Hoof Care at Moondance
There are several factors that determine the potential for a healthy hoof on any breed of horse; terrain, diet, movement, and a proper trim. We are grateful that the Moondance Walking Horse Farm property happens to have the ideal terrain for rehabbing and maintaining hooves - sandy loam soil with an abundance of natural river rock. We have greater control over the other three factors that affect the hoof health of our horses.
Armed with the knowledge from the NRC Equine Nutrition Course, we feed our horses a diet of organic feeds and minerals with powdered fat added when extra calories are necessary. We have experimented with numerous feeds and supplements to find the best results come from a combination of Cool Stance Copra ground toasted coconut, New Country Organics Connemara Crunch with field peas and New Country Organics Equine Mineral. The new hoof growth is consistently smooth and healthy and the frogs are tough and thrush free.
Because half of our horses are either in foal or youngsters, keeping them moving without riding them becomes a challenge. We can easily affect the distance they travel in the winter months by placing their forage source as far away from their water source as possible. The grassy season keeps us on our toes as we look for ways to keep exercise on the daily agenda. The horses that are under saddle get ridden often, sometimes daily.
The final factor is not always as simple as it may seem. A natural trim is quite different from a trim to prepare a hoof for a shoe and very few people are knowledgeable enough to trim a hoof for barefoot success. I am thankful to have been trained to properly trim our horses by Jenipher and Chuck McDonald of www.feetfirstwellness.com. Most trim cycles, I have so much help from Chuck and Jenipher that I rarely trim but a few of my horses...enough to know their feet and to maintain my skills as a trimmer.
We have sold horses to many wonderful people across the country. Some have preferred to put shoes on their horses and others have kept their horses barefoot. Our goal has been to sell horses whose hooves are as healthy as possible when they leave Moondance Walking Horse Farm so their new owners have a strong, stable hoof to ride their horses on no matter what they choose.