Date of Completion
Hoof and paddock management are two of the most important facets of domestic horse care. Understanding hoof growth and shoeing needs as well as managing turnout to match behavior patterns may benefit equine well-being. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of season on hoof growth rate and travel patterns in turnout. Nine Morgan horses were used in this study. Each horse's turnout travel patterns were measured four times in each season using a Garmin Edge® GPS tracking device. Additionally, hoof and body measurements were taken to determine change over a one month period in each season. Season was found to have a significant effect on hoof growth as well as body condition score and waist size. Season and weather had no significant effect on distance traveled in overnight turnout. A direction for future research may be to determine an average growth rate for each season, which would allow horse owners and farriers to create a more specific shoeing and trimming schedule. The data from GPS tracking provides horse owners with a better understanding of equine behavior in turnout, allowing them to create more efficient management schedules.
Lewis, Caitlin E., "The Effect of Season on Hoof Growth and Travel Patterns of Domestic Horses" (2012). Master's Theses. Paper 238.