Hooves chipping - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-01-2012, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fort Bragg, NC
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Hooves chipping

I am doing some "charity" training for someone who has no clue about horses and I am neginning to think that their farrier is clueless too. Anyway, this mare has two front hooves that are consistently cracked. The farrier trimmed them 3 weeks ago and they looked better for a while and then started chipping again pretty badly (crack down the middle front and more severe chipping on the bottom). Some supplements were added to her diet a few weeks ago plus we are putting moiusturizers directly on hooves. What else can be done besides putting shoes on? Any fresh ideas anyone? It rains real hard here, so it is definitely not due dryness or anything - at least I do not think.
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-01-2012, 09:31 PM
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I am not a farrier by any means, but I really think that the way a horse's hooves are trimmed directly impact how they grow out.

I say this due to experience with my own horse. I have had him trimmed by 3 different farriers. With one of them, he was very sore afterward every time. With another one, his feet would crack/chip terribly, when they never did before. With the other guy, his feet were fine. If I trim his feet myself (and I am not a professional farrier by any means), his feet are fine.

Why he had soreness issues and cracking issues with the other two? I think it's due to their trimming technique.

And I suppose it is worthy to note that my horse is coming 14-years-old and he has been barefoot all his life.

It is good that you are adding supplements to her diet. I think maybe the next step would be trying another farrier.

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post #3 of 6 Old 04-08-2012, 12:34 AM
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Pics would be helpful. Yes, the way a horse is trimmed can well cause hooves to be more or less likely to crack/chip. However there are many other reasons & even a well trimmed healthy hoof, 3 weeks out, without having had any maintenance, if working over rough ground can chip a bit.

Vertical cracks are different & generally go along with imbalances. However, without knowing far more about the situation - how long the owner's had the horse, how long the farrier, how often trimmed, etc, etc. it's impossible to objectively suspect the farrier. Could also be due to untreated infection.

Nutritional supplementation is a good idea IMO, as domestic horses are generally deficient/imbalanced without. However it will take around 9 months to *start* to notice any changes from this. Diet(as separate from nutrition) is also a very important hoof health factor, as is management.

'Moisturising' hooves by putting topical goop on them is not helpful for their health & can potentially do more harm too. I wonder why you feel the necessity to further moisturise the hooves when you say it rains a lot where you are anyway? It could be that constant wet footing is a big cause of the cracking/chipping & that does at least soften the horn. Dry environments are much better for horses & they don't tend to suffer from being 'too dry'. Providing at least some area of dry footing - pea gravel for eg. - to allow the feet to dry out regularly would be helpful in a wet environ.

There is a lot to do about it aside from putting shoes on & I don't believe that would be helpful anyway in this situation. The first thing I'd suggest is educating yourselves about hoof function & health & management. Hopefully the thread link in my signature will be a good start for you on that note.
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-08-2012, 04:10 PM
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Have you tried cleaning them out everyday and putting oil on them? I think the oil helps alot:
Farnam Rain Maker - Horse.com

Also, their are supplements to help with that. Farrier's Formula seems to work really well.

Good luck :)

Black Beauty 94 is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 04-09-2012, 12:42 PM
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my mare would crack really bad too, I used mane n' tail hoof maker (I think thats what its called) and SmartHoof supplement, it worked a lot better than farriers formula in my opinion. I also used Tuff Stuff on it weekly and that helped when it got really bad (almost entirely up to the coranette band)
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-09-2012, 12:52 PM
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Black Beauty 94 is offline  

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