Discerning horse owners know there\’s more than meets than eye when it comes to hoof picks. Those tiny little tools in the tack store that typically go missing on a monthly basis, end up in the laundry pile because you\’ve forgotten to remove it from your back pocket again – and are an absolute essential when it comes to the care of your equine companion.
It\’s been said a million times. No Hoof, No Horse.
To be at their best, horse care starts at ground level. And if you\’re like me, you\’re picky about which hoof pick is in your hand. I\’m not fond of wimpy picks that can\’t stand up to tough mud, balled-up snow or are difficult to hang on to with my hands. Here are a few of my favorite picks available, available either at your local tack store or via the internet. There may be a couple you haven\’t seen yet but trust me, they\’re worth a shot! Plus, be sure to check out the upcoming September / October issue of WHR for some more Great Hoof Care Products.
1. The Jelly Wellie hoofpick has a boot-shaped handle, is 5 3/4\” tall and comes in assorted colors. Aside from being a sturdy pick, this one never goes missing via the male riders in our barn. Making it one of my ultimate faves <grin.>
2. These plastic bodied picks with brushes are great for cleaning out dirt deep in the crevices of a frog but typically, the metal pick can easily be bent backwards. At least, that\’s been my experience – especially when dealing with Gumbo mud – an anomaly of nature, I\’m sure.
3. The Ultimate Hoofpick was designed by a horse trainer who was fed up with picks that couldn’t hold their own when it came to yet another hoof filled with concrete-like mud. An ergonomically correct, unbreakable handle with a rubber, easy grip and a wider pick angle makes this hoofpick a solid and effective tool. The \”Jackhammer of Hoof Care\” comes in two sizes and easily tackles packed-in mud and snow.
4. The Illuminated Hoof Pick from MJ Equine Tools is truly a bright idea. What sets this pick apart is its battery powered LED light on the tip. Now you can have a better view when cleaning out a horse’s hooves and while checking for problems such as puncture wounds or hoof cracks. Accompanied by a sturdy steel pick, a stiff nylon brush and an easy grip handle, the Illuminated Hoof Pick is also water resistant. Also available in hot pink or electric blue.
5. To be totally honest, I truly only like having these two types of hoof picks in our trailer for when we head to a show. Typically horse shows are a frenzy of missing – or misplaced – equipment, in my case. Therefore, the vinyl-handled hoof pick on the right which can be found in every tack store, often for only a little over $1.00, is the perfect pick to have if you know there is potential for it to go missing.
The silver-plated beauty on the left is a great conversation piece but if I remember correctly, it cost almost $15 and I can\’t say it was worth the money.
6. Hoof picks from Oster are one of my all-time favorite picks. With a rubber control-touch handle for added comfort and a better grip, it easily fits into my hands. The durable stainless steel pick resists rust and is an incredibly strong structure within its handle. Plus, these picks come as a convenient pocket size! Available in blue or pink.