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So I have an OTTB who has pretty nice hooves for a TB. But he still has a few cracks.

Do you use hoof oil ? Why or why not ? What hoof oil would you recommend ?
 

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Do you have any pictures of his hooves? For hoof critique pictures, look at the "Good Hoof Pictures" link in my signature.

I generally do not use hoof oils. They can be a waste of money because they wash or rub off before becoming effective. Good hooves start from the inside-out. While genetics play a role, proper nutrition and correct trimming/shoeing practices come before topical hoof oils. Fix the cause; do not mask the symptoms.
 

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I was always told horses dont need hoof oils or conditioners......which up until this point I understood completely, for the first time since Ive owned horses I actually bought a hoof conditioner as its incredibly dry where Im currently at, looking forward to see if it actually makes a difference
 

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No I don't advise hoof oil or any other 'conditioner' or 'moisturiser'. They do nothing for the health of the foot, but can work *against* it, if they soften the tissue, or seal in any infection that may be present.

Horses have evolved in arid climates and hooves are built for dry environs. HOOVES ARE MEANT TO BE DRY! It is too wet/damp that is a problem, not dry.

The external wall material is/should be impervious - it does not absorb anything. Instead, it seals in the necessary moisture in the inner wall material. Regularly putting stuff on walls can damage the outer layer & leave it not impervious but open to further compromise. Especially if there are any cracks or infection present, as it creates a cushier environment for the anaerobic bugs to thrive.

If hooves have hairline cracks or look Shelly, peeling or 'too dry' looking, then imo the prob tends to be nutritional. Can also be due to too wet footing tho. Other cracks may be due to mechanical strain, infection, injury, insufficient hoof care, etc.
 
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