Stronger hooves? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-25-2012, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Stronger hooves?

I have two horses that I ride 6 days a week for at least 2 hours. I ride on everything from hard packed dirt to sand. Both horses are barefoot for now but I usually shoe them for the summer. I have noticed that there are several chips and nicks in their hooves so I've been putting an oil my farrier gave me called Hoof Heal on them, but its not making much a difference. Is there a better way to protect their hooves? Thanks for any advice!

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post #2 of 9 Old 06-25-2012, 12:01 PM
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If they're small nicks and your horse isn't sore, I wouldn't worry too much about it. If it bothers you aesthetically you can smooth them out with a rasp.

Supplementing biotin could help if your horse has poor quality hooves, but it sounds more like it's just the variety of rough terrain that's causing the chipping, not necessarily poor hoof quality.
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-25-2012, 12:15 PM
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Do you have pics of their hooves? Be sure not to over oil. It could have the opposite effect your wanting.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-25-2012, 12:46 PM
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Has anyone tried Ketatix? they say that it makes hooves stronger, but does it work for dry hooves?
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-25-2012, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewelsb View Post
Do you have pics of their hooves? Be sure not to over oil. It could have the opposite effect your wanting.
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I'll see if I can get some soon. The chips are pretty small but I'm worried about cracking more that the chips themselves. I was thinking of maybe riding them with boots on?

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post #6 of 9 Old 06-25-2012, 01:24 PM
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I have had the best luck with a biotin supplement, sunflower seeds and flax seeds. Stick with it though, it takes months for the new hoof to grow. If you do not see an improvement in six months then its time to move on. However, I have never had feeding these three things not help.
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-25-2012, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Evil View Post
Has anyone tried Ketatix? they say that it makes hooves stronger, but does it work for dry hooves?
Our OTTB had thin walled, brittle hooves and routinely lost shoes, tearing off chunks of his hoof wall each time. We added Biotin Plus to his feed and got improvment. We would still see cracks. Keratex REALLY helped. It's expensive, but you use very little. Our farrier was amazed at how quickly his hooves improved. I don't know that it will moisturize your horse's feet, but it will help the keratin in your horse's hoof grow together more quickly to close cracks and it will help harden his feet.

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post #8 of 9 Old 06-26-2012, 02:36 PM
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Biotin supplements are very popular and a lot of people swear by them. I personally use a omega 3 supplement that is advertised for the skin/coat. Anything that is good for the skin/coat will be good for the hooves too! But beyond that, regular trims will be a good call.

I know my horse's hooves have been prone to cracking this year from the dry weather =/.
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-27-2012, 01:14 AM
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Yeah, I wouldn't bother with any topicals as a rule. Chipping & such can be due to weak walls, which can be from lack of circulation/growth, infection, nutrition, diet, imbalance/undue mechanical stress...
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