Hoof Dressing: When is it necessary? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-13-2012, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Hoof Dressing: When is it necessary?

Hey guys, I'm trying to do some research for a blog. I've had farriers tell me different things about hoof dressing: some that it does nothing, others that it's great, others say that it can only be applied when the hooves are wet or it will seal out moisture.

What is the truth? Do you have any articles on this? Any opinions?
If you think it's necessary, which brands of hoof oil are best?
Any knowledge on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
Juliane

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post #2 of 9 Old 06-13-2012, 10:44 PM
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I never use it, some people use it because it shines up the hooves and seals out moisture but I haven't seen a need to use it with my horse. He's barefoot and yes sometimes there are cracks but a good trim fixes that and it's how a hoof functions. It has to be able to breathe, let moisture in and out so it's not too dry or too soft. The hoof can regulate itself just fine.

But that's just me :)

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post #3 of 9 Old 06-13-2012, 11:00 PM
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There is a brief article in last month's Equus magazine stating that the hoof wall is affected little to none whether the horse is standing in wet, dry or normal conditions. The sole, however, can be softened in wet conditions. I don't think it mentioned hoof dressings, but I figure if the hoof wall is not affected by outside conditions, dressings probably do little to nothing. For my barefoot horse, I do add dressings to the soles when it's wetter than normal to help him from becoming ouchy.

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post #4 of 9 Old 06-13-2012, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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That is great advice, thanks guys! Here's what my research has led me to conclude so far, taking your opinions into consideration:a lot of the time, horses don't really need it, especially on the hoof wall. Sometimes, however, if the sole/bulbs are too dry, pine tar is useful. And if your horse's sole is in contact with excessive moisture, it's good to use a sealer as a preventative, to seal out excessive moisture and preserve natural moisture.
Thoughts on this conclusion??? And it's ok if you still think a horse never really needs it! I do agree that a good trim is the best fix for cracks!!

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post #5 of 9 Old 06-13-2012, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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And also I love the phrase you used, "the hoof regulates itself"....can I use it? :)

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post #6 of 9 Old 06-13-2012, 11:40 PM
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Of course you may.

Also it's important to give horses a dry area to stand in, especially during the rain season with all the mud. Thrush may develop and thin soles may also happen, which leaves horses susceptible to bruising and abscesses (which my horse just experienced this spring.. grrr)

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post #7 of 9 Old 06-13-2012, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Totally agree with that. Thanks for reinforcing it. I'm sorry your horse has an abscess - those are miserable. There's a horse at one of the barns I work at who stands in mud all day long. Thankfully his rider is pushing to have something done about it because he's already has an abscess.
So do you think that horses are more susceptible to excessive moisture or dryness?
One of the barns I work at, all of the horses seem to have really dry frogs...the paddocks are all really dry...but at another barn, where there's a lot of mud, they seem to be more susceptible to excessive moisture and thrush. Do you think it all depends on turn out, or one of them usually is more detrimental than the other?

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post #8 of 9 Old 06-14-2012, 02:27 AM
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The Horse | Hoof Dressings: What Studies Show
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-14-2012, 03:26 AM
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Well, as the article quoted above me so eloquently researched, good diet, good trimming, and good practice of keeping horses on dry footing or keeping their areas clean will help promote good hooves.

In a dry environment, as long as diet is good it helps, but some people find letting water buckets overflow so their horses' feet get a little damp helps. If you're in a wet environment, you should definitely give your horses some relief by giving them someplace dry to be for a few hours of the day.

Thrush you can get in either environment.. I'm still learning about abscesses but I do know thin soles don't help.

So both.

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