The hoof crack wont stop!
HI! I have a 10 month old little girl and she has lateral cracks in her hooves. I have had three farriers out and all have said shes fine and they will grow out, but they just keep getting longer! One farrier put a groove right above the crack, but after the next trim it just came back. Ive tried keeping her feet wet and trimmimg them often and I bought some hoof treatment, but I dont know if that stuff really works...Anybody had horses with this problem? Im feeding her safe choice...Is there a better food for healthy hooves and hair. Because she also has a dull coat unlike a horse I had before on strategy that had a shiny coat and beautiful feet. Maybe its just a breeding thing. Anyway thanks!!!:-)
Sometimes cracks just need hoof strengthening vitamins, or hoof paint. Also, a farrier can design shoes to keep the pressure evenly distributed, or distributed more to one side, to keep the cracks from widening. Can we see pics?
And I feed Safe Choice to my Paint Clydesdale, my Welsh stally and my mini mare and it seems to work well
Ask one of your fairrers if they can cross the crack with a nail, or it might just take some more time and vitemens.
OK..Ill try to get some pics..And I did some research and I believe I need to get some vitamin supplements with Biotin and zinc methionine. She also eats coastal hay because there is not much green grass here. Anyway they say its a long term battle fighting cracks so I guess just doing the vitamins and making sure the right farrier is trimming evenly and often. Thanks!
If she is barefoot, try to bevel or mustang roll the wall really good all the way from the toe to the quarters to relieve any pressure there is on it, that could help.
I wouldnt shoe at ten months, the last thing you want is more pressure on and holes in her weak walls and notching around the cracks wont help, it just weakens the wall more.
What kind of hay are you giving? Good health starts with hay! Make sure you're buying the best quality hay you can find for your horse. A grass type hay is best, or Timothy hay. I feeda local mix that is about 70% Bermuda with local grasses and clover mixed in. My horses do very well on it.
I prefer to feed my own "feed", rather than something storebought. Most of of the feeds on the market today are full of high starch, high sugar fillers and byproducts, without a lot of quality nutrition. It's like feeding your kids or yourself cereal and frozen dinners. They're okay, but not as healthy as homemade ;-).
With the grass hay, I feed Alfalfa pellets (1/2 to 1 scoop, 2-3.5 lbs), a vit/min mix, and flax meal. I have horsetech.com custom blend me a mix along with high levels of amino acids, 10 mg of biotin per serving, high Vit E, and some pro-biotics. Each serving has 2 oz of flax (about 1/2 cup). All ingrediants are humane-food-grade and very fresh! It costs me $0.87 per-day per-horse to feed (about 1 measuring cup a day).
I use apple cider vinegar to mix the powdered supplement in with the alfalfa pellets. However, you can use water or oil if your horse needs extra fat.
Since switching to this "all natural" type diet my horses's coats have improved, their feet come in strong (vet and farrier RAVE about their feet!!), their attitudes have improved (calmer, more willing, better work ethic, etc.), and my mare's heats aren't so "mare-y" lol. We have very little rain rot (and it's been a BAD year here in Arkansas for it) and almost no thrush anymore. I will never go back to commercial horse feed again...
If you want an off-the-shelf vit/min, I can recommend a few. All worked well for me, I just wanted to have one bucket, instead of the flax & vitamins separate. Plus I wanted more Amino Acids (only the first one has the high levels in it that I like).
Equine Products Inc - Top quality equine supplements - the 1oz serving
Uckele Equine Nutrition
Platinum Performance Equine Wellness - also has "joint goodies" in it
SmartVite Maintenance Grass Pellets from SmartPak Equine
Grand Vite from SmartPak Equine
Select II from SmartPak Equine
Daily Omegas Plus - Multi-Purpose Supplements from SmartPak Equine
LinPro from SmartPak Equine
For the flax I recommend Horsetech.com's NutraFlax or Omega Horseshine.
I would take the wall below the crack back really close to the white line, with a serious roll to the edge. That way there is no pressure from the ground on that area of the foot. Have your farrier or trimmer show you how to touch it up between trims. You'll want to touch it up once a week or once every two weeks until it grows out.
Lateral cracks? Do you mean quarter cracks? If they keep coming back, then obviously the trim isn't correct. The quarters are possibly being left too long, and by the way, grooving just above the crack just that section of hoof wall thinner and doesn't work very well. A deep crack won't be stopped by a horizontal surface groove. That would be like stopping a fault line in the earth's crust by digging a trench 3 ft deep.
The wall at the quarters should be trimmed to match the sole plane, which may leave the hoof with an area that when the hoof is on the ground, looks like there is an arch. If there is too much pressure there, the something has to give, an in your horse's case, it splits.
About the nutrition, you should have your hay/pasture analyzed for nutrients before you add any supplements, and be sure forage is the biggest part of the diet. Only feed grain as a calorie supplement when your pasture/hay can't keep up with your horses needs.
Here is a pic...sorry its been raining so her feet are muddy. BUt thats the longest crack there is. Anyway everytime the farrier trims, he cant get the whole crack. And he did say that he was rounding them last time, but Ill ask him to specifically bevel them. She was done 5 weeks ago, so Ill go ahead and have him come out this week. I bought some vita crumbles today and also started a tablespoon of corn oil as per the horse lady at the feed store. I know the corn oil is more for her coat though. Thanks to everyone and Im going to do some more research about changing her diet....oh and she eats an irrigated coastal hay down here in Texas. The vet said that her cracks are just from the weather we have had the last 6 months and to just add the biotin. Thanks again!!
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