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.