Dry hooves?
   

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Dry hooves?

This is a discussion on Dry hooves? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Can i add anything to my horses diet to help with dry hoofs
  • Causes for dry hooves in horses

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    12-08-2012, 11:59 PM
  #1
Weanling
Dry hooves?

Hi
My horse has quite dry feet and I am curious to know what other do as far as combatting this. I used to use hoof oil in the past but I have heard from a number of sources that it doesnt really do much except make them look 'pretty' until dirt etc gets stuck to it. Would adding a certain oil to his feed help with this? Am planning to ask my farrier next time she comes out, she is a barefoot trimmer and was one of the people who said hoof oil really doesnt do much good. We are heading into a pretty dry summer and I want to get his feet as healthy as possible as even though he is being trimmed every 4 weeks they get very chipped and broken after only a couple of weeks.
Thanks!
     
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    12-09-2012, 05:59 AM
  #2
Trained
Dry, hard hooves are good, not bad, and when it's very dry, a barefoot horse will have chipping in between trims that is natural and just cosmetic. If it bothers you, have your farrier show you how to clean them up with a rasp in between trims.
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    12-09-2012, 07:39 PM
  #3
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi79    
being trimmed every 4 weeks they get very chipped and broken after only a couple of weeks.
Thanks!
I would guess(need info & pics for more than that) that diet & nutrition may be the main issue. Horses have evolved in arid environments & their feet are meant to be dry & hard, but if brittle & cracking, this is frequently nutritional. Painting on topical goop does no more than painting your own fingernails do for their health - for better nails, they need to be fed right.

Other issues could be an imbalanced or insufficient trim for your horse's situation, the need for 'brushup' trims between farrier visits if they chip at the ground surface, infection such as seedy toe, having come from an overly wet environment into sudden dry...
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    12-10-2012, 08:46 PM
  #4
Foal
Dry hard hooves are healthy hooves. BUT, if you had a problem like I did where my horses hooves would chip shortly after a trim, then you might need to fix something. First, make sure your farrier knows what he's doing. MANY MANY farriers I have met and sadly used had no idea how to trim a horse that is barefoot. If they do not trim it correctly the way you should trim for a horse that is going barefoot then, that's when you get all sorts of problems.

Next make sure your horse is getting it's needs nutritionally. Hooves start from the inside, like your nails and hair. Make sure it's getting the correct grain/hay/grass amount. Don't skim out on grain, that's where they get their vitamins and minerals from.

Try a feed with extra biotin. Biotin helps hoove growth.

If you do everything correctly and are still having a problem you're going to have to do what I did and that's put your horse on a hoove supplement. My old gelding always had a problem with his feet, none of my other horses did, but him. The only supplement I truely believes works WONDERFUL is Farrier's Formula. (I use the double strength one) After 6 months of using it, the results were amazing. I have tried many many many supplements for hooves and this one was by far the most effective and had the best results.

Also - many people say dressings do not work... most of the time, they are just a waste, but some do work. I do use Rain Maker by Farman products for moisturizing and preventing cracks in my other horses once a week (I couldn't afford to keep all my horses on farrier's formula at the time, or now for that matter lol) and I do see a difference when I use it and don't use it. Yes dressings do not change the health of the hooves, nor do they 'fix' the problem, but they can help if you use them regularly.

I do not use farrier's formula anymore as my horses I have now do not need it, but I do use rainmaker once a week and I do see a difference (on the outside of course)
     
    12-11-2012, 12:23 AM
  #5
Trained
Justhorsin, good points re *correct* trimming & nutrition, but a couple of details I'd like to clarify...

Quote:
Originally Posted by justhorsinaround1    
Don't skim out on grain, that's where they get their vitamins and minerals from.
No, they don't get much from that actually. Phosphorus is high in grain & they do get some other minerals, but little at all in the way of vitamins so to speak - anything dried/processed has lost most of it's vitamin content. Grain is also very high in starch, which isn't great for horses(or ultimately their hooves), and if not well processed, is difficult for the horse to digest, especially if not fed little & often. Therefore I'd avoid grain all together unless absolutely necessary, in favour of a healthier alternative, if extra energy was required.

Quote:
Try a feed with extra biotin. Biotin helps hoove growth. ....If you do everything correctly and are still having a problem you're going to have to do what I did and that's put your horse on a hoove supplement.
Agree that biotin is one vitamin that helps hooves grow. But it is but one nutrient of many that are likely to be imbalanced/deficient that effect the feet & therefore may need to be supp'd. If you are 'doing everything correctly' you should be feeding the horse well balanced nutrition. Therefore you wouldn't need extra supplements(even if you're having issues). If your horse isn't getting a balanced diet, he likely will need *an appropriate* supp, hoof or otherwise.

