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Gina and cracked hooves

1361 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  AtokaGhosthorse
So, Gina is our just turned 5 year old mare. She is allegedly papered AQHA, but came with the old 'lost the papers' story (Which knowing the mom of the former owner, who was a minor, that's entirely possible). So let's say grade.

She is a sorrel with white and/or striped hooves. I know white hooves aren't any tougher than black hooves, or less, no matter the wives tales.

24/7 turnout on 40 acres with a nice big, clean pond.

She's on pasture grass right now, mostly bermuda grass and free choice grazing. She has good hay available, a sulfur salt block (the yellow kind) and a mineral block (the brown kind). She (and all the others) get just enough feed every evening to keep them in the routine of coming when called and keep me in the routine of feeding. They don't get much, its more a reward for coming up when called this time of year. She is a good weight, in fact all our horses may be just close to being fat this summer - we had a good summer in terms of the grass not burning up from the heat, but now we're sliding into autumn, I have help now with people to keep them ridden and doing something beside's loafing, so their weight is coming back in line with where it needs to be.

We have not had an exceptionally wet spring and summer seasons. We did get more rain than usual in August, but that's incredibly relative... August is usually our driest month, so anything more than a few rainy days is a 'rainy' August - so she's not been standing around on wet ground.

She used to be kept shod (Before we got her), now all our horses are barefoot horses. They all get a visit from the farrier once a month, more often if needed.

Gina is my nightmare horse, the one I constantly have horrific dreams that her hooves have rotted off due to a completely preventable hoof problem. In reality, her hooves crack (Vertically), chip, split and peel, more than any horse we have. They also seem to GROW faster. She doesn't seem to ever have any problems with it, farrier said its all surface cracking, nothing that would cause lameness and they'll do that less and less as she gets older.

IN THE MEANTIME, and I will try to get pictures tonight - the farrier will be out Friday so I can show before and after pictures - what on earth can I do to help keep them from splitting or reduce it? It looks horrible and scares the dog out of me. Feed supplement? Biotin?
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That could be it. She's the only horse we have that's had cracking problems. But also hooves that grow out that darn fast.

Same farrier has always trimmed Gina's. I can get him out there more often and it sounds like I really should. I just didn't know if at her age she should be on a little something extra or not.
I was not able to get the pictures tonight. I voluntarily rode around with my husband deer spotting. It was after dark when we got home, so now I'm having a chai latte and pecan sandies for dinner.

Tomorrow we will make a grocery haul to Sherman, TX. Also back after dark.

I will absolutely take pictures Friday afternoon before and after farrier is here.
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I will have those, both before, and after the trim, this afternoon. I was on a 6 hour saddle haul last night, unexpectedly.
I have pictures. I did NOT get the bottoms/soles of her feet and I apologize. I had to get all 5 horses up for the farrier and Sally was being a jackwagon.

I will get them posted in the morning, I'm exhausted. I asked our farrier what gives, no really... are her feet okay? She's not fighting lamintis or founder or anything, is she? He said A No, her feet are fine. B. Its her age, she's young; C that's just how her hooves are; D. he agrees every 3 weeks would be better than every 4.

He said he really thinks she could benefit from Biotin and strongly recommended it.

I'll still post pictures. The after pictures, she wasn't wanting to hold still and to her credit, she'd been still and patient for two or three hours in the heat and sun, so, I cut her some slack and turned her out with a bois d'arc apple as a reward for behaving.

Sally... was another story altogether. Holy moly. Its been a while since she's gotten a mani-pedi. We barely got her back feet done.
Just an update (No I'm not dead)... I do have pics, but in the meantime, we've moved her up to a 3 week trim schedule, added loose salt and mineral to all their diets (We have a mineral feeder in all three pastures now, even the deer like it) and the problem seems to have solved itself. Today is mani-pedi day again, and she's in the rotation.

Thank you all for the advice and concern, and I do apologize for firing up this thread then washing out on photos. Life went nuts, in the best of ways, and I just could not get back here to post the photos - which are still on my phone. :p
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