Chipping hooves - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-24-2018, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Chipping hooves

I noticed this morning that my mare has a nasty chip in her front hoof. I can’t get the farrier out for another week, but I’ve already texted him asking for his opinion. It’s been very rainy the past couple of weeks, so I’m assuming that that is the reason for the chip, but all 3 of her other feet are fine. I’ve been putting Keratex hoof hardener on all 4 every couple of days to help with the rain, but I’m not sure if it’s helping. She has naturally hard feet, but they soften in the rainy season. Her feet were done around 3 weeks ago, and she’s been barefoot for about 2 years. Her hooves do chip occasionally, but always small chips for what I’m assuming is from “self-trimming.” There hasn’t been much change in her workload since she last got them done. I’m just a little worried about this chip, it’s about 1”x1” on her front left. She seems happy and healthy, not lame on it at all, she actually ran up to me in the paddock when I went out there this morning. I’m not sure if I should ride her or not, she seems comfortable but I don’t want to risk her going off on the chipped foot. So do you think that I should be worried? Should I be able to ride her? What do you think it could be caused by? I’m hoping that my farrier will respond soon, since he knows my horse and what is best for her, but I would appreciate some second opinions 🙂
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-24-2018, 09:18 AM
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Unfortunately, I have a fair bit of experience south chipped feet. As soon as summer rolls around and the ground gets hard, my horse will chip off if he is a single day over due or is a mm too long. Big chips. His feet look dreadful on those occasions.

I've never had him tender from a chip. You can rasp off the corners of the chip to reduce leverage. I do arena riding, so if you are on the trail I might be more cautious.
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-25-2018, 04:58 AM
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Hiya, I moved your thread into the hoofcare section. How about some pics? Without pics, general info only...

Chances are, a 1" 'chip' isn't likely to cause any issues, no big stress. Altho agree with apuetsot that I'd rasp the corners of the horn that's left, to reduce likelihood of them breaking away too.

Chances are tho, that if this happened & she's only 3 weeks out from a trim, that she may have been left too long in the first place, &/or she has seedy toe or weak hooves otherwise. Yes, constantly wet footing is likely to have an effect, softening the horn, but is not the cause.

Unfortunately the Keretex does absolutely nothing for keeping out excess moisture, and as it bonds the proteins, forming a hard, thin layer, can even just create a better environment for seedy to thrive. On top of that, if you've been putting it on long term, as in many weeks now, it can make that outer bonded layer brittle, so more likely to crack. So depending where you put it & how long, it may actually be doing more harm than good.

So... I'd quit the Keratex & instead start using an antiseptic to kill any shallow infections, and ask the farrier whether/how bad any seedy is & he can dig it out when he's next there, enabling you to get that topical into any deeper holes. I'd aim to keep her on dry footing, at least for a time after treatment, to let them dry & then the antiseptic soak in. You can also pack her feet with salt & wrap or boot, or soak them in a very saturated saline solution. That will help disinfect, but also draw out some extra moisture through osmosis.
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