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Danny has shoes front and back to keep his feet from chipping. I'm not thrilled about it by any means! Just talked to the farrier and found out that my visits will now cost $140! :shock::shock::shock: He thinks Danny can go barefoot at least in the back if we have him on good footing and his digestion supplements help him break down the nutrients in his food better. I'm also going to start using Keratex (sp?) on his feet to harden them up. Does anyone else have good suggestions to help harden his feet? Sadly, he can't be turned out with the herd while he has back shoes on :cry:. Thankfully, my BO has her retired gelding out with him so he's not getting lonely...
 

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I know that the horse I lease has bad feet without supplements, so the owner has him on Grand Hoof II if I'm right about the name of it...
But it must work wonderfully because I thought he had naturally perfect hooves before I even knew that he had the supplement! So, if you're looking for a different hoof supplement I'm pretty sure Grand Hoof II is the name of a good one!
 

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I use Grand Hoof for my mare. Its got alot of good stuff for the price per serving.

You might want to look into sole guard by vettec. But you also need an application gun and mixing tips. You farrier might have those already.
 

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Hi,
With regard to supplements, great. I would hazard a guess that an extremely low percentage of horses get decent nutrition without. I would be inclined to get a basic diet analysis done to see what he's getting already & what he needs & feed a *good* complete supp rather than hoof-specific or such tho, as balanced nutrition is just as important as getting adequate amounts of certain ingredients. On the note of feed/nutrition, laminitis is a huge problem for domestic horses, much bigger than is commonly recognised. For that reason I would not feed grain or sugary, starchy feeds without full understanding of the effects and a very good reason.

Regarding chipping, horseshoes definitely can prevent this, but generally chipping is due to the hoof walls being too long &/or not having an adequate 'mustang roll'. IOW, it is excess growth that is chipping off because it isn't needed or helpful. If his feet are weak & unhealthy, they may chip regardless for a while. But if they are unhealthy, I really believe shoes are contraindicated and the horse is far better bare, and booted when necessary. For one, it won't just be the walls which are unhealthy and horseshoes provide no protection or support for the bottom of the foot. If you're paying $140 for a shoeing, perhaps you can save the money for boots instead without too much difficulty.

I do not advise Keratex or similar. It is predominantly formaldehyde and while it does harden the outside of the horn, it also makes it brittle & therefore more apt to chip & split. Also what is needed is good hoof function & exercise, to *grow* a strong healthy & thick hoof capsule which is flexible, rather than harden what you have.

As you can no doubt tell, I'm all for barefoot, in the vast majority of situations, but it's important to educate yourself well first, on the principles and factors involved. I thing a great place to start is hoofrehab.com Best wishes!
 

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Loosie, thank you! I am in complete agreeance with you. I want to help him have healthy hooves from the inside out and much prefer barefoot. He is on strategy with a cup of vegetable oil to prevent his mild boughts of colic. I have also started him on SmartDigest Ultra, hoping to assist his digestive system and help him break down his grain & hay to actually get the nutrients out of his food. This in itself may help. My farrier also recommended any supplement that has flax in his to strengthen his feet, so I am going to add Omega Horseshine to his feeding program. I was wondering what Keratex and similar products did, if it actually penetrated the hoof or just coated and strengthened the outside. I'll definately check out that website. Thanks!
 

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I've only used keratex for thrush. I didnt know its also a hoof hardener. I friend of mine has a horse without shoes who chipps her backs. They start to actually roll themselves. So keep reminding you farrier to try and roll them. I even like to do it with shoes to keep all the weight off the toe.
 

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He is on strategy with a cup of vegetable oil to prevent his mild boughts of colic. I have also started him on SmartDigest Ultra, hoping to assist his digestive system and help him break down his grain
How much strategy do you feed? Over how many meals per day? How much hay & what other feed? What is her living arrangements? Is she a 'good keeper' or 'hard'? How old? How long has she been having bouts of colic & what do you think is causing this? Has she been tested/treated for ulcers or anything else? Is he laminitic at all?

