My 11 year old TB is barefoot currently, and I have been told he has dry hooves. So, naturally I rushed out and bought hoof dressing, and followed the label.
And when the label instructions of "Use on hooves when needed" (fabulous instruction there, by the way), wasn't ambiguous enough, I started using it twice a day (in the morning and in the evening, and picking out his feet both times as well for good measure), in addition to any time I rode I would dress his feet after riding.
So, naturally I've been told by my farrier that his feet are drier than before (of course ...), and I've noticed that his feet are smelling thrushy, just my luck!
So I've got the thrush buster out which is working wonderfully, but I'm wondering if there's anything natural I can use for his dry feet? or possibly a better suited product?
My farrier reccomended I use what I already have .. but clearly that's not working.
I've found that dry hooves are helped by adding black oil sunflower seeds to the horse's diet slowly. The increased oil of the sunflower seeds grows healthier less dry hooves.
But as a quick fix, you want to moisturize the hoof.. hoof dressing keeps moisture out. I've found that using "Hoof Marvel" (it's a spray on moisturizer) works.. but you can also use vaseline or even soaking your horse's feet in water by running the hose for a little.
Thrust buster is awesome, it also helps to stuff cotton into the ridge of the frog (near the heel) and then squirt thrust buster into that cotton stuffed crevice. Also cleaning hooves twice a day helps a lot!
Hope you find something that works.
I use Keratix hoof gel. You could probably use it a lighter fluid, but it works very well for my TB's feet. What type of footing is your horse normally on? If he stands in wet stuff all day, the last thing I would use is any type of hoof oil or tar. You'll just make hoof soup. Do you feed him any type of hoof supplement? I've had good results with Horseshoer's Secret.
When I said hoof dressing, I just meant something to put on his feet lol - I think it's called ... T Hoof? something like that. The label is gross and peeling off the bottle so I can't make out what it says.
I've always used the cotten ball method when dealing with thrush :) and I've kept up with the twice a day, sometimes three a day pickings, just to keep his feet healthy, and it is going away thank god!
He stands in ... muck. Is all I can call it. I'm in the process of finding a new barn so he's not standing in wetness all the time (he is stalled at night, which is the only forgiving thing about being at this barn).
I asked the vet about a supplement when we were getting shots not too long ago, but he said that he didn't think it was that bad. I asked the farrier, and he said that he thinks it'd just end up being an unnecessary monthy expense. Now, he swears by this hoof junk that I'm using now, and he's said for the last two visits that Jag's feet are drier then they were the previous visit, and that I must not be doing it right.
This can't be right - as I make sure I paint it on evenly, and doing it religiously twice a day for three months surely would have had some improvement. But alas, my efforts fail.
Thats what I orignially thought, but the farrier says different. Ergo my current pickle.
Perhaps, in addition to a new barn, time for a new farrier >.>
Paint on hoof goops are not generally very helpful for the health of hooves, only cosmetics really. Here is a link to one study done; The Horse | Hoof Dressings: What Studies Show As you have found, oil based ones can also create a nicer environment for opportunistic bugs to infect the feet. Regular soaks in water can be helpful for horses in really dry environs(esp just before trimming!), but ensuring good diet & nutrition is the best way to manage it IMO.
Horses have evolved for semi arid environs and their feet are meant to be dry *on the outside*. The outer layer of a healthy hoof has essential fatty acids & waxes in it and is tightly packed dead horn tubules, which is pretty much impermeable, which keeps the moisture in. However when hooves become unhealthy, micro cracks(& big ones) can develop & the outer layer may not be there(some hoof goops actually destroy it too!). In those situations, hooves may become too dry & brittle. It's more of a symptom than a problem to treat in an isolated manner IMO.
That's just the thing though. I live in Canada, so it's not overly dry all the time, and I do soak his feet once or twice a week in the summer when it does get hot and dry out.
So I'm confused as to what the farrier wants from me at this point, so I think I'm going to get another farrier (or two) out to have a look and give me their opinions :)
Thanks though, the article seems super interesting so far - still reading! :)
I never quite understood the problem with dry feet. I live in Arizona and my horses feet are the best in the dry season. In the wet season(s) I am always worried about thrush and soggy feet.
I guess what I am saying is, what is wrong with dry feet?
If they are chipping or cracking or doing something else, it maybe be nutrition or the trim or the feet getting too long. But I have never actually had a problem with the feet being DRY. I love it when the ground is dry and the feet are dry.
So what am I missing in all the "dry feet" posts?
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