As an equestrian, caring for your horse’s hooves is of utmost importance. While modern arena footing is wonderful for optimizing horses’ peak performance and comfort, we must consider the effect on hoof care. Some common substances found in arena footing can dry out hooves. Read on to learn more about dust suppression, possible effects on hoof health, and how to avoid overly dry hooves.

The Drying Effects of Magnesium and Calcium Chlorides

Arena footing often includes various additives to improve its performance. Two commonly used substances are magnesium chloride and calcium chloride. But these compounds affect more than just the footing – a horse’s hoof health may be impacted as well.

Magnesium Chloride:

Magnesium chloride is often added to arena footing to help prevent dust and provide stability. However, its hygroscopic nature means that it absorbs moisture from its surroundings. And that includes the horse’s hooves. Excessive exposure to magnesium chloride can lead to overly dry hooves, increasing the risk of cracks, brittleness, and discomfort for the horse.

Calcium Chloride:

Similarly, calcium chloride is used in arena footing to control dust and improve footing quality. Like magnesium chloride, it can absorb moisture from the hooves, potentially causing them to become excessively dry.


It is essential to adopt a proactive hoof care routine to protect your horse’s hoof health. Using Hooflex products can help maintain the proper moisture balance in your horse’s hooves, promoting overall hoof health and performance. Hooflex offers a range of products designed to nourish and protect hooves.

Absorbine Hooflex Therapuetic Conditioner for arena hoof care available at FarmVet

The Hooflex Therapeutic Conditioner (Original Liquid and Ointment versions) provides deep-penetrating moisture to replenish dry, cracked hooves. Ingredients used and trusted for decades, pine rosin and lanolin help maintain a proper moisture balance and promote hoof flexibility.

Hooflex is specifically designed to create a breathable barrier. This helps regulate moisture in the hoof capsule, protecting critical structures from constant changes in moisture levels. After riding or exposure to arena footing, rinse their hooves off then apply Hooflex Hoof Conditioner to help restore and maintain the ideal moisture balance in your horse’s hooves.

Absorbine Hooflex All Natural Dressing for arena hoof care available at FarmVet

Hooflex All Natural Dressing offers a solution that moisturizes and conditions the hooves using only natural moisturizers and conditioners. This product contains tea tree oil, which has natural antiseptic properties. Avocado oil and arnica also help encourage natural hoof growth and strength

In conclusion, the arena footing plays a crucial role in a horse’s performance. However, some common additives like magnesium chloride and calcium chloride can potentially dry out the hooves, leading to various issues. To maintain the proper moisture balance and promote overall hoof health, equestrians should consider using Hooflex products. Whether it’s the Hooflex Therapeutic Hoof Conditioner or Hooflex All-Natural Dressing & Conditioner, these products can help protect your horse’s hooves, ensuring they stay in top condition for peak performance and a happier equine companion.

The facts in this blog were contributed to by the team at Absorbine to help spread information on the benefits and use of Hooflex products.

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Learn More

The key to healthy, strong hooves that can withstand changes in environment or footing starts with proper hoof maintenance. Learn more about how to prevent common hoof problems here.