Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
• Horses: 0
Growing up in the 50ís & 60ís, on the OH/PA border, there was no such thing as hoof cracks unless the horse was so neglected, it should have been removed from its tiny property.
My horses ran on nearly 100 acres back then. They ate home grown hay, oats and corn <GASP!> in the winter. Granddad taught me how to trim their hooves when I was 12 so I had a ways to go before I got my trimming capabilities honed.
None of my horses, nor my grandfatherís ever had hoof cracks.. They didnít have thrush or white line either.
In the 70ís, we bought a few trail horses that had been brought back from the desert states - they all had great hooves.
Meaning all of our soils have deteriorated horribly, in terms of vitamins/minerals. The last 20 years, I have put more care into my horses hooves than I ever had to before that.
I said all that to say:
1. Start with diet. Find out whatís missing in your soil and what there is too much of. Have your hay tested.
2. Regardless of whether you do your farrier work or itís someone else - itís not being done correctly - Iím sorry but chronic never ending hoof cracks are also a result of unknowledgeable farrier work for that horse, I donít care how ďgreatĒ the farrier is. A lifetime of experience with farriers has taught me how great farriers are and are not.
3. I suspect the toe cracks are now a breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria or fungus. You can address that by brushing the toe cracks as clean as possible and applying some sort of medicated product made for thrush or WLD (whiteline disease).
3.1 IMO Coppertox is worthless but it may work in your sandy environment.
In my moist very humid environment, Thrush Buster works well. What works best for my foundered horse is the White Lightening Gel. A 2 oz bottle costs $19 but you get what you pay for and a little goes a long way.
4. ^^^all of that means donít paint the hooves with any moisture-type topicals. as loose alluded to, you could do more harm than good, even if a farrier suggests to do that. Knowing what I know now, I would ditch that farrier as that is strike two; the first being the farrier canít trim to keep the toe cracks at bay:)
4.1. If you say your horse self trims, it needs help, starting with the diet and someone guiding the hooves with a hoof rasp:)
A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.
I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.