But I see hooves chipping mostly for three reasons:-
- Newly deshod hoof is growing out nail holes/damage and/or breakover is moving back
- Poor horn quality
- Neglect and/or poor trimming
Poor horn quality needs to be addressed by fixing the diet (KISS)* and introducing a carefully planned and well executed work programme to stimulate the foot into producing more high quality growth. Any decent trimmer should be able to advise you on your particular.
Neglect :-( and poor trimming :-( are often cited as reasons why a horse can't go barefoot (the foot chips). Sorry but these are inexcusable. I can understand why people struggle with diet, the advice/general knowledge on offer is often a bit out of date, but neglect is never acceptable and there are some damn fine trimmers out there and the AANHCP network is growing daily. I do understand that in some countries it can be hard to find a trimmer in the locality, but always try contacting the AANHCP because they are generally very helpful. I've even known members to get on a plane to organise workshops in countries where there are no qualified local trimmers.
Ok promo over! If you are worried about hoof chips - usually you don't need to be - put the chip in context and if you are unsure contact your trimmer.
Put it this way the first horse in this post lost their quarter (old abscess hole growing out) - but was never a day lame and she works 6+ days a week and for hours at a time on all sorts of surfaces including roads and stones.
The second horse (same post) was never lame from the chunk missing from their hoof either (the laminitis was another matter!)
*My new version of this is Keep It Simple and Sugarfree! Or you could go for Keep It Starch and Sugarfree.....