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Cracked Hooves

This is a discussion on Cracked Hooves within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse cracked hooves remission
  • Lucerne cracked hooves

 
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    07-27-2009, 10:40 PM
  #11
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by deineria    
I bought biotin today to add to his feed because I read some studies about it being very helpful to hoof health, and I thinking on working something economical out to feed instead of sweetfeed, but that is what ever horse owner I've ever known has fed in this area, and although I read many articles suggesting to steer away from it, I have a hard time leaving it off when so many horses I've known seem to do so well on it. . . Lol,
Yes, biotin is definitely one of the many necessary ingredients for hoof health. It is likely to be lacking if the horse has little green forage. Horses on pasture, getting regualr alfalfa/lucerne hay etc, should be getting reasonable levels just from their diet. Other nutrients that are likely lacking & necessary for hoof health are iodine, zinc, copper & magnesium, among other lesser ones. But be careful about getting single ingredients like that, as it's just as important that nutrients are well balanced with eachother as it is to provide those nutrients, and if some are in overabundance, this can be as bad as not enough. As an aside, speaking from experience, it's much dearer to buy all the necessary nutrients separately than in one *appropriate* mix too. So I would personally get a diet analysis done before deciding on a 'complete' supplement. Biotin is likely to be depleted if the horse has little green forage, but for horses on pasture, getting regualr alfalfa/lucerne hay etc, it should be at reasonable levels just from the diet.

As for other horses & sweet or grain based feeds, yep, it is the norm. Much of the studies done into detrimental effects of this type of feeding, and it's relationship to hooves are relatively recent, so I think the main reasons for continued popularity of these feeds are ignorance and reluctance to change what has traditionally been done. Also much of the understanding about how gut & hooves function and how they're affected by diet is also only recent & many hoof issues still go unnoticed, even by vets & farriers. Even when problems are recognised, the causes are often unknown or misdiagnosed.

Why do some horses seem to do well on sweet, grainy feeds, without problems?(Assuming they are & it's not a case of not recognising probs) I think it's similar to asking why can some people live on junk food without getting fat or diabetic. It's an unhealthy diet, but some people just seem to get away with it. Also, some do enough exercise to burn up all that extra energy. Where horses are concerned specifically & the way their gut works, it's also about digestion, and if the horse is fed very small feeds frequently, rather than large(bucketful) feeds only a few times daily, they will be better able to process the feed & not flood the hind gut with undigested starch.

Quote:
What is a diet some of you use without grain or sweetfed for non working horses, keeping in mind he needs to gain some weight? I'd say he is a 4 on the body scale.
4 on the body scale sounds too heavy to me.... tho I guess it depends what scale you're looking at, as I don't think there's a standard one. On the below link, 2-3 is healthy.... http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/DPI/nreninf.nsf/v/C63C63B466CD9C1ECA25741D0003622B/$file/Condition_Scoring_and_Weight_Estimation_of_Horses. Pdf
But then your horse is a little on the thin side(but certainly not skinny) if you're going off something like; Body Condition Scoring for Your Horse

All horses should have hay/grass/forage as their basic free choice diet. They will almost definitely need a *good* vit/min supp too, which type will depend on what's in the forage they get, soil it's grown in. Horses that need weight or extra energy can be fed oil, extra alfalfa, copra meal, beet pulp, etc.
     
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    07-27-2009, 11:13 PM
  #12
Green Broke
She was going off the Henneke scale, which is most widely recognized. A "5" is ideal on the Henneke scale.
     
    07-28-2009, 02:06 AM
  #13
Trained
Ok, thanks for that. Looks like 4-5 is ideal(depending on the horse, his fitness, etc), so if he's a 4 he's not much underweight, if he is. Therefore I wouldn't worry about extra energy feed, I'd just concentrate on getting the right feed/nutrients into him & he'll likely be in very good shape shortly.
     
    07-28-2009, 08:40 AM
  #14
Green Broke
I think we're more concerned about the balance of his diet and his nurtition than his weight. Bad hooves are a sign of a diet thatis lacking.
     
    07-28-2009, 06:22 PM
  #15
Weanling
As already said, stop using topicals. They only seal the hoof and do not allow "normal" moisture to enter the hoof. If you are seeing any signs of infection, ONLY use Apple Cider Vinegar as a soak. Do not use bleach or some of the other products seen on the shelves these days. This also helps with thrush as does Dry- cow. Think getting back to the simple ways...

Like Loosie said, lines on the hoof walls are actually raised rings. This is what you are looking for as it will show signs that there is a problem. The normal rings you see are just that...normal. They are a way of letting us know when we have a feed change, or the horse has gone through a stressful situation.

Hooves are the little crystal balls into horse health. If your horses hooves look like the picture, they are screaming CHANGE my diet! All that diet really needs to consist of is the following....HAY...good quality hay, well balanced grain ( this is actually optional depending on your situation...I haven't personally seen your horse), a good rice bran ( my hard keeper uses 2 cups in every feeding), free choice minerals (instead of salt blocks...I use Free Balance), and a supplement specifically for hooves (I use Remission). It will take some time to improve these hooves as they are indeed a mess. I agree with the Mustang Roll. This has saved my horses hooves like you would not believe!!!

