How to Take Good Hoof Photos
Taking good hoof photos is crucial to getting a good evaluation of your horse's hooves. Studying good hoof photos will help you learn more about the health of your horse's hooves and how to spot problems before they occur.
Step One: Choose the right area
Make sure that you have a good location to take your photos. You need a fairly firm (so that the hoof doesn't sink into it) and flat surface. Lighting is also important - try to avoid an area where there is direct sunlight such as an open doorway of a barn, or in a very dark corner, as they don't make for good hoof photos. Natural, even light is best but using a flash also works (just be sure to check your horse is ok with the flash going off before you attempt to shoot the hooves, else he might end up in your lap!).
Step Two: Clean the Area
Sweep the area clean or lay down a board or rubber mat on the floor. Any shavings or hay left on the floor will cause you problems as the camera will focus on them and make your hooves look blurry.
Step Three: Clean the Hoof
Clean the hooves thoroughly. Pick them out and use a wire brush to thoroughly clean out all the cracks and crevises. If the foot still looks dirty then try soaking in warm water for a few minutes and then scrub with the brush to get rid of every spec of dirt. Then thoroughly dry the foot with a towel.
Step Four: Re-clean the Area
This step may seem repetitive, but be sure not to skip it. Even one small lump of mud can get in the way of good hoof photos.
Step Five: Taking the Good Hoof Photos
There are seven main hoof shots that I like to take. Remember for the majority of these shots the camera needs to be on the ground, otherwise there will be distortion. If you have any specific problems with the hooves you can also include additional photos of them.
Step Six: Taking Body Shots
When taking good hoof photos it is also useful to have the following body shots of the horse as they can indicate how comfortable the horse is with her feet.
Return from Good Hoof Photos to Natural Hoofcare
Learn more about hooves
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