Any way to soften hooves for farrier? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 02:10 PM
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My farrier keeps telling me I NEED to put something on her hooves to soften them before he trims and shoes her. It kills him and takes him longer because how hard my mare's feet are. The issue is they get so dry the start to chip too. Sadly we can't buy the non liquid hoof conditioner...
Kiger, I can understand your farrier's point of view - it does make it easier if they're softer, and soaking them temporarily to soften them a little *for the farrier visit* is one thing, but it's not helpful to your horse to 'moisturise' his feet otherwise - dry & rock hard is good! Chipping is about the trim(she is shod & chips?) &/or frequency of trimming.

Rialto, like you am in an environment where it's more usually the opposite problem. But I do also see a lot of rock hard feet during summer. I think quality of tools makes a huge difference & rarely think 'I wish they'd soaked...'. But I do remember the first few summers when I was new to trimming & lived in a drier environment, I used to make time to trim after any rain!
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post #12 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 02:35 PM
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I would normally agree but they are SO dry they are cracking constantly. Her feet where just done and she is already chipping under the shoes. In az you want some moisture in the hooves.
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post #13 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 02:55 PM
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I would normally agree but they are SO dry they are cracking constantly. Her feet where just done and she is already chipping under the shoes. In az you want some moisture in the hooves.
I don't quite understand how they're chipping under the shoes, but cracking constantly indicates a real problem. *Assumng* they're well trimmed, no infection present, etc, I'd be thinking they were likely lacking something nutrition-wise then. Hooves are meant to be hard & dry & 'built' for desert conditions.
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post #14 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 03:09 PM
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[QUOTE=KigerQueen;4757018]My farrier keeps telling me I NEED to put something on her hooves to soften them before he trims and shoes her. It kills him and takes him longer because how hard my mare's feet are. The issue is they get so dry the start to chip too. Sadly we can't buy the non liquid hoof conditioner...[/

QUOTE]

Tell your farrier to sharpen his tools
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post #15 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 04:22 PM
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They look good right after, no chips or cracks. It looks like water damage under the shoes but its not (everything is bone dry). It doesn't help that her stall is dry, like suck the life out of things dry. I can dump her water bucket in it and it will be bone dry in 5 min. Its prevalent out here because its THAT dry (it happens to alot of horses in the area, and all with different farriers). I'll see if I can get pics tomorrow.

Im looking at getting her some supplements but right now she is an air fern and fat -_-'
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post #16 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 05:02 PM
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I don't think a supplement or ration balancer will cause a fat horse to get fatter. All those products do is provide the minerals and vitamins that the horse may not be getting otherwise.

If I am incorrect, somebody please correct me, but i've seen overweight horses on supplements and the supplements did not change their body condition at all, other than one horse losing his hay belly after being on the supplement for a while.
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post #17 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Taffy Clayton View Post
tell your farrier to sharpen his tools
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I agree. I trim our 5 horses myself and have great respect for the effort that it takes, especially when they are rock hard dry, but that is part of the job that you are paying for.

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post #18 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 06:40 PM
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I was feeding her strategy healthy edge for a while because it dose not make her hot (she is an older arab but no one told her that). I am somewhat clueless how to give her supplements if not in feed. And with summer coming she will not be doing anything so she will not be working off much feed.
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post #19 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by VickiRose View Post
Okay so I'm new to horses, so tell me if I'm being an idiot.

Its summer here and our pony's hooves are like rock hard. The soles are literally like stone and the hoof wall is hard and dry.

I have the barefoot trimmer coming on Saturday to do a badly needed trim (I'm a bad horsey mumma, her feet look terrible ) and I'm wondering if I need to do anything to soften her hooves first. Just to make trimming easier, so temporary softening not long lasting.

She is not a fan of having her feet done (but hugely improved from where we started), so anything to make like easier and speed the trim up will help.

But maybe I should just leave them alone? Ideas?
That's a new one to me. Wanting to take a wonderfully hard foot and soften it?

Our objective has always been to get the feet as hard as possible (grandfather insisted on it). Too hard to use a good sharp hoof knife on was great. The ideal was to get them so hard that the only thing that worked for trimming was a good, sharp rasp/file and some "elbow grease" . Those are the feet you can ride anywhere on and they hold up. I spend a great deal of time working mine's feet to reach that point.

If you're having them shod I can see why it's a problem (but then that begs the question of if you've gotten them that hard why on earth would you want to have them shod?)

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #20 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, lots of answers and opinions!

To clarify, we've had no rain since about october, so 4 months or so. The dirt where she is has a lot of clay so its very drying.

She has great feet and I love that they are so rock hard, (lbs not miles, your granddad would love them, can't hardly scratch them with a good hoof knife ), but she dislikes getting them trimmed.

We are working to get her more comfortable with trimming and foot handling in general, but I figured that the easier it was for the trimmer, the quicker it would be and the less stress on the horse.

I've got no interest in KEEPING her feet soft (our usual wet winter will do more of that than I like in another 3 months or so) , just need a temporary softening.
I think a half hour or so in some water before trimming will help enough for what I want.
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