What to do about hoof cracks?
I've gotten a lot of conflicting advice, and I'm not really sure what to do.
I have a gelding with a crack in both of his front hooves. He's lame on gravel and perfect everywhere else. He's currently barefoot, and has been for a while.
The cracks starting appearing a month or two ago. They have been getting progressively worse instead of growing out. Does that mean I should shoe him?
They currently look like this:
He is on an all-around supplement, and is getting 2.5mg of biotin a day from that. Should I be giving him something else?
I haven't talked to my farrier about it yet, because they were barely noticeable when he was last out. He's coming again in a couple weeks, so I'm going to talk to him about it then. I'd just like to be somewhat informed before I talk to him, so I'm not just taking everything he says for granted.
How offen are you having him trimmed? The longer you go between trims the more they will split. Maybe have him trimmed a couple of weeks earlier, and if your working him more he's going to have more cracks than if he's just messing around in the field.
You farrier should be able to rasp most of it off, depending on how deep it is.
His hooves could be dry also, that will cause them to crack. If its a deeper crack he can just put a horizontal line over the top of the crack. Sometimes they are just surface cracks. You can buy a can of pine tar (its inexpensive) and you just paint it on the hoof with a paint brush before you put them away and that will help alot with dry hooves.
You don't necessarily have to shoe him to stop that. Carolina had similar feet and was lame on gravel too, which two reasons among many that I decided to have her shod.
I started using a hoofoil on her too which helped a lot.
I wouldn't jump to shoes yet though.
cracks tend to come from dry or soft feet...since you say hes been barefoot forever an never had a problem they are prob dry...
I would ask your farrier if he think a hoof moisturizer would help...if so I recomend Mane an tail: Hoofmaker or Hooflex all-natural...
I wouldnt do shoes yet...your farrier can probably have the cracks out in a few trims if your lucky... My boyfriends horse had bad cracks and they are almost gone now after a few good trims...
If they are real dry and the ground is real dry, put a sprinkler around your water trough the horse will have to walk in it to get water and the hoof will soak up the water it needs without being to moist. To much moisture isn't good either. The sprinkler will help keep the dust when your horse comes up to drink.
Okay, I think I'll hold off on the shoes then.
He gets trimmed every 8 weeks, but I'll start doing it every 6 weeks and see how that goes.
Thanks for the help!
if you put hoof oil or hoof grease on the hooves trust me you'll see a massive improvement and im talking from experience!
i found with my horse that when he threw a shoe and just had 3 shoes on the hoof with no shoe, the cracks in it get a lot wider very quick!
talk 2 your farrier about it coz its his job to know what 2 do:)
hope you get it fixed:)
sorry the message is confusing to read! my heads a bit jumbled at the min!
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