Why equine hoof care is essential

Why equine hoof care is essential

Horse hoof care is essential for the overall health and well-being of horses. The horse's hooves are responsible for supporting the entire weight of the animal and absorbing the shock of movement. Therefore, keeping the hooves healthy and well-maintained is crucial for the horse's soundness and comfort.

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EHV-1: Symptoms and Prevention

EHV-1: Symptoms and Prevention

What is EHV-1?
Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) is a common equine virus. It has been known to cause respiratory disease, neurological disease, and abortions.

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Thrush: Causes and Treatments

Thrush: Causes and Treatments

Keeping your horse’s feet healthy is a crucial part of maintaining their overall health. Here is some information about the causes of thrush and thrush treatments.

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Benefits of Using a Hoof Stand

Benefits of Using a Hoof Stand

When it comes time for trimming or shoeing, it is crucial to ensure the comfort of both yourself and the horses. A hoof stand is an essential tool that can help simplify your work while easing physical stress; continue reading to learn more.

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winter horse care

Winter Horse Care

When the harsh winter months arrive, it is very important to ensure the health of your equine friend. Here are some tips for proper winter horse care.

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Horse Genotyping

Horse Genotyping and Breed Testing

As horse lovers, we often find ourselves wanting to know more about our beloved equine friends. Studying equine genetics is a fantastic way to get a closer look at our horses’ health; continue reading to learn more about horse genotyping and breed testing.

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Most likely when you hear the word colic, it sends chills down your spine or makes you stop in your tracks and think of stories you’ve heard. If you have never had a horse colic, most likely you have known someone who has. Colic is the general term for abdominal pain, but it’s also a sign of something else.

Colic is a sign that something is not right in your horses’ digestive tract. This means there are a lot of different signs and outcomes.

Only someone who knows this horse could tell you if he’s in trouble or just rolling around in the dirt. If he is getting up a down a lot or super restless, it could be a sign of colic.



One, seemingly mild case of an upset stomach can turn deadly very quickly and a seemingly obvious case of colic could turn out to be minor. This is what makes colic so dangerous.


Two, you must involve your veterinarian immediately to determine the seriousness of the issue. Only administer medications after talking to your veterinarian. Pain medications can mask the signs and make and accurate diagnosis and treatment plan difficult.


WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF COLIC? Be aware that many of the signs of colic can look like totally normal horse behaviors.


Pawing the ground. Many horses do this out of habit, or when they want to be fed. Some paw before rolling on the ground, or when they want attention. If pawing is not something your horse usually does, this could be a sign that something else is going on.
Circling as if they are going to lay down. Sometimes they can’t get comfortable and will try to find the best spot and best side to lay on, but never actually lay down.


It is important that you know your horses baseline temperature, pulse and respiration. Have your vet do a thorough examination to get these baseline numbers. Then, if something is wrong, you can compare their current situation to what they were when they were normal.


Rolling. Again, this a common behavior in horses. Normally your horse rolls to scratch themselves. In colic, it can be a sign of distress and your horse trying to relieve pain.

Turning to look at their flanks repeatedly. Horses will do this when in pain as if to find out what is going on back there.

Belly kicking. Most horses will do this in the spring and summer trying to get rid of flies. If there are no flies around, you might want to keep an eye on this behavior as it can indicate a response to pain.

Not eating or drinking. This is always a tell-tale sign that something is up with your horse. You can check for hydration by feeling your horse’s gums to see if they are moist.

Changes in manure output. Checking the volume, texture, consistency and frequency will tell you a lot about your horses’ health. If they stop going, they could be impacted.

Changes in urine output. Many horses that are in pain will urinate frequently, but in small amounts to try to relieve pressure.

Flehmen response. Most of the time this is a normal reaction to a smell, but sometimes can indicate that your horse is in pain.

Abnormal gut sounds. Do you know what is normal for your horse? Sometimes with colic your horses gut sounds will be louder and more frequent, but sometimes gut sounds go away with colic.

Fast pulse. This falls into the category of knowing what your horses’ normal vital signs are. An elevated heart rate and sometimes elevated respiration and temperature are a sign of colic.

Excessive sweating, immobility, or restlessness.  If your horse doesn’t usually exhibit these behaviors and suddenly you notice any of these it could point to colic.

When in doubt with any of these symptoms and behaviors, it is best to call your vet and let them do a thorough examination so that you can be sure everything is ok.

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Sonja with her two equine partners

Sonja's 155-mile Tahoe Rim Trail Ride with Glue-on Horseshoes

HOOF-it and the Hoofstar glue on shoe teamed up with Sonja this summer on a 155-mile Tahoe Rim Trail ride and a 50-mile endurance ride and here is how the Hoofstar performed.

Start of the Tahoe Rim Trail - Horseback with 1 Pack Horse.   On the Trail
Hoofstar Horseshoes -Tahoe Rim Trail.   Hoofstar Glue on Horseshoes


This summer we met Sonja and her two trusty steeds Chip and Tongo and heard all about the adventures they had planned for the summer which included a 155-mile Tahoe Rim Trail rides in July and a 50-mile organized endurance ride near Bend Oregon in August. Sonja agreed to team up with us and take the Hoofstar glue on shoe with her on her adventures!

We spent some time with Sonja a week before her ride to deliver all the shoes and glue she would need for her trip, meet her two horses and help her fit the right shoes. The Tahoe Rim Trail ride would prove to be challenging to both her, her horses and our Hoofstar shoes.

