Cracked hooves-barefoot - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-21-2010, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Cracked hooves-barefoot

Hi all,

I have recently bought a new horse and im a bit worried because he has really poor hooves and I was wondering if anyone knew why and what I could do about it?

He is 4 years old and unbroken so not ridden although I have recently taken him out for 5-10 min walks. I know people are going to say get your farrier to look-which I am asap- only I refuse to use anyone thats not trained for barefoot trimming and Im finding it hard to find someone who covers my area.
Anyway... I was just wondering if anyone knew how serious it was and could suggest anything I can do to help improve his feet?
I have included some pictures although they aren't brilliant so il try to get better ones as soon as possible.

Both back feet have vertical cracks from the ground to about an inch/half an inch below his coronet and at the bottom of his feet where they start they are starting to splay outwards. The cracks are large and deepish but they dont seem infected and they dont bleed. He also has bumpy ridges going circular on all 4 feet and on all feet the horn quality seems normal at the top(Apart from ridges) but is poor lower down. I cant describe it but its not shiny and almost rough.

Please help, im getting rather worried!

Sarah x

PS. Sorry if this thread is in wrong place, I couldnt find anywhere else that was suitable.
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-21-2010, 06:35 PM
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Looks like has has foundered/had some distress to his system that has now resolved - hence the healthy growth at the top.

If the feet are splaying out it means he needs more of a roll to get weight off the outer wall.
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-21-2010, 06:51 PM
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I would put some rain maker on them or put some corona on it(it's really sticky and smells funky but it's good for cuts,scraped,and hooves). He also might need shoes but your farrier or vet would have to see and decide what they think is best.
I'm not an expert that might help you out.

Good Luck
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-21-2010, 07:12 PM
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There is a corona hoof ointment I have used, and loved on my guy that had quarter cracks similar to this. He ALWAYS had the cracks, was never off on them, just part of him. However, I am sure he is shod now, since he has been sold to an eventing home and is used more regularly for jumping. I did have both the vet and a couple of farriers look at him tho to make sure they were "superficial" and cosmetic.

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post #5 of 20 Old 07-21-2010, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone :) Can I get that in the UK as I live over here?

Whats foundered... Is that laminitis in the UK? Because he definitely hasnt had that... From researching, it seems that the ridges can be caused by a change in diet and environment and since I only got him a couple of weeks ago could this be why?

Thanks for all the advice... Is there anything cheap/homemade that I can put on his hooves that may help?
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-21-2010, 07:58 PM
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I've heard that many horses who are very domesticated have problems with hooves cracking, so that may be part of the problem? Some horses hooves just aren't tough/strong enough. Also is he/she overweight? Shoeing may fix the problem as well.
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-21-2010, 08:23 PM
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Yup, laminitis. It's what causes the ridges. The majority of domesticated horses have ha sub-clinical laminitis - most owners never know/notice. It would have happened before you got him.
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 02:02 AM
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I put my 3 year old on biotin as soon as I got him. His feet looked a lot like your horses when he first came. I couldn't get his feet done for a couple months after I got him due to having a hard time finding a barefoot specialist as well. His breaker did his feet and they were just god aweful.
After a couple months on biotin and just a couple trims from the barefoot farrier, they looked like different feet. Biotin doesn't work straight away as it just promotes healthy growth, but you can really tell a difference after a few months of use. His feet don't get cracks or anything anymore.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone.
Thanks Amir.. I know biotin is brilliant as my friend used it to great effect on her horses feet so the feed I feed has it included :) I may buy some as a supplement if I feel its not making any effect as I dont know to what amount its in the feed.

wild_spot- No way!! I didnt realise that.. I thought when they had laminitis it was obvious and you'd be able to tell. Should that mean that I should be limiting his grass or something so he doesnt get it again? Or do you think he'l be okay?

Thanks so much everyone :)
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-22-2010, 08:47 AM
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While the topicals will help the outside of the hoof, the horse really needs two things:

1. Good diet.
2. Good farrier on a strict routine, depending how fast his hooves grow. I see founder too, so the hooves need to be kept short. JMHO, I would keep him barefoot at least until his body has had a chance to get healthy again.

No suggestions for what a good diet consists of because you are in the UK and I don't know what's available, except to say stay away from feed with molasses in it. If he's on a maintenance diet, he doesn't even need grain, just a top-notch vit/min supplement, hay and a bit of pasture.

Since he's not broke, it MIGHT be safe to assume he grass foundered although he's awful young. If that's the case, I would also monitor his grass intake and hopefully his hay will be low in starches.

Hope this helps some
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