Why I ask the above, is that it appears that incorrect feeding practices and rich diets are a very major cause of colic, as well as laminitis. Also depending on the cause, oil may not be helpful & depending on the horse, also be too fattening. While pelleted or well processed feeds are easier to digest than actual grain, it's still best to feed little & often - 'creep feed' or feed the ration over at least 3-4 meals per day. The more infrequent &/or larger or richer the meal, the more problematic. I can't find any information on the Purina site that tells me the actual ingredients, but pelleted feeds such as this are generally grain based, which may or may not be a problem for your horse. Not providing enough roughage also causes problems too, and as a general rule horses should have free access to hay &/or low grade pasture/forage. Horses also need free movement & lots of exercise, for their general health & soundness, but also for their digestion, so if the horse is locked up or otherwise rather sedentary, more turnout/exercise may be helpful.

any supplement that has flax in his to strengthen his feet, so I am going to add Omega Horseshine
Yep, flax is good. You can also buy straight flax/linseed seed & soak/boil/grind it yourself. Cold pressed oil, not just flax, is better than regular heat processed oil, as it retains more of the good stuff, which can be destroyed by heat. I've had a quick look at the Omega Horseshine site too & that sounds good. I would still advise a diet analysis, as you may be doubling up & overdosing some nutrients feeding this with Strategy, &/or not getting enough of some things.

I'm no nutritional expert, and I find services such as FeedXL.com very valuable & well worth the small subscription fee(I'll try not to sound like an ad, but I think it's fantastic), to have a good program & heaps of feed/nutritional info available, to take the headache out of balancing diets, as well as an equine nutritionist to be able to ask questions of. It's actually also saved me money, because not only have I found I was overfeeding certain nutrients, but I need to feed a fair bit less than what the packaged feed & supps recommend on the lable.

Just as an idea for you, my own horses are on unimproved pasture, in a 'paddock paradise' setup, to motivate exercise and restrict their pasture intake. They are generally a bit overweight and so I can't afford to feed them too many calories. None of them work, as I have young kids so little time, and it's usually only an hour's walk/trot per day if that. After using FeedXL, I decided to feed a premium complete pelleted 'ration balancer'. It is grain based and expensive for a bag, but after working out how much they needed - 60g/day for the horses(about half a teacup), 35g for the pony, which is approx half of what it says on the pack - and it is palatable & convenient to feed straight from my hand rather than having to mix it with copious amounts of lucerne & molasses to disguise the taste, I found it was not expensive and very convenient. Needing such a tiny amount meant that I didn't have to worry about extra calories, or to a large degree that it's grain based & I am only generally able to get there once a day to feed. I also feed 'Economix', a cheap pelleted feed which I use for providing a little extra potassium that's needed and as training rewards too. They only need about 100g which is about a 20th(!) of what's recommended on the package for 'spellers'.

Anyway, this has turned into an essay again! I hope it gives you more food for thought!
 

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Keratex Hoof Hardener is a great idea.

Danny has shoes front and back to keep his feet from chipping. I'm not thrilled about it by any means! Just talked to the farrier and found out that my visits will now cost $140! :shock::shock::shock: He thinks Danny can go barefoot at least in the back if we have him on good footing and his digestion supplements help him break down the nutrients in his food better. I'm also going to start using Keratex (sp?) on his feet to harden them up. Does anyone else have good suggestions to help harden his feet? Sadly, he can't be turned out with the herd while he has back shoes on :cry:. Thankfully, my BO has her retired gelding out with him so he's not getting lonely...
You should start using the Keratex Hoof Hardener. It is ideal for situations like yours. Proper nutrition is great for generating or growing good hoof, and the Keratex Hardener is the best way to harden and managed it. What I like about it is it hardens and strengthens which allows most of my horses to go barefoot, and also allows the hoof to continue breathing naturally which manages moisture problems.
 

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Keratex is unique in that it does penetrate the hoof -works with the keratin protein

Loosie, thank you! I am in complete agreeance with you. I want to help him have healthy hooves from the inside out and much prefer barefoot. He is on strategy with a cup of vegetable oil to prevent his mild boughts of colic. I have also started him on SmartDigest Ultra, hoping to assist his digestive system and help him break down his grain & hay to actually get the nutrients out of his food. This in itself may help. My farrier also recommended any supplement that has flax in his to strengthen his feet, so I am going to add Omega Horseshine to his feeding program. I was wondering what Keratex and similar products did, if it actually penetrated the hoof or just coated and strengthened the outside. I'll definately check out that website. Thanks!
Unlike most other products that coat the outside of the hoof, Keratex Hoof Hardener penetrates the hoof and uses a cross-linking process to strenthen the molecular bonds inside the hoof -- without sealing it. Read more about this in the Horse-Journal Product of the Year Award which was givne the Keratex in 2006. I've tested every hoof care product available in Europe and the US for the past 10 years and Keratex in the best one available. Proper nutrition is also very important.
 

