Have you used your infrared thermometer to check your horse’s hoof temperature? I hadn’t either!

I was reading an article in American Farrier’s Journal where they suggest taking your horses’ hoof temperatures with a digital thermometer gun.

So simple.  So smart.

Why didn’t anyone think of this or tell me about it when Tess was so ill for so long?!  Well, now all of you know.

Just use the infrared digital thermometers that everyone  is pointing at our foreheads nowadays.

What a great idea!


Studies have shown that a hoof over 94.1 F for six hours or more indicates severe risk of structural changes to the hoof after a laminitic event according to van Eps studies on laminitis.

So, instead of putting your hand on a hoof and guessing, now you can know.

Actually, it might be a good routine to do this with your daily feed-n-check.  If I had done this with Tess, I might have caught changes sooner.

Of course, if your horse is overfed or knocks over a grain bin and eats it all, you pretty much know there will be an issue.

But, if stress or some unknown weed creeps into your horse’s system, this would be an indicator before the issue becomes a freight train of heartache.


Although this article is about hot nails…, the concept applies.

For me, since we are all barefoot, we don’t need to check for nail.  However, the idea is brilliant to check for abnormalities in the hoof.

So simple.

I love this fix!

Here is the article from the farrier:

click to go to article

Check Hoof Temperatures!

An inexpensive and highly versatile diagnostic tool may help you do a better job of shoeing

By using a hand-held infrared radiation thermometer, Andrew Elsbree never worries about hot nails.

When he’s done nailing a double nail pad on a short or broken hoof, the Greenville, N.Y., farrier frequently uses a pocket-sized infrared thermometer with a laser beam sighting device to scan the hoof’s temperature.

“If I find an area around a nail where the temperature is higher than the rest of the hoof, I’ll pull the nail and start over,” he says. “Since I bought one of these inexpensive infrared thermometers, I haven’t had to go back to a barn to deal with a nail.”

Normally, Elsbree can use his hand to determine if there’s any excessive heat in a portion of a hoof, but not always. Using the infrared thermometer, a typical temperature in the coronet band area measures 90 degrees but drops to 87 or 88 degrees a half inch lower on the hoof.

“If your heel or toe nails are warmer than the rest of the hoof, the temperature reading may show you have a problem with a hot nail,” he says.

Pull The Trigger

Elsbree finds the thermometer works best when held an inch or two from the hoof. “Just aim the pistol-like instrument at a specific hoof area, pull the trigger and read the temperature on the screen,” he says.

hoof tempPOINT, SHOOT, READ. With a pocket-sized, easy-to-use infrared thermometer, varying hoof-area temperatures can help you immediately spot shoeing troubles before finishing a horse.

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