Sensitive feet - soul paint?
I asked our vet today about horses with sensitive feet over rocks and if you can harden the feet to help (without shoes). She said (I thought she said) to use soul paint, like a turpentine to harden the feet. But, I can't find it anywhere online. Is it called something else?? You put it over the foot (bottom) every day for a week and then once a month. Thanks in advance
It's not 'soul paint', it's hoof dressing. Besides, you're talking about the sole of the foot, not somebody's disembodied essence.
Some still use venice turpentine in their hoof dressing, but most have gone with less harmful substances.
I buy Fiebing's. You can find it pretty much anywhere horse supplies are sold.
Don't use it every day, either. Three times a week is considered maximum usage.
Venice Turpentine is still a pretty good sole paint. I keep it around.
But, if a horse has tender soles and shelly feet, I prefer using it over Iodine Crystals. Many farriers will still carry this in their truck. It is pretty bizarre to watch as it makes a chemical reaction that results in a plume of pink smoke. It hardens the sole and 'drives' back the nerve endings.
I quit using an oily or moisture enhancing hoof paint many years ago. I quit using dressings like Hooflex and other dressings that help keep hooves soft and moist after having several abscesses and quarter cracks. This was about 35 years ago. I have had fewer hoof problems after letting them get dry and hard like nature intended them to be. The only time I have trouble now is after rainy spells where horses have had to stand in mud.
Needless to say, with over a year of a drought, My horses feet are so hard you can barely trim them with long handled nippers --- but they are getting abscesses or bruises.
Durasole..... works wonders
Or Keratex. Or concentrated iodine.
I had a mare with "soft" feet, used Durasole everyday til they hardened up now I spray 1% Iodine on her feet after I clean them... works wonders!!!
Here is an article on hoof dressings to consider; The Horse | Hoof Dressings: What Studies Show
Yes, a variety of chemicals can be used to make the horn harder, but I personally don't agree with their use. Making horn harder tends to also make it more brittle & less flexible. Using heavy chemicals can also damage live tissue(& therefore also slow healthy growth) and nerves. Also when talking about sensitive soles, this tends to be because they're too thin. Making them harder does very little to further protect the sensitive corium & other internal structures. They need to be able to *grow* thicker & stronger. I would protect and support thin soles with pads/boots instead.
Ask why you think he's sensitive? Does he have a thin sole? (can you put your thumbs on each side of the frog apex, press and see give?) Is thrush making him feel like he's walking on diaper rash? (frog wide, smooth, with no sulcis crack, but merely a thumb-like depression on top of the frog?) Wet, soft feet go with this one...deep crack, ratty/ atrophied frog. Are any bars excessive and jamming into his foot like stones in his feet already?
All these things point to the need for a well developed back of the hoof, good balanced trim and lots of movement with a heel first landing. It is this strong development and thrush-free environment and sole allowed to grow thicker that takes you away well away from this. Are you feeding trace minerals?
In the interest of growing a thicker sole, I would not burn it or pickle it with formaldehyde. I think that's a horrendous thing to do to a live entity. Neither would I allow the farrier to carve into it. I would use boots with pads to develop and be able to go across gravel without a wince and be abscess free in the process and wait for the sole to grow thicker and going after thrush.
Gravel is graduation in tolerated ground surfaces...the ultimate goal, not the beginning. You can't take a horse from a cushy environment and expect him to be sound on gravel. It has to be earned. Pea gravel laid down in places where the horse loafs, has to pass through or around the water tub will help will start to give you that development that's needed on other ground when in work. The environment on top of gravel is also nearly thrush free as well and helps with that battle and develops and toughens a hoof and improves it in between rides.
These are things that promote good hoof health...that has him laughing in the face of anything that comes along.
If you see a horse wince on any surface, then know that you are in a higher risk of entering abscess world and about to be sidelined. The boots and the gravel will develop and protect and keep you going in the meantime.
I see conditioners and emollients as instant suffocation to the hoof's ability to take up and lose moisture at will and paints as instant death. Promoting good hoof health is the answer and what the horse really needs.
Hope this helps....
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