Here's a great site. This is actually my farrier's site .... Drabek Hoof Care
     
    07-28-2009, 10:05 PM
  #16
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahearn    
If you are seeing any signs of infection, ONLY use Apple Cider Vinegar as a soak. Do not use bleach or some of the other products seen on the shelves these days.
Sorry to be finicky... what's the saying; if you ask 5 different horse people's advice you'll get at least 10 different opinions??....

As a rule, I use ACV and wouldn't *generally* use bleach, betadine or other stuff which kills healthy tissue along with the infection, but IME, if the infection has taken hold strongly, ACV just doesn't cut it, is pretty much useless. In this situation, I will use betadine or such, but only as a short term measure, to kill the infection, then I go back to managing with ACV & the likes. Think it depends on the environment & management too, as to what works well enough. Eg. My horses are on pasture which is rather waterlogged at this time of the year & I only get to see them every other day on average. Perhaps if they were in a dry paddock & I could soak twice a day & keep them clean, ACV would probably be perfectly adequate.

Quote:
well balanced grain ( this is actually optional depending on your situation...I haven't personally seen your horse), a good rice bran ( my hard keeper uses 2 cups in every feeding), free choice minerals (instead of salt blocks...I use Free Balance), and a supplement specifically for hooves (I use Remission).
Is 'well balanced grain' not a contradiction in terms?? As a hoof care practitioner, seeing the results, and also after having equine nutritionists in my ear(done a bit of home study into that), I believe *as a rule* it's best to avoid feeding grain at all. Free choice minerals may be appropriate for some, but I know many horses(inc. My own) won't touch the stuff. Instead they get a palatable *good quality* complete 'ration balancer'. If the horse is already getting a supp that's well balanced, there is no need to give an extra 'hoof supp'. As the hooves(& coat) are extremities, they reflect the overall health of the animal. If you feed the whole horse effectively, the hooves & coat will be great too.
     
    07-28-2009, 10:20 PM
  #17
Weanling
Thanks for the help. I understand everyone has different approaches, and I will take a little here and there and see what works for him. I do not understand why, with him being fed as the others, only his hooves look as they do.

As far as his overall condition, you can see a photo of him under "Happy" in my horse photos, but I think he could stand to be heavier.

I bought the biotin because I read a long term study that basically said all of the horses on a biotin supplement had improved hoof condition as opposed to the group without it, so it sounded like a safe place to start. I have never had luck with any weight gainers for putting weight on, so I was not sure about buying a overall hoof supplement because I thought it might have as little effect on hoof condition as weight gainer did for weight gain, if that makes sense. I give my dog with a severe allergy condition biotin daily and it has given him a total turn around, so I know it can be effective in coats in animals.

Thanks again, and I had his feet trimmed him today, and they do look a lot better, but of course, that doesn't address the root of the problem.
     
    07-30-2009, 02:14 AM
  #18
Foal
Hi Deineria, noticed that you are going to feed your horse Biotin. I was not sure about Biotin so I looked it up.
It is naturally found in Soya. I have been giving soya to my horse to put weight back on him. So I thought that maybe you could address both your cracked hoof problem and weight issue by just giving a little soya in your horses feed. I found the soya to be fantastic for our weight issue.
Hope this helps.
     
    07-30-2009, 04:18 AM
  #19
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by yankee doodle    
not sure about Biotin so I looked it up.
It is naturally found in Soya.
& nutrients such as this are better utilised when in natural form, and there are also a range of other nutrients in soya too
     
    08-02-2009, 09:44 AM
  #20
Weanling
Quote:
Sorry to be finicky... what's the saying; if you ask 5 different horse people's advice you'll get at least 10 different opinions??....

As a rule, I use ACV and wouldn't *generally* use bleach, betadine or other stuff which kills healthy tissue along with the infection, but IME, if the infection has taken hold strongly, ACV just doesn't cut it, is pretty much useless. In this situation, I will use betadine or such, but only as a short term measure, to kill the infection, then I go back to managing with ACV & the likes. Think it depends on the environment & management too, as to what works well enough. Eg. My horses are on pasture which is rather waterlogged at this time of the year & I only get to see them every other day on average. Perhaps if they were in a dry paddock & I could soak twice a day & keep them clean, ACV would probably be perfectly adequate.
Gosh, that saying is so true!! I think that's why owning a horse can be equally confusing. Each one has different needs, just like us humans, but most people feed all their horses the same thing! LOL!

On the ACV/betadine comment...I absolutely agree. The poster didn't really go into what the bottom of the hoof looks like.(at least from what I can remember as I haven't been back through the post) I see so many people doing the bleach thing. They don't realize that bleach can kill the cells on the bottom of the hoof. ACV is the best for general cleaning, but if it's something wors, I'd use the betadine. I also use "Dry-Cow" down in and around the frog when the pasture is really wet and I'm seeing signs or a fungus or bacteria. It zaps it within a few days.

We do the barefoot thing, so I want to keep it as natural as possible.

As far as the Remission, I have had a horse with pretty severe rotation. We used this product on him for quite a while and it helped his hooves tremendously. I then my QH on it. She usually had to wear shoes because her hooves have a tendency to have toe cracks and lame. Once the shoes were pulled, we placed her on Remission and had her feet trimmed every 3 weeks. Over the course of a year, she is now completely sound and healthy and is doing barrels and poles with my daughter at the junior level. So, after doing further research on Remission, I have put all of my horses on it and have seen a big difference. It's EXTREMELY dry here in Texas right now. While most of my neighbors's horses feet look awful, mine are chip free, crack free, and looking great!!!
     

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