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You are incorrect.

Hi,
With regard to supplements, great. I would hazard a guess that an extremely low percentage of horses get decent nutrition without. I would be inclined to get a basic diet analysis done to see what he's getting already & what he needs & feed a *good* complete supp rather than hoof-specific or such tho, as balanced nutrition is just as important as getting adequate amounts of certain ingredients. On the note of feed/nutrition, laminitis is a huge problem for domestic horses, much bigger than is commonly recognised. For that reason I would not feed grain or sugary, starchy feeds without full understanding of the effects and a very good reason.

Regarding chipping, horseshoes definitely can prevent this, but generally chipping is due to the hoof walls being too long &/or not having an adequate 'mustang roll'. IOW, it is excess growth that is chipping off because it isn't needed or helpful. If his feet are weak & unhealthy, they may chip regardless for a while. But if they are unhealthy, I really believe shoes are contraindicated and the horse is far better bare, and booted when necessary. For one, it won't just be the walls which are unhealthy and horseshoes provide no protection or support for the bottom of the foot. If you're paying $140 for a shoeing, perhaps you can save the money for boots instead without too much difficulty.

I do not advise Keratex or similar. It is predominantly formaldehyde and while it does harden the outside of the horn, it also makes it brittle & therefore more apt to chip & split. Also what is needed is good hoof function & exercise, to *grow* a strong healthy & thick hoof capsule which is flexible, rather than harden what you have.

As you can no doubt tell, I'm all for barefoot, in the vast majority of situations, but it's important to educate yourself well first, on the principles and factors involved. I thing a great place to start is hoofrehab.com Best wishes!
Most of what you say is right, except what you said about Keratex Hoof Hardener. The amount of formalin in their Hoof Hardener is less than the amount permitted by the FDA in finger nail polish for humans. It is only trace amounts, and is combined with unique plasticizers to ensure flexibility. You can read about this on their website at www.keratex.net. I wouldn't use anything except Keratex.
 

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Most of what you say is right, except what you said about Keratex Hoof Hardener. The amount of formalin in their Hoof Hardener is less than the amount permitted by the FDA in finger nail polish for humans. It is only trace amounts, and is combined with unique plasticizers to ensure flexibility. You can read about this on their website at www.keratex.net. I wouldn't use anything except Keratex.
Oh, I beg your pardon! Seems I need to learn more about it. Don't usually spout off 'facts' that I don't know for sure, but I was told that by a friend who is a chemist & professed to have researched it.
 

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I do not believe any oral suppliments help as much as they claim. There are no scientific results that proove otherwise.

Every Vet I have spoken with about suppliments and even Farriers that I discuss suppliments with, all say the same - there is no proof stating that oral suppliments do the job that the creators claim that they do.

The amount that you have to give to a 1100lb - 1500lb horse to be effective in 1 dose for what you want that suppliment to do, will break down from the mouth, into the salavia, into the stomache, into the blood, and into the specific spot you want the suppliment to effect - will end up very minimal.

I believe, that the only sure way to help your horses hooves, in the long run - is to find a farrier who does a good job, and allows the hoof to have blood flow. Blood flow is the key factor to a stronger hoof and correct angles that correspond with your horses conformation.

There is nothing wrong with going with shoes on the fronts only. I've done it for years - with horses that can handle it. Being an Eventer, I must go with all 4's.

I use Karatex, and I love it. But Karatex will be uneffective if your horses hooves are at incorrect angles, with little to no blood flow.
 

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I do not believe any oral suppliments help as much as they claim. There are no scientific results that proove otherwise.
I agree with you to a certain degree. I reckon manufacturers surely have 'artistic license' with their packaging & claims!:lol::-( ...But then that's not confined to supplements & the horse industry either. And absence of proof is not proof of absence. Especially on these matters, I think absence of proof is more likely about absence of funding for research.

