We are having extremely dry weather here with very little rain. I was looking at my horses hooves and find them to be very dry and starting to have cracks. This has never been an issue before. A friend mentioned she had noticed the same thing with hers. So got me wondering what is the best way to keep their hooves healthy and moisturized?? I'm not big into using fancy names and products, I'm more a natural person. Any help would be appreciated. :)
There are a couple of things I would recommend that are safe & natural.
1. Castor oil rubbed around the hairline will help moisten and condition the hoof.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and Water soaks. If you don't have soaking boots you can pick up dry bags in the sporting goods section of Walmart, Sports Authority or online. Or you can ask your vet for 2 - used IV bags and cut off the end where the lines attach and then duct tape or use rubber tubing to close the tops off.
3. You can dig out an area around the horses water tanks outside and let them overflow for the horse to stand in. Some people will make soaking stations. As long as there is shelter, a tree or roof for the horse to stand under this works well. Many horses will seek it out on their own.
If you were going to use anything, I'd use a moisturiser, not oil, let alone petroleum based. But generally, dry is good & topical goops don't help health, only potentially make them look pretty.
If they're cracking or shelly or such, something else is going on. Cracks from the bottom generally mean the walls are too long/imbalanced, while 'micro cracks' & shelliness is generally nutrition &/or infection based.
*While 2 of the links below show some major damage, cracks & 'seediness' can be a very minor affair too & don't always require major treatment.