Ok, so we have just had a month of misty damp, rainy weather and Phoenix has developed seedy toe in three hooves. I have had my hoof guy come and cut it all out. Fortunately I got onto it quickly so although Phoenny has a chunk missing out of three hooves it isn't too bad - she is not lame or anything. I treated the initial infection with a paste of vicks vapour rub and copper sulphate, the next day I washed her feet with iodine solution and am now applying Stockholm tar every day. I think I have the infection beat.
I have noticed though that there is a level of chalky brittleness between her hoof wall and the sole of her feet. Every time I ride her on gravel I have to scrape the gravel out and occasionaly larger pebbles get wedged in there too. Obviously this makes her more prone to seedy toe. I have her trimmed regularly and she has never been shod.
I am wondering if it is safe to shoe a horse that is prone to seedy toe? Will having a shoe over that hoof edge help prevent the chalkiness or am I going to end up with seedy toe under the shoe? I have no knowledge of the pros and cons of shoeing. I just want to know if shoeing a horse that gets seedy toe is sensible or a really bad idea!