Part 3 of 3 of the “Keeping Hooves Healthy” Series.
Besides having your horse on a hoof supplement program, it is also a good idea to have him on a program for maintaining the outside of his hooves. There are a lot of products out there on the market today, and picking a product for a specific application can be confusing. In the final installment of this three-part series, we hope to shed some light on the various products available and when to use them.
Hoof Sealants & Hardeners
If your horse’s hooves are brittle, tend to crack, or do not hold shoes well, then you need to use a hoof sealant or hardener dressing. These products are for both shod and barefoot horses. Typically, you apply a hoof sealant about a quarter of the way up the hoof. This is just enough to cover all the nail holes if your horse is shod. A good maintenance product to use is Tuff Stuff, but for those with more critical feet, Keratex Hoof Hardener is the way to go.
Besides toughening up the outside of the hoof, it is important to also toughen up the underneath of the hoof. This is especially important if your horse is barefoot or works on hard surfaces like synthetic footing. There are some great products on the market today, and it is really up to you on which one would best suit your horse’s needs.
Venice Turpentine is your classic sole hardener. The only downside to this product is that it freezes in the winter, making it impossible to use unless you invest in a turpentine heater. Besides creating a tougher hoof, Birdsall’s Farrier Barrier helps fight bacterial infections of the hoof. Other sole hardeners include Cobra Hoof Freeze and Durasole.
Hoof Creams & Oils
Nothing makes a horse look better than a glossy coat of oil or cream applied to the outside of his hooves. Besides making a horse look good, hoof oils and creams actually have a function. Much like applying lotion to our hands, there are different types to suit specific needs. Let’s break them down into two groups: maintenance and critical.
Maintenance hoof oils and creams are for the horses that already have good hooves. Some oils and creams that are good maintenance products are Fiebing’s Hoof Dressing, Hooflex Liquid Conditioner, Rainmaker, and Effol Hoof Oil. It is up to you on which one to choose, as they all are applied a little differently.
Critical hoof oils and creams contain ingredients like vitamins, essential oils, minerals, and hyaluronic acid, and include products such as Birdsall’s Dry Hoof Cream, Contender, and E3 Hoof Oil. Contender is the only product of its kind to contain both hyaluronic acid and MSM to help promote healing and growth of the hoof. E3 Hoof Oil is loaded with vitamins that penetrate the hoof wall which also promotes overall growth of the hoof. Birdsall’s Dry Hoof Cream is formulated with human grade materials to help enhance hoof growth and nourish the corium. For severely dry, cracked or damaged hooves Regen-X from Perfect Products attacks dry damaged areas and reduces fungi that can cause thrush and white line disease.
All these products have a slightly different application; so pick a product depending on your horse’s specific needs.
Special thanks to The Horse Rescue & Kathryn Currey for helping us with this informational post. If you’d like to learn more about the rescue or make a donation visit https://www.thehorserescue.org.
Want to learn more about hoof care products? Check out our post on REBOUND Hoof Pack here!
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