Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The land of Enchantment
I buy into "leave it in there". The argument to leave clean dirt in makes structural sense to me. I live in a dry environment, and probably wouldn't leave it in if it were buggy bog or something. I check each day, if it is pooh...I clean, if it is fine moist dirt, I am quite happy to leave it.
Like loosie, I have had my horses in wet environments where their water source was creeks, which they drank from them and crossed daily and walked on moist pasture - and there hooves would get packed w grass/clay mix. No problems w their hooves, ever. They were softer, of course, which was appropriate for their environment. When put in a dry rocky climate they quickly adapt and become rock hard. However, if you want to wash them (an effort that I don't see as necessary at all), I would think it would affect the hoof health no differently than if they walked through a creek....but I would lose the soap.
There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.