Hoof Picking Issues
I have been leasing a 16 yr old green OTTB for a little over a year now. He has had constant cracks in his hooves. We have tried various hoof hardners and he is also currently on a supplement (gained consent from owner). Recently when I was at the barn I noticed how whenever I finish picking his hooves and release them, he hits the hoof wall against the ground before adjusting. Is there something I can do to prevent this from happening?
Perhaps try gently putting his foot back on the ground, not just letting it go mid-air. My Arabian will stand with his hoof in the air until I lower it down for him. Before I did this for him he kept putting it down wrong and causing pain.
Besides the hoof supplement what are you doing to address the issues causing the cracks? Some hardeners can actually cause worse cracks, they aren't a hardener as much as drying out the hoof and giving a false impression.
Damp environments contribute to hoof dryness. It's just like when you hand wash a lot of dishes, your hands are in the water, but when you're done your hands are dried out.
Try to keep his hooves as dry as possible.
I don't use a conditioner, and had tried using keratex. In the bottle with the paint brush. He is barefoot and it came highly recommended, and we are extremely disappointed with the results.
He may need rasping in between trims or more frequent trims.
He may need some things added to his diet that he isn't getting.
He may be having trouble keeping the right amount of moisture in his hooves.
Do you have pictures?
And agree about putting his foot down gently. Dropping it does no one any favors.
There's a great hoof dressing that contains essential oils as well as anti-bacterial qualities which is great for protecting against opportunistic bacteria. It does NOT contain any plastics or sealers. I would highly recommend it, combined with a very proactive trimming schedule to keep pressure off those side walls. It's also great to slather on the frog for protecting against/threating thrush. Also, it's a much thinner formula than typical dressings, so stretches further. Check out ecoliciousequestrian dot com. They ship worldwide.
Hoof dressings don't work despite all the claims. Good hooves come from good farriery and diet. When I rode OTTB's and many others owned them we fed oats and timothy/brome hay and the horses had good solid feet. I've often wondered if the way people feed all the "wonder" products if this isn't having a detrimental affect by overloading certain minerals or fat soluble vitamins.
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