There are many basic routine tasks involved in taking care of your horse, here are just a few: -
Grooming a Horse
Grooming a horse is primarily carried out for appearance's sake, however, it has other objectives as well. Grooming cleans the skin so that it can work to maximum effect. Grooming and strapping, when the horse is rhythmically thumped with a pad on the shoulders, quarters and neck, also encourages muscle development and tone, and promotes circulation.
Stabled horses that are clipped, kept under artificial conditions, and fed quantities of heating food, create additional waste matter. Much of this waste is removed through an increased rate of breathing and through excrement, but much is also disposed of through the skin, the pores of which must be clean if the function is to be fulfilled.
Horses kept out at pasture should not be overly groomed since you remove the waterproofing layer of grease from the coat. It is sufficient to brush off the worst of the mud before going for a ride.
Grooming is best carried out from front to rear, starting high up on the horse's head behind the ears. Stand away from the horse, the secret of grooming lies in getting one's whole weight behind the brush, which cannot be done when too close to the horse.
The object of shoeing is to protect the hoof of the working horse from being worn away more quickly than it could be replaced by natural growth, and it also improves the gripping property of the hoof.
The farrier's job is to preserve its natural function and the horse's natural action. He also seeks to remedy conformational defects resulting in faulty movement, and to counter the effect of disease.
The horn grows between 1/4" and 3/4" per month, therefore, the shoes need to be removed every four weeks so that the excess growth can be removed. A new set of shoes should be fitted if the old ones are unserviceable.
The shoe is fixed to the hoof either by hot or cold shoeing. Hot shoeing involves heating the shoe until it is red hot. It is then placed on the hoof for a few seconds, burning a brown rim where it touches. The object is to check the fit and to ensure the whole shoe is in perfect contact. If the brown rim is incomplete, the hoof must be rasped again until the surface is level. A well-made shoe follows the rim of the hoof wall and is neither too wide, too long nor too short. Hot shoeing allows the farrier to make adjustments to the shape of the shoe more easily and it should ensure a perfect fit. Cold shoeing is when the completed shoe is nailed to the prepared hoof without first being heated, and it is not thought to be as satisfactory.
Horse Hoof Care
The basic tools for cleaning your horse's hooves are a high-quality hoof dressing, hoof sealer and a hoof pick. Begin by holding the hoof in a comfortable position, with the hoof well supported by one hand. Holding the hoof pick in your other hand, loosen the mud, manure, and bedding by inserting the point of the hoof pick near the bulbs of the heels. Often you will be able to pop off a large disk of mud and manure with this technique. Next, make downward swipes with the hoof pick in the clefts of the frog. With practice, you will know exactly where the clefts are even if they are covered with mud. Now do a more thorough job of scraping all debris from around the inside edge of the shoe or hoof. Be sure to get any mud or material that has become lodged under the heels of the shoes near the opening of the clefts of the frog.