Natural treatments for dry, cracked hooves?
 
 

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Natural treatments for dry, cracked hooves?

This is a discussion on Natural treatments for dry, cracked hooves? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Best treatment fo dry hoofs on horses
  • Fixing a cracked hoof

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  • 3 Post By loosie

 
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    05-02-2013, 01:18 PM
  #1
Foal
Natural treatments for dry, cracked hooves?

So, my mare who usually has pretty good hooves has suddenly, within the last week, gotten her hooves chipped, cracked, and really dry.

I've been riding her as lot more lately, sometimes over short stretches of lava rocks, but I never noticed this immediately after a ride, it's as though they deteriorate over night or something, lol

Her pen is pretty dry, though she's also VERY, VERY prone to thrush--even when it's perfectly dry

Her back hooves look pretty good, but her front hooves are just nasty, especially her one white hoof.

She's currently barefoot, but the farrier will hopefully be here within the next week to reshape, and probably put shoes on as well.


This picture was taken around Easter (hence the coloring ), and they kept that texture (you can see the white hoof is already looking dry there) but now they both look MUCH worse. I was going to take a picture, but I misplaced my camera lol :P





Anyway,
what should I use to help moisten them and get them looking nice (and keeping them nice)? I'm not beyond using products like Rainmaker, Hoof Flex, etc. if I need to, but I prefer to stay natural whenever I can.

So I've heard of using things like pine tar, neatsfoot oil, baby oil, and even motor oil (which I've also hear a lot against, and I'm not sure I'd want to use it anyway, lol )


And kind of a thought of my own, what would happen if I used Glycerin soap? Nothing added to it, just good a ol' glycerin soap bar I know that glycerin draws moisture into things, that's why they use it for leather conditioner (which is what I have it for) and in lip glosses, because it moisturizes. Has anyway ever tried it?


I've also been adding more grain (Sweet Feed to be exact) to her diet to accommodate the extra exercise. Could that be making a difference?



I'd love to hear your opinions, thanks! :)
     
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    05-02-2013, 07:54 PM
  #2
Trained
Hi, very quick reply here before work...

Hooves are meant to be dry. You want them nice & dry & not 'moisturised'. Hoof goops are generally not harmful occasionally - for prettying up hooves for a show or such - but they don't help hoof health & can sometimes exacerbate problems.

If they're looking shelly, have 'microcracks', etc, IME it's likely diet & nutrition are an issue. Or if your horse has been standing in waterlogged pasture or some such, this can cause a breakdown of the outer layer & make it look 'overdry'.

Chipping at the ground surface is usually because the horse is due for a trim, imbalanced, &/or the ground surface hasn't been kept bevelled/'rolled' adequately for the surface the horse is worked on.

If you would like a specific critique, you can post pics of your horse's hooves - see link below in my signature line for tips.
deserthorsewoman, Roadyy and toto like this.
     
    05-02-2013, 07:56 PM
  #3
Trained
Oh, the white one won't be any worse than the others, just that what's going on is far more visible in that one.
     
    05-02-2013, 09:03 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Oh, the white one won't be any worse than the others, just that what's going on is far more visible in that one.

Lol, I've heard the same thing on both sides, some say it makes a difference, others say it doesn't.

But as for my mare, that's the one that always has problems :P it chips worse, wears down faster, and is always the first to go tender if she's walking on gravel for a really long time. And in this case, it starting cracking before the others

So obviously it makes a difference for her. Maybe it varies for each horse?
     
    05-02-2013, 09:15 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Hi, very quick reply here before work...

Hooves are meant to be dry. You want them nice & dry & not 'moisturised'. Hoof goops are generally not harmful occasionally - for prettying up hooves for a show or such - but they don't help hoof health & can sometimes exacerbate problems.

If they're looking shelly, have 'microcracks', etc, IME it's likely diet & nutrition are an issue. Or if your horse has been standing in waterlogged pasture or some such, this can cause a breakdown of the outer layer & make it look 'overdry'.

Chipping at the ground surface is usually because the horse is due for a trim, imbalanced, &/or the ground surface hasn't been kept bevelled/'rolled' adequately for the surface the horse is worked on.

If you would like a specific critique, you can post pics of your horse's hooves - see link below in my signature line for tips.

Hmm.... well, come to think of it, the only dietary change has been adding more grain, and her pasture is pretty dry. It used to be really muddy during mud season, but that's been over for more than a month and the chipping started less than a week ago

You can see a little bit of the cracking in those pictures, but it's gotten a lot worse and started chipping, and yet nothing' changed except her workload

Thanks
     
    05-03-2013, 01:23 AM
  #6
Trained
Re strength in pigment, yep, always good to question these things IMO. From studies I've seen showing no difference in tensile or otherwise strength inherent to pigment, from knowing that the pigment is only in the external layer anyway(so all hooves are white underneath), from knowing stripey feet don't fall apart at the 'fault lines', if pigment made a difference and from my experience, I don't believe the *colour* makes a difference. *However, pink skin is more susceptible to photosensitivity & related mudfever/rainscald probs.

From that one pic no where near enough to go on to be sure, but are the feet identical in shape/angle, etc? Usually they're not completely symmetrical & mechanical stress can be different for different feet. It appears that your horse *may* have minor 'low grade' or 'sub clinical' laminitic symptoms and extra grain can very much affect the feet.

Quote:
it's gotten a lot worse and started chipping, and yet nothing' changed except her workload
Workload/footing can make a difference. You said you're feeding more grain. You said weather/environment has also changed. If the horse has grazing or different batches of hay, nutrition & sugar levels may be different too, with different seasons. If my guess about SCL is correct &/or there are other matters compromising hoof health it could also be that it's just got to the point where it's becoming more noticable. Nutritional deficiencies/imbalances may also have been 'unchanged' for a long time but got to the point where there are obvious symptoms...

So... sorry, but far more questions than answers for you, but hopefully considering the questions will find you the answers!
     
    05-03-2013, 08:23 PM
  #7
Weanling
My mom had bought me once a hoof liniment from the brand Absorbine (sp?). I had it for about a year and never used it. Then I started working with a horse named Te Lady and her hooves were always cracked, she was usually working on pretty dry ground.

Everyday either before or after practice I put a really light coating on her hooves, and if I went to a horseshow if I didn't paint my horse's hooves or if I washed it all off I would put some on before games because the arenas here are terribly dry.

It helped a lot, when I first started working with her she didn't have the nicest hooves. She was trimmed by a farrier who never trimmed her hooves straight so she had a terrible tripping problem. She would trip 20-30 times in about a 2 hour practice time, it was bad! So of course she was chipping her feet at first a lot, but they got hardier and nicer after using the hoof liniment. :)
     

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