How do horse hooves grow? What factors play a role in hoof growth? Lots. There are many factors that play into how your horse grows about 1 cm of hoof a month - it boils down to genetics, environment, and how well you and your Farrier stay ahead of things!
Also consider these factors:
Here’s something else to consider. The vast majority of horses grow asymmetrically. That means their hoof maybe grows more toe than heel, maybe more on the inside than the outside, or maybe more on the outside than the inside. This is the critical reason why your farrier must maintain a regular schedule, even if your horse is desperate to grow some hoof, for whatever reason. Perhaps, if your horse lives in South Dakota, and it’s winter, and he grows absolutely symmetrically, you might be able to go one week longer between visits. Otherwise, keep your farrier on a schedule that works for your horse. Some horses are four weeks, some are eight, it will depend. Work with your team to determine the best schedule!
Regular maintenance is beneficial so that you are not overcorrecting an extreme situation, which requires a significant adjustment in terms of your horse "getting used" to his new hooves after a trim. By routine and frequent trimmings and shoeings on a tight schedule, you create a uniform shoeing cycle with no extremes, which helps your horse grow more hoof correctly. Maintain the hoof without dealing with extremes (too long here, too short there) and the hoof will be happy, comfortable, and grow well. A specific example of this would be a horse that grows a lot of toe, and while you think this may be great, it's the heel that takes the brunt of this as the toe grows out, and often times can prevent the heel from growing at all. Staying on top of this with regular hoof care and trimming prevents this type of situation, and your horse will thank you for it!
The key to hoof growth is blood flow, and the keys to blood flow are movement, diet and overall health. And, of course, paying attention to what's going on!
Top 10 hoof care tips!
No hoof, no horse! Keep your horse’s hooves happy, healthy, and comfortable by using these 10 hoof care tips. Learn easy and fast ways to help your horse's hooves be at top form and peak health.
Hoof cracks can be totally benign - or they can cause major problems for your horse. Learn to spot hoof cracks early, and involve your Farrier and Veterinarian to help your horse have the best possible outcome.