Everyone is familiar with the terrible injuries in horse racing where a horse breaks a leg or damages his tendons so badly that he has to put down. Fortunately, injuries of this magnitude are not very common.
However, it is quite common for a horse to injure his hoof and come up lame. Sometimes, these are minor injuries that only require a little stall rest and your horse will bounce right back. Other times, what seems like a small injury can turn out to be quite serious and can result in permanent injury and even death to your horse.
It is important to check on your horse’s hoof on a daily basis. If he pulls up lame, you need to check and see if he has stepped on a stone, or worse, cut the soft sole of his hoof he will be “head bobbing lame”. This is where every time he takes a step; his head will bob as he tries to keep from putting weight on his sore foot.
Check his tendons, make sure he hasn’t pulled one or strained it. Run your hand up and down his leg and check for swelling, tenderness or heat. One of the best things you can do for this is running cold water on it several times a day. This reduces the heat and helps the swelling go down.
If you don’t see any injury to his leg, it probably is located in his hoof. It may be a stone bruise or other bruise where he kicked the wall or fence. It may be an abscess. You can check for this by tapping on the hoof, if the horse pulls back when you tap in one place but not another, it likely is an abscess.
The treatment for this is to soak the hoof in warm Epsom salts. You may try to pack the hoof with a poultice of Epsom salts to try and draw the abscess out. For most horses, this is an exercise in frustration; they never seem to leave the bandage in place for very long.
If your horse is seriously lame, you need to have the vet see him as soon as possible. Remember, a horse’s foot has to support his entire weight. A small nagging injury can lead to serious consequences. More tips treating horse injury, go to http://www.horsecapture.net/2016/08/18/treating-simple-injuries-on-your-horse/