How to Clean Horse Hooves Properly: (Complete Guide)

how to clean horse hooves

You need to clean your horse’s hooves frequently as it is a necessary part of hoof care. There are several reasons for this. You can find it difficult to properly clean the hoof if you don’t know-how. So, in this article, we will guide you on how to clean horse hooves properly.

You already know how uncomfortable it can be to walk with a pebble stuck in your shoe. If they don’t have their hooves cleaned regularly, your horse will start feeling uncomfortable. A horse owner will have to perform many daily tasks to keep his horse’s hooves healthy and debris-free, including cleaning the horse’s hooves.

You should check your horse’s hooves for foreign objects, bruises, or punctures if it’s suddenly lame for no apparent reason. Whenever you clean your horse’s feet, you need to secure it so that it doesn’t walk off while you’re doing so.

To tell a horse to raise its hoof, you should gently squeeze the fetlock of the horse and position yourself perpendicular to the leg you wish to pick up. Use the hoof pick to remove mud and debris while holding the hoof with your other hand.

Here’s how you can incorporate horse hoof cleaning into your daily routine to ensure your horse’s overall health and well-being.

5 Steps to Clean Horse Hooves Effectively


Ensure that your horse is safely restrained before you begin picking out its hooves. Making sure your horse is safely tied up is crucial when you’re cleaning his hooves, as you don’t want him to wander off while you’re working. Your horse will also be less likely to become scared if it is restrained this way.

2.    Approach the horse safely

It’s a good idea to approach a horse from the side so it can see where you are going. The best way to avoid scaring a horse is to let it see you approaching.


Next time you approach a horse, stand next to its shoulder so that it knows you are there. If a horse tries to kick you, face the tail so that you are protected. You can then see the bottom of the horse’s foot by gently squeezing the back of the horse’s leg.


Lift your horse’s foot when you want them to. In case your horse doesn’t know how to lift their foot, there are several ways to signal them. Place your hand on the back of your horse and wait a few seconds. Once you reach the foot of your horse, slowly run your hand down its leg.

When you want your horse to lift their hoof, gently pull their cannon area or squeeze the fetlock. When you clean your horse’s hoof, hold the hoof with your weaker, non-dominant hand.


The hoof pick can be used to remove dirt, matted hay or straw, manure, and other debris from horses. Pay close attention to the cleft surrounding the frog as you go from heel to toe. Dirt and chaff can be removed easily by brushing away the bits of dirt with a stiff brush attached to some hoof picks.

When the light is not ideal, an illuminated hoof pick could be useful for examining nooks and crannies that are hard to see. After cleaning the sole of the hoof, you should pick gently around the hoof just to the inside wall.

The white line is more delicate than the rest of the hoof, so you don’t want to poke it. The problem is that this can be a source of grit and small stones, which can cause seedy toes and white line diseases. Furthermore, the frog is more sensitive and softer, so you need to exercise caution when picking at it.


If the hooves have been in prolonged wet environments, a hoof treatment can be applied when the soles are visible. Combined with its protective barrier, Hoof Care Spray is the most effective way for horses to protect themselves against unwanted bacteria, fungi, and thrush.


To avoid stepping on your own feet and fingers, you should be aware of when and where your horse’s hoof touches the ground. Additionally, if you allow your horse to put his foot down while cleaning, he will learn that he can put it down whenever he likes. In addition to being tedious and dangerous, this will make cleaning more challenging.

Why is Horse Hoof Cleaning Important?

Your horse’s hooves are perhaps the most significant part to look out for.  Nevertheless, they’re what let your horse trot and gallop easily. However, once your horse’s hooves get compressed with debris as well as mud, even the easy task of walking can get agonizing. In severe circumstances, an impacted horse’s hoof can cause hoof cracks, lameness, plus other hoof issues.

With everyday cleaning, you can retain your horse’s hooves in the best situation. Not only does this avoid discomfort; however, but it also prevents any injuries from significantly damaging the hoof. Wreckage can bruise or cut your horse’s sole. Deprived of appropriate cleaning and care, a hoof cut can cause infections and abscesses.

How to maintain horse hooves?

In addition to routine cleanings, you can practice several other habits to ensure your horse’s hooves get strong and healthy.

Examine hooves regularly:  Inspect your horse for rubbish before and after riding. Consistent inspections will also aid you in staying on top of wounds, mycological infections, or loose shoes.

Keep bedding clean as well as dry: Once bed shavings are moist, they can become easily cling to the horse hoof. This generates a warm, moist environment where microorganisms can flourish.   Standing water and dirt are also offenders for hoof complications.  A clean environment is a great form of prevention!

Avoid turning your horse out in unfortunate conditions: Walking your horse over wet frequently, muddy grasses can put them in greater danger of developing thrush.

Encourage regular exercise: Consistent exercise enhances blood flow in the hooves. This aids in encouraging hoof growth and general hoof health.

Ask about nutrition plus supplements: Nutrition plays a vital role in your horse’s hoof health; thus, ask your veterinarian if there are any enhancements you can make to your horse’s diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are different horse hoof cleaning tools

Here is a list of different horse hoof cleaning tools.

  • Hoof Picks
  • Hoof Knives
  • Hoof Dressing
  • Brushes Hoof paint
  • Brushes Hoof stands
  • Nail Clinchers
  • Hoof Nippers

Q: How often to clean horse hooves?

Horse hooves should be cleaned at least once a day as part of equine daily care. Horses are usually hoof-picked before leaving their stables in a professional stable yard so that they don’t bring bedding and muck along with them.

Q: Dose Cleaning horse hooves hurt?

Using a hoof pick to clean a horse’s hoof is unlikely to cause horse harm. It is possible to harm the leg or the horse if you are not able to properly request and hold the hoof. Keeping your horse’s hooves clean is an important part of your daily routine because no hoof, no horse.

Conclusion: How to clean horse hooves?

Horses need to have their hooves cleaned regularly to stay healthy. The regular cleaning of horses’ hooves removes dirt, manure, stones, and other particles lodged inside. In addition, it allows you to observe how your horse’s hooves are doing.

The right tools and techniques are necessary to clean a hoof successfully and safely. It will take some practice, but you will be able to keep the horse calm and relaxed while removing dirt and debris from the hoof. Despite being highly important, a horse’s hooves are fragile and can suffer damage over time.

Many horses’ hooves are exposed to a lot of stress, bearing a lot of weight, and enduring a lot of stress. You can keep your horse healthy and happy by taking adequate care of its hooves. We hope that you will be able to learn How to clean a horse’s hoof effectively by now.

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