It depends on what he's getting already in his diet as to what he may need, so no one supp is going to be the best to fit everyone's bill - best to do at least a basic diet analysis so you can choose the *appropriate & needed* nutrients to add, rather than just feeding some supplement willy nilly. I highly recommend feedxl.com as a service which allows you to 'do it yourself' diet analysis & then work out the ideal diet for any horse & situation.

Quote:
Yes dressings do not change the health of the hooves, nor do they 'fix' the problem, but they can help if you use them regularly.
I don't get how you can agree they don't do anything to improve health, but say they can help, unless you're just talking cosmetically. I disagree thoroughly that they can prevent cracks & the impervious outer layer of wall can't absorb moisture, or need it. If hoof oils & such were just harmless, I wouldn't think it matters, but especially if there are cracks &/or infection present, they can actually do further harm, by improving the environment the bugs want to party in.[/quote]
     
    12-11-2012, 12:46 AM
  #6
Started
Simplistic answer, overflow the water trough. If the issue is dry hooves, standing in water to drink will help.
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    12-11-2012, 09:39 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by justhorsinaround1    
Also - many people say dressings do not work... most of the time, they are just a waste, but some do work. I do use Rain Maker by Farman products for moisturizing and preventing cracks in my other horses once a week (I couldn't afford to keep all my horses on farrier's formula at the time, or now for that matter lol) and I do see a difference when I use it and don't use it. Yes dressings do not change the health of the hooves, nor do they 'fix' the problem, but they can help if you use them regularly.

I do not use farrier's formula anymore as my horses I have now do not need it, but I do use rainmaker once a week and I do see a difference (on the outside of course)
I had to use Rainmaker this year as well. It's the first time I've ever used a hoof oil, but this summer was bad. With only getting rain 1 day a month for 3 months and hitting 100 degrees day after day, it was nasty! Our weather is never like this. Plus I ride her on gravel. It was the worst I have ever seen her hooves and she's getting biotin in her feed (gets grain every day). I was really happy with Rainmaker, it kept the chipping on the edge of the hoof rather than taking chunks/splitting up the hoof. I applied it once a week. At least in my experience I liked it. I don't plan to keep using it unless we have another drought next year.

We had really weird weather this year for the horses! Most horses in SE Iowa were bald this spring because it got hot so fast their winter coats fell out before their summer coats grew in, and hooves were very dry and cracking everywhere once the drought hit. Our vet thought there was a horse lice epidemic happening this spring because so many people called him about bald horses. He came to our farm and told us it got hot too quickly for them (kind of sucked paying him for the farm call on that one, lol).
     
    12-11-2012, 10:22 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzoleya    
worst I have ever seen her hooves and she's getting biotin in her feed (gets grain every day). I was really happy with Rainmaker, it kept the chipping on the edge of the hoof rather than taking chunks/splitting up the hoof.
Oh for dry weather, for the sake of horses over here! I would consider she may be lacking/imbalanced in nutrition, if biotin is the only supplement she gets, and that feeding her grain may well be part of her problem. IME if hooves break away in chunks & split badly, it's imbalanced/insufficient trimming, infection, diet/nutrition that's the cause, or a combination of those things. Could also be due to horses living in waterlogged/eternally damp environments & then suddenly finding themselves on hard/dry footing - IOW too much wet, rather than too dry.

Oil doesn't hydrate, water does.
     
    12-11-2012, 10:59 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Oh for dry weather, for the sake of horses over here! I would consider she may be lacking/imbalanced in nutrition, if biotin is the only supplement she gets, and that feeding her grain may well be part of her problem. IME if hooves break away in chunks & split badly, it's imbalanced/insufficient trimming, infection, diet/nutrition that's the cause, or a combination of those things. Could also be due to horses living in waterlogged/eternally damp environments & then suddenly finding themselves on hard/dry footing - IOW too much wet, rather than too dry.

Oil doesn't hydrate, water does.
That's probably the reason then. The farm back home was really boggy and she stood in mud most of the time, we had a lot of tiling put in the pasture because large ponds would form. Now she's on a farm near me and it's dry as a bone every where, no water to be found, and she gets fed and watered on a cement area. Maybe the change of environment did it then. I had never seen her hooves chip and split like that.
     
    12-12-2012, 10:35 AM
  #10
Yearling
I would think that dry hooves in a dry season is nature's way of protecting a hoof. A moist hoof in dry season would probably be detrimental to the inner structures. I personally think that vitamins/biotin, etc are the way to go, but it takes approximately 12 months for a hoof to grow completely down.

I never believed that wetting hooves would help for a trim. Boy was I wrong! It's great.
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