Part 1 of 3 of the “Keeping Hooves Healthy” Series.
Everyone knows if you don’t have strong hooves, you don’t have a horse. Hoof care is incredibly important, and with so many different programs out there, it is almost impossible to figure out what to use and when to use it.
In part one of this three-part series, we are going to discuss in a case study the different ways we can improve the overall condition of the hoof. Next, part two will discuss what to look for in a hoof supplement. Finally, in part three, we will discuss the different types of creams, oils, and hardeners on the market today.
Case Study: Harry’s Hooves
Improving the overall condition of a hoof isn’t easy. It takes time and effort, and there is no quick fix.
Harry came to us with a double abscess blow out on his top right front hoof, splitting hooves, and what we thought would be no hope for a normal hoof. This came from years of neglectful turnout.
The first thing we did was hire a new farrier. You have to find a farrier who is on the same page as you and wants to help improve the overall condition of the horse. If he is there just to make a buck, get rid of him.
Next, we started him on a hoof supplement. There are a lot of hoof supplements on the market today, but if you have a horse with a real hoof problem, Hoof Aid Special by Cavalor is a great product. It has everything you need to get a hoof growing, and is pelleted for ease of feeding. Harry received this product daily in a handful of grain to jumpstart his healing.
The next step was to create a program for the outside of his hoof. While there are several products on the market today, these are the ones we used. Before we started applying anything, we used a high-quality hoof pick, like the Haas Hoof Pick, to remove any dust and dirt that had accumulated on the top and underneath of the hoof. Harry had a case of thrush, so we applied Kera Mend Thrush Paste to the affected areas of the hoof. On the front lower half of the hoof, we applied Keratex Hoof Hardener to help reduce further cracking of the hoof. On the top half of the hoof, we applied Effol Hoof Ointment. This helped keep the double abscess blowout from not getting too brittle as it worked its way down the hoof. Finally, on the bottom of the hoof, we applied Farrier’s Fix.
This helped harden his soles and protected them from the outside elements.
In addition to our daily treatment, we also had the farrier come out every 4 to 5 weeks to keep trimming and shaping his hooves. As they grew out, we finally had his hooves cast. This was the final piece to get his hooves to round and grow into normal looking hooves.
The total process took about 6 months, but the results were definitely worth it. Just see for yourself!
Want to learn more about horse health? Check out our post on cooling horses off in hot weather here!