I stumbled upon these things called Equi-socks and got to wondering if they lived up to all the hype on the website. :lol:
Any experience with them?
I Googled them and found a few other people asking about them, but not a whole lot of actual reviews on way or another. (I also found a lot of people saying they were similar to Equi-cast, and fiberglass casting material, like for casting broken bones, but again, not so much for actual reviews.)
I've got two mares that I bought ~5 years ago with their front hooves so badly cracked that they were cloven! We've tried shoeing, 'barefoot', some sort of glue stuff that the farrier had, endless amounts of conditioners and supplements, and they both still have terrible cracks; Though they are better - Tanner's are manageable, Magic has one hoof that's actually doing really well, but the other splits back open about a week after she's trimmed. I'm hesitant to try any sort of boot -- our pastures have a lot of woods and a river running right down the middle, so I don't forsee them lasting long.
So if these actually last the 4 weeks they say, they might just work, I'm thinking.
IME they may last 4 weeks undamaged... if the horse lives permenently on wood shavings & does very little exercise! I think it was about 4-5 days or so before they wore out at the toes when I tried them on my pony who lives in a mainly soft paddock. What is it you're wanting them for?
As a hoofcare practitioner I can see them being useful in some situations, but I would be very cautious about using something like this for horses with hoof cracks & such anyway. There is likely to be infection in the cracks - possibly the reason for them not going away too - and you don't want to seal it in there. If your horses require protection just being in their paddock, I'd suggest RX Therapy boots or such, that can at least be taken off daily for hooves to be cleaned & treated. Depending on specifics, your horses may even need to be trimmed more frequently than 4 weekly anyway.
If you would like specific advice/opinions on the cracks, some hoof pics & more info would be helpful.
Like I said, I was looking at them wondering if they'd do any good for my mares and their cracked hooves. Since the pasture is anything but ideal, boots don't seem like they'd work out at all. (Not to mention the three boys I have who are likely to chew them off - they enjoy 'undressing' other horses. :p ) We don't have a 'paddock' at all - or a barn, or any sort of enclosure except their pastures and, in the case of emergencies, a hastily thrown together pen/outdoor stall (which my older mare is currently laid up in.).
But yeah, I can try to snap some pictures tomorrow when I go out. They're due for a trim, so it won't be that pretty, though. hah Not sure what other details you'd need though...?
Well, I fail to see how the other horses would "chew" boots off. What's he going to do, lay on his back with his feet in the air and let the boys go at them...? Apparently you haven't used boots before, because most boot styles require a decent amount of effort to get them on and even more effort to get off.
I'm also not sure why you would think woods and rivers would be a problem for boots. Most are meant to be ridden in. People do hardcore trail rides in them.
easycareinc.com has a good line of boots. Avoid the Boas. Easyboot Rx, Epic, and Gloves are fine to be used in turnout. The others take more effort and would need to be checked more often. The Gloves are cheap and work well. Get the "power strap" if you aren't sure they'll fit perfectly. I'd either go all Gloves or put Epics on the fronts and Gloves on the backs.
Also, why not use glue-on shoes? Renegades and Easyboot are nice glue-ons. They're easier than casting the hoof.
I have used casting on and off for awhile now. I have indeed had them last 4 weeks on a TB mare in grassy turnout with water crossings and gravel in spots. The toe does wear through quickly but it doesnt matter. You can also use vettec products on the bottoms to create a better wearing surface. You can also apply sole guard ot other sole packs underneith the casts. You can also use Vettecs CS product in white line fissures and holes to keep them clean and treated under the casting. I like to scrub the foot clean and apply Thrushbuster or something and then cast right over the wet foot. IT is breatheable and can get wet and has to be wet to cure anyway. I always cure them standing on a garden kneeling pad with the other foot lifted so it is weighted and expanded.
For the price, (I buy mine by the box wholesale from Ebay or whereever) they are worth it in some situations.
We've tried glue-on shoes (not on these mares, but ages ago on one of my geldings), and they just don't stay on. It was years ago, so maybe the glue's gotten better, or maybe it was just that that farrier wasn't very good at applying them; I can ask my current farrier about it.
As for pictures, I'll have them posted later -- internet is being stupid about uploading.
Now that my internet is behaving, here's pictures of the hooves in question.
And yes, they are due for a trim. My farrier's wife just had a baby, so I let the horses get a little behind schedule. :-P
Magic - Front, Right (the worst of them) (1) (2) (3)
Front, Left (1) (2) (3)
Tanner - Front, Right (1) (2) (3) (She's currently injured just above this hoof, so warning for a tiny glimpse of the wound and, uh... lots of scarlet oil)
Front, Left (1) (2) (By far the best; also, no sole picture because she won't put weight on her injured leg.)
And like I said, we've tried shoes, shoes with clips on them, barefoot trimming, some sort of glue that our old vet used once, and various conditioners and supplements.
Firstly, how frequently do the horses get trimmed? Assuming that they were well trimmed(which unfortunately I'm not), they're well overdue. They're quite badly balanced, long flared toes, long, underrun heels. Good, regualr trimming, to get & then keep them in shape would go a long way for starters. Allowing them to get/remain in that kind of form will add to the mechanical stress on the compromised hoof capsules... as well as elsewhere. *Not judging you or the whys & wherefores BTW, just telling what I see.
The rings & ridges on the hooves, the 'micro cracks'(making hooves appear dry & shelly), the stretched laminae & the flat soles in front half of feet all lead me to suspect that diet, nutrition & metabolic problems are at least a substantial contributor to the problem. Do some reading on 'sub clinical' or 'low grade' laminitis. safergrass.org is one good source of info on healthy feeding, esp as it relates to hoof health. hoofrehab.com also has a lot of great info, including a page on diet.
The worse 'crack' pictured, that looks like it's been resected, possibly needs further resecting & treatment of seedy toe. The 'x' scorring on the cracks are not effective at all IME.
Im no expert but even I can see thats some jacked up hoof care going on there. Go find a real farrier before you end up with permanently ruined horses.
I'm aware of their nutritional issues, and straightening that out is a work in progress - we have no way of graining them each a prescribed ration ('least not that we've figured out), so they get mostly pasture and mineral blocks. (And with Tanner laid up and kept separate, she actually gets hay, a mineral block, and grain + joint and hoof supplements).
I'd love to say that I could grab another farrier and get a second, in-person, opinion, but there's only three farriers that will come out to this area -- Our current one, the old one (who really was doing a kind of shoddy job), and a lady that is widely known to be a hack.
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