Summertime hoof changes

Peeling, flaking hooves look alarming, but are a normal consequence of dry summer weather.

It’s the middle of summer and your horse’s hooves seem to be sending an SOS. The soles and frogs are peeling and flaking.

Someone picking out a horse's hoof
You may notice your horse’s frog looks different in summer. Don’t panic; some changes are normal.

Yet a bit of examination may reveal that the cause is simply a seasonal change in footing.

Equine hooves typically get plenty of moisture in the spring. As a result, the horn that emerges is very pliant and relatively soft. In the summer, drier conditions stimulate the growth of much harder, denser horn. The zone between the soft and hard growth eventually causes the frogs and soles to crack and peel.

Click here to learn how to read equine body language.

The condition is temporary, and regular trimming will prevent it from causing your horse any trouble. If, however, be becomes lame or his hooves develop a very foul odor indicative of thrush, consult your veterinarian.

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