Hoof Rings: Signs A Horse Is Stressed

Horses can show stress in a multitude of ways. They can go off their feed, develop a stereotypie like weaving or cribbing, develop ulcers and more. Some horses show signs of stress by developing hoof rings. Hoof rings are a deviation around the hoof wall that appears at the coronary band and moves down as the hoof grows out.

Hoof rings are generally caused by external stressors, which is why they are sometimes called “stress rings.” They can be caused by:

  • Environmental changes, such as changes in temperature, weather or even social environment.
  • Diet change, like occurs when lush spring grass comes in with a high sugar content. Changes in grain diets may also cause hoof rings.
  • Laminits, where the lamina in the horse’s hooves have a decrease in blood supply.

Once hoof rings are visible, the horse has been stressed for quite some time. It’s better to be aware of potential stressors and address them before the horse becomes so stressed that hoof rings are visible.

Hoof rings, though unsightly, do not generally affect a horse. If the horse receives adequate hoof care, the rings should subside on their own. The exception is rings caused by founder—any horse that is foundering should receive immediate farrier care. Hoof rings caused by founder are visually different than those caused by other environmental stressors. Instead of the rings being evenly spaced around the hoof wall, a foundered horse’s rings will slant upward because of uneven hoof growth at the heels and toes.

Read more at American Farriers Journal.

The post Hoof Rings: Signs A Horse Is Stressed appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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