I don't do it every day IF the ground is dry and the horses aren't going anywhere. I do check the shod one almost every day--usually there's nothing in there worth picking. The barefoot ones need even less checking--2-3x per week, maybe, and rarely I'll pick a bit out of the pony's narrow little feet.
Horse going out to work? Always before and after they are checked and picked if needed. Visual check of feet and shoes twice a day.
I'd say pretty important myself. But then again, we have thrush issues in the summer. I pick mine out 2x a week unless something is going on (thrush for instance) then I do it every day until the problem is taken care of. All of mine are barefoot.
So, in your opinion, does it need to be done every day? Every time before the horse is turned out and as soon as it is brought in? Would you pay someone to pick out your horse's feet on days you couldn't do it? Is it so important that barn staff should do it every day and the price should be included in board? Is a few times per week before & after a ride enough? Do all the same rules apply if the horse is barefoot or shod?
I pick before I ride. I ride 4-5 times/week. The main reason that I do it, is because I don't want them walking on a stone, and I don't want to get off to check if I find that they are a little off when I get on them.
Before and after every ride, every time horse is groomed. Other than that, depends on the type of turnout and footing. Muddy or rocks? more often than if dry or grass. Depends on whether horse is shod or prone to thrush.
Before every ride and whenever I just groom and pet. Normally I'd say "every time I touch the horse" but there are times (like today) when I'll just throw her in a stall for dinner, then toss her back out. If I hear a rock or anything weird, like one foot goes clop and the other goes clud, I'll stop and pick because it's probably full of dirt.
On the other hand, my BF only picks before rodeos and he's never had a problem. These horses are turned out together.
HOWEVER! He sent me this picture via text one night while I was at work. He said he was bringing Pinky in to eat (she's my little pony princess), and saw that she was standing sorta funny. He said she had NOT been lame at all or taken a weird step, just looked like she was standing sort of weird, so he picked up her foot to look. And saw THIS monster!! It took a claw hammer for him to get it out...I have no idea how she managed to wedge that in there. I saw it the next day (he saved it) and it is almost the size of my fist with a slightly flattened side.
COTH's official mini-donk enabler
"I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl
Horses that are stalled should be picked out every other day, in my opinion. If they are out on dry grass, once a week is sufficient. Also, if they are shod, more often is necessary than barefoot.
Our retired kids that are outside all day and in at night, get a quick check every night... of course if someone is in a hurry or sick, etc. Well the feet are left alone for the night.
I do know of a horse that was stalled, with turnout everyday, but short periods of time. He was shod also, which I really do think makes a difference. Never had his feet picked out. His hoof ended up crumbling and falling off. He had severe thrush that developed abcesses and the whole thing just fell apart. The owner didn't think picking was necessary. Bad decision.
Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.
It depends on the situation. I always pick out feet before putting a horse in a stall. Pine shavings/sawdust have antibacterial properties, so getting the hoof good and clean and then letting the horse stand in clean shavings keeps it from developing thrush. My horses are turned out 24/7 right now, so I only pick out before riding.
I am kind of surprised by what I am reading. I was taught when I was little that a horse should be picked in the morning during their check and in the evening after their dinner and before each and every ride.
The way I look at is this...
If I check them in the morning and clean their feet I can see if anything is amiss. And when I clean them at night I rest easy knowing that that stone I might pick out hasn't been sitting there irritating them any more than a few hours. I can also be sure that their temps are normal and that there isn't anything nasty brewing that shouldn't be. Most of the time the feet are clean and a quick pick or brush is all that is needed. It takes maybe 10 minutes to do all three horses, sometimes less.
Peace of mind It's a priceless thing for me.
I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques
Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.
I think I'm weird. At the barn where I work, I pick out the horses' feet before we leave their stalls to go outside. I pick out their feet when they come back inside. I pick out their feet before they leave their stalls to get ridden. I pick the arena footing out of their feet when they come back in from being ridden. So they all get picked like.... a thousand times a day.
But hell, I'm the first one to notice when something is NQR with their feet, just because I know them all so well from looking at them so darn much.