Sonja was able to get a pretty good fit and great bond a few days prior to leaving for the Rim Trail ride. Her husband and other friends would check on her periodically to re-stock her with supplies any products she may need to keep her Hoofstars working for her along the way.

Grazing on the Tahoe Rim Trail 

She experienced all kinds of terrain on the Tahoe Rim from dusty dirt trails to trails over run with shale and rocks and the occasional stream to cross. She confirmed that the shoe had worn pretty well and, in terrain that wasn’t super rocky, the shoes would last 40 plus miles easily, mostly getting worn on the toe.

Packing on the Tahoe Rim Trail


She did however, lose a few pairs out there because the rocky terrain was very unforgiving and it really put these shoes to the test. The stress bending and twisting on the rocky trails would cause the side wall to separate from the shoe and the glue would separate from the hoof. Overall, she said she loved the shoes and would love to take them on her 50-mile endurance ride that she would be doing in August with Chip.

 The Mary & Ann Memorial Endurance Ride outside of Bend Oregon took them about 9 hours to complete and led them through mostly dry desert and some rocky areas. Their ride consisted of three loops. The first was 24 miles, the second 15 miles and the third and final loop was 11 miles. Sonja glued on her Hoofstars three days before her ride and she’s happy to report that the shoes stayed on for the entire ride and performed perfectly for her! She gave the Hoofstar glue on shoes a thumbs up!



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Essentials for your Equine First Aid Kit

Essentials for your Equine First Aid Kit

Every horse owner at some time in their life will be in a situation where they will need (or wish they had) an equine first aid kit.    

Having an equine first aid kit is a necessity when you own a horse.  If you don't have one, here are some ideas to put in yours so that you will be prepared in an emergency. Having one for the barn and another for our horse trailer is a great idea so that you always have one on hand.

Here is a list of must-have basics that should be in every first aid kit:

1. Thermometer – preferably a mercury one. The thermometer should have a piece of string tied tightly to the end of it so it does not get sucked in rectally.
2. Scissors – Try to get special blunt end bandage cutting scissors so there are no sharp ends to harm a jumpy horse
3. Tweezers – you will need these for pulling out ticks or small splinters
4. A Twitch – there are some things your horse is going to object to so a twitch will help keep them calm
5. Lubrication – for using a thermometer
6. A metal bucket – metal buckets are easily sterilized and extremely useful
7. A rubber ground bucket – for soaking abscesses
8. Epsom salts – for soaking abscesses or pulling out infection when applied on a wet hot gauze pad and wrapped
9. Ice leg wraps – or ordinary gel ice packs
10. Bandages of all kinds: Lots of vet wrap, polo bandages, standing bandages, gauze bandages
11. Roll Cotton
12. Non-stick gauze – in varying sizes
13. Leg wraps – these are often used to wrap over initial gauze bandages for a larger wound and then secured by a polo or standing bandage
14. Diapers – great to cover an already bandaged foot and then put a duct tape boot over it.  They can also be used as extra padding for a large wound to help stop the bleeding until a vet arrives.
15. Duct Tape – to secure bandages, or to make a protective boot
16. Animal Lintex – an amazing product that is applied slightly damp, left on under a bandage to draw out infection, can be used for abscess, and all kinds of other soreness.
17. Surgical Gloves
18. Rubbing alcohol – for cleaning utensils
19. Saline – for flushing wounds
20.  Gentle Iodine 
21. Hibitane – a gentle disinfectant that can be used straight out of a bottle or you can buy it in individual small scrubby packs.
22. Bute – A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, Phenylbutazone is like aspirin for horses. It can be bought in an oral paste, a powder, or a solution that can be injected. It is used to provide pain relief and reduce fevers.
23. Flunixin – A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, Flunixin is more aggressive at targeting inflamed tissue and is usually used in the treatment of colic pain, join disease, and to alleviate fevers. A side effect of administering flunixin is usually diarrhea, and as a result, can be used to help in cases of a suspected GI blockage.
24. Polysporin eye drops – this can be used for mild eye irritation. However, there are some serious eye conditions that must be seen by a vet as soon as possible, such as eye ulcers, uveitis, or corneal eye disease. 
25. Zinc cream – can have many uses, one is treating horses for sunburn.
26. 60 SPF Sunscreen – for horses with pink skin that is exposed to the sun.  Horses can get serious sunburns where they have pink skin (usually around the muzzle and eye area) make sure these areas are protected with sunscreen when they go outside.
27. Wound Powder – some wounds need to be left open to heal, blue wound powder is good to keep the flies out and helps dry up the wound.
28. Blue Kote Wound Spray – a bacterial spray that helps to heal
29. Hoof-it Hoofstar boots – These are an excellent temporary shoe if your horse loses a shoe.

It can be used without glue if you have a snug fit and some duck-tape.
Whether you are going out on the trail for a long ride or going into the show ring, you will want to make sure you have these essentials with you so that if anything does happen to your horse you are prepared to care for them.

Lost horseshoe?  The Hoof Wrap Bandage is a great product to keep your horses hoof protected until your farrier can get out to replace the horseshoe. 
Hoof Wrap Brand Bandage 

hoof boot

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Leasing a horse

5 Reasons to Lease a Horse vs. Buying

So, you’ve decided that you want a horse for either equine sport or just because you would like to get out and trail ride, but have
you thought about whether you want to buy or lease? This blog
will give you 5 reasons why you may want to lease your first



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