But surely you agree that nutrition & feeding is vital to health, and that generally speaking, domestic horses will be deficient *or imbalanced* in a number of nutrients? Therefore, supplementation is often beneficial. That's why my advice is to do feed analysis through an *independent* service to the manufacturers, such as FeedXL.com for eg. That way you *know* what your horse is getting & needs, and you know whether the particular supp does actually supply it - found out the hard way that many don't, despite lables, before using FeedXL.

Nutrient imbalance can cause suppression or depletion of other nutrients in the body, so it's vital to not just feed them anything, but only what's necessary to correct the balance. I think this is the biggest factor & perhaps it is that studies have only been carried out on Joe Bloggs feeding a complete supp to their horse when she's not sure what it needs - it is getting more nutrients but still just as imbalanced. While I am not aware of any other studies done, I know of a number of cases where soil or feed has been tested from pasture with sick animals, found to be deficient in zinc or such, and the horses have come good after supplementation.

The amount that you have to give to a 1100lb - 1500lb horse to be effective in 1 dose for what you want that suppliment to do, will break down from the mouth, into the salavia, into the stomache, into the blood, and into the specific spot you want the suppliment to effect - will end up very minimal.
Um, it's not about going 'into the specific spot'. They don't have to find their way to where you intend them to go:). The nutrients don't just go to specific spots & work there, but they're more of a general conditioner for the health of the body. Different nutrients do have different functions tho & affect different organs more or less. For eg. while they affect various bodily functions, copper & zinc particularly effect the hair & skin(ie hooves too). Other thing with skin & hair is that they're extremities, that the body stops feeding when nutrition is lacking, in order to retain enough for the health of the vital organs. So they are often the first sign of ill health *in the entire body* not just of themselves. Flakey hooves for eg don't necessarily just signify foot probs, but may be due to deficiency or suppression of glucose in the entire system for eg.

Whether nutrients begin being digested in the mouth, stomach or otherwise, they're still digested. But on that note, it does depend on the type of nutrient, and generally speaking, natural sources - plants for eg - are far more digestible than synthetic or otherwise manufactured supplements(eg it's far more effective to eat beetroot for iron deficiency than take high-dose iron tabs). Unfortunately many natural sources have far lower levels than manufactured supps, so it's a question of balance & understanding how they're digested.... or paying for a service like FeedXL so you have an *independent*(note I wouldn't trust one paid by a feed co) qualified nutritionist to explain or tell you what's best.

I believe, that the only sure way to help your horses hooves, in the long run - is to find a farrier who does a good job, and allows the hoof to have blood flow.
This seems to be still a common view. Unfortunately it's traditional, even in veterinary research, to have looked to the mechanics only, in treatment of problems such as laminitis & founder. Altho it has been common knowledge for eons that carbohydrate overload is the major cause of lami, until recently, they don't seem to have known what to do with the information. Drs Chris Pollitt & Robert Bowker are 2 people at the forefront of research that is changing the situation & attitudes tho. Through recent research, I am coming to believe that nutrition & diet has *everything* to do with hoof health, and while of course good hoofcare is important, it is but one factor. Management is what really matters most - ie proper feeding & exercise - so therefore the vast percentage of responsibility is down to the owner, not the farrier.

Re blood flow, it has been shown that laminae break down due to metabolic stress - regardless of the mechanics, regardless of hoof function, usually diet/nutrition probs. In fact, in *truly* healthy, well connected feet, it is virtually impossible to separate laminae with mechanical force alone. In the case of laminitis, the NSCs suppress glucose, leading to breakdown and subsequent swelling, leading to reduction of blood flow. Without correcting these issues, regardless of mechanics or function, the laminae cannot grow strong & well connected with good circulation. It has been show that increasing glucose and insuline sensitivity may be beneficial, especially if sugar/starch levels cannot be reduced sufficiently - altho again, not sure there's any hard 'proof' on that yet for you. Think I read of studies done on this on hoofrehab.com or safergrass.org.

There is nothing wrong with going with shoes on the fronts only.
That depends... As a blanket statement I believe it's incorrect.
 
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