Seasonal changes in hoof growth rate and shape

Many things influence the growth rate and health of our horses’ and ponies’ hooves: nutrition, gastrointestinal (GI) health, metabolic rate, immune health and farriery practices- to name a few.

Changes in seasons also affect how quickly hooves grow. During warmer months and longer daylight hours, equine hooves grow much quicker. This means that during the summer and spring your horse or pony is likely to need their hooves trimmed more frequently than during the winter or cooler months.

Seasonal weather changes can also impact hoof shape. In warmer weather, hooves expand. In colder weather, hooves tend to contract. As a result, a horse or pony who is shod may need a slightly different sized and/or shaped shoe during different times of the year.

The length of your horse’s or pony’s trimming and/or shoeing cycle is an important factor in the health of their hooves. Regular attention and care from your farrier plays an important role in helping to keep your horse or pony sound and with healthy hooves. Just remember that ‘regular’ time frames fluctuate depending on the time of year and weather conditions.

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