The lifestyle of a horse plays a critical role in total health. In the wild, horses have the freedom to roam, graze and socialize naturally. A normal day for a wild horse could include traveling over 50 miles. As a result of domestication, humans have designed an equine habitat that is convenient to the horse owner, but not very good for the horse. It is important to understand that natural hoof care requires a conscious effort by the horse owner to be open minded to more natural horse care practices. As you proceed on your natural horse care journey, you will develop a more thorough understanding of the services that I offer and why they are important to the health of your horse.
An important aspect of keeping a horse sound is proper equine nutrition. Researchers have found that many of the traditional pelleted feeds and grains that are given to horses are very high in sugar because they are made with corn. Corn has a very high glycemic index. High sugar can cause laminitis and can lead to insulin resistance and equine metabolic syndrome. As such, it is critical to carefully examine your horses diet.
Another critical component to hoof health is freedom of movement. Horses need to move and to socialize. As a horse moves freely, he pumps the bottom of his hoof known as the "frog". A healthy frog is essential to a healthy hoof and leg. A horse kept in a stall all day doesn't have much of a chance for healthy legs and hooves. Freedom of movement enhances natural wear of the hoof. Additionally, just as humans need companionship, so do horses. Socialization is critical to the health of the horse's mind. Most horse owners believe that they offer adequate turnout. What is optimal? When feasible, 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK, with opportunities for the horse to find shelter if needed. What is NOT acceptable? STAND IN A CLOSET AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF...that is what the horse feels like in a stall.
Serving Western New York & the Southern Tier to help horses live a more natural life
Joe Lyford's Natural Hoof Care