Allows the horse's hoof to do what nature designed it to do.
- Natural trimming complies with the physiology of the hoof.
- Natural hooves promote proper biomechanics for impact and blood circulation.
- Helps prevent some pathological conditions, that can occur from prolonged neglect.
- Provides horse owners with a less-invasive option for hoof protection, when using hoof boots.