Completely random. So after we're done for the night, after she's cooled out, groomed down, blanket on for the night. After I pick the hoof and wash each hoof with warm water and stiff brush and follow with hoof conditioner exactly as directed by my farrier; coating the sole, frog and bulbs, and a layer around the coronary band, and if it's been super dry, a layer on the outer wall.
My question/problem is this: even if I put the conditioner on first and groom and blanket while it absorbs, the hoof wont be dry or even remotely close to fully absorbing the conditioner by the time I put her in her stall. I'm not even putting thick layers on! She consistently ends up with shavings all over her feet or now stuck to the sole of her feet. After 15 minutes her bedding will be absorbing a majority of the conditioner right off the hoof wall and sole.
How can I prevent this, or at least maximize the benefits?
Try to feed her as soon as you put her away. Shavings will still cling to her hooves, but the less she moves around, the less likely it will wear off. That, and what you're already doing, is about all you can do (short of making her stand for a few hours on pavement, but THAT wouldn't be good!). I notice that despite all sorts of dirt collecting on my mare's hooves afterwards, they're still starting to look better. Good luck!
What has been suggested is about the only thing I can think of. But I wouldn't worry about it, as it has the 20 minutes or so you spend grooming her and that should be long enough for it to soak in and mosturize everything =)
I used to worry about the same, I always thought the shavings will rub the moisture off the hoof, that it will absorb the moisture and stuff like that. However after a few days of massive improvement when hooves stopped cracking and the farrier stopped complaining about the horse's hooves being so **** dry I learned I don't need to worry. It may not be 100% and not even 90% or 80% of the moisture that gets into the hoof but it's still enough to work as you need it to. My friend would take her horse out on the field for half an hour to "give the moisture some time to absorb" but in my opinion that was just the perfect way to get it all off the hooves as while the shavings stick to the hoof and stay STUCK on it, the grass wipes it off completely. Now I'm sure it also depends on the kind of moisture you're using, I wasted my money and two months and caused more cracks with a "moisture" that didn't do anything to the hoof except it made it sticky after applying. The one I have now was darn expensive but saved my horse's feet and we're both happy. And it smells wonderful!
Do most people use hoof conditioner? I haven't since maybe the first couple of years I owned horses, then it seems like it really never did anything anyway and was a waste of money so I don't bother anymore, although I always clean their feet regularly and watch for thrush.
I guess what I am curious of, is why hoof conditioner is needed. Are the feet to dry or ???
I don't keep my guys stalled, so maybe it is needed with stalled horses more than others. I keep my guys outside in the Arizona rocks and dirt and I consider dry hooves a good thing!
Just curious as to the "whys" of hoof conditioning.
Yes, the hooves get dry. Dry hooves are definitely not a good thing (well, depends what you mean by "dry", if you mean it as in "not wet" then I guess it's good...). My horse's hooves get extremely dry in the summer and crack easily if not moisturised and you don't want your horse's hooves to crack. They're minor cracks but I won't risk leaving it alone for the cracks to expand. By the time I start putting the moisture on (sometimes twice a week, sometimes every day - my farrier always tells me how dry the hooves are) the cracks stop creating and expanding, the farrier does his best to fix the worst ones and we just wait for the hoove to slowly grow new and healthy again. I said I bought a crappy moisturiser in my previous post and it did some serious damage. I thought it is somehow helping though I didn't see any results (everyone in the stable recommended this one to me) and then once I came to the stable in the morning and my horse's shoe was hanging on one single nail, the rest was... chopped off off the hoof... I don't know how to describe it.
This is exactly the way my horse's hooves crack though I've never let it go this far. Basically where the nails are in the hoof, it was chopped off so the shoe had nowhere to be attached to it.
Why were you using the moisturiser? You said you used it but it didn't do any good and then you're stating that you don't even know what moisturisers are for. If you were using it "just to try it cause you saw it in the shop" I'm not surprised it didn't help you. It's not a thing to mess with. Too much moisture and especially there where it's not needed and you can create much more serious problems. It's a matter of climate your horses live in, their health, the way you care for them... While some horses will never have problems with their feet in their lives, some horses have them regularly and some horses experience them once or twice in a lifetime due to change of feed, pasture, bedding... My horse gets dry and cracked hooves in the summer when the temperatures reach far beyond 30°C (90°F - 90°F), July and August being the worst time of the year when the ground is rock dry and walking on it almost equals walking on concrete. It's just like fingernails. Mine used to crack a lot, I was always dreaming about having long nails but they always cracked or tore when I tried to grow them longer. A few years of healthy food (ok, not really healthy, but much healthier than I used to eat before ), vitamins and proper care and my nails (along with my hair) are much stronger and I can finally enjoy having them long!
This kind of cracking is very common. The new moisture I bought (the one that works great for me and my horse) is supposed to be put only around the coronary band. It says you should put approx. 1 cm stripe right where the hoof grows out of the pastern, you just sink your finger into the can and smear what you carried on your finger all around. It's supposed to soak deep into the hoof and give it the needed moisture. HOWEVER this wasn't the way it worked for me. I was doing it just like this for a week or two and I found the coronary band was... gooey, you could like... scratch the slimy layer on top of the hoof off with your nail. So I figured it wasn't really going into the whole of the hoof, it just stayed around the coronary band and moisturised it (heavily) just there. So I started putting it all over the wall to protect the old cracks from cracking further. Then my farrier came and said the main place I need to put the moisture on is the bottom of the hoof as it was still extremely dry. So I just started putting the moisture on the bottom of the hoof EXCEPT the frog and that was finally what we needed. The moisture from the bottom was exactly what was lacking and my horse's hooves never cracked again. I always put the moisture on the sole and a bit into the cracks on the sides (so they don't crack more) and that's just how I'm going to do it next year again should we encounter cracking hooves again. I would highly recommend the moisturiser I have to everyone who has problems with dry hooves but I'm not sure if you can get it in US, I think it's a product of Germany. Next time I'm in the stable (Friday) I can find the pack and tell you what exactly it is.
You asked if you should put it all over the hoof up to the coronary band... That's something I have no clue about, different moisturisers are based on different things and have different ways of using, the instructions should be always written on the pack. I'd suggest if you're using it one way and it doesn't work, try using it another way. Or buy a new product, as if you're putting it all over the hoof and it still doesn't help it probably won't no matter if you put it up to the coronary band or not.