Horse Hoof Cracks

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Horse Hoof Care

Cherry Hill's

Maximum Hoof
Practical Guide
to Lameness
  Horse Health
and Long Lining
Horse For Sale by Cherry Hill
Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping Almanac
Your Horse Barn DVD
Horsekeeping On A Small Acreage
Horse Health Care by Cherry Hill
Longeing and Long Lining the Western Horse

Hoof Cracks

  2006 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

Dear Cherry,

   I have a 8-yr-old thoroughbred/arab mare. The last two years I have had a problem with her front right hoof cracking. Last year I started her on biotin-plus. This seemed to help. Once the crack had grow out i quit giving it to her. But this year the crack has returned. She is kept in a pasture that is not moist, but is flooded every 13 days.

In all the years that I have had horses I have never seen such a bad hoof. I have tried to research as much as I can about hoofs, but have not come up with anything that will help. I am hoping you can!!!   Thank you. R.P.

Dear R.

   I am Cherry's husband and farrier. She asked that I reply to your question.

   First, you should know that it's rare for a horse to be deficient in biotin, a B-vitamin that is made in the horse's gut. However, many horses do benefit from a balanced hoof supplement such as SU-PER Farrier's Supplement by Gateway.  Good nutrition is the first step in building solid hooves.  If the product you were using improved your horse's hooves, you should have continued feeding it.

   It is likely that your horse's cracked hoof is made worse by being in a pasture that is flooded. Excess  moisture can make hooves weak and prone to cracking. And a wet/dry cycle, where the hooves get soaked and then dry out, is one of the main causes of hoof cracks.  That's why cracks are often seen in the hooves of horses that are bathed daily and in those that are turned out in wet grass at night and then stand in dry sawdust during the day.

Horse For Sale by Cherry Hill   Your chances of getting rid of the crack will be greatly improved if you keep your horse's hooves consistently dry.  It is going to be very difficult, if not impossible to improve your horse's cracked hoof as long as he is in the wet pasture. This means you should remove your horse from the pasture when it is flooded and return him only when the pasture is dry.

   Also, it might help to apply a hoof hardener or sealer to his hooves twice a week to help protect them from excess moisture.  Unlike a greasy or creamy hoof dressing that smeared on the surface of the hoof, a hoof sealer is a thin liquid that soaks into the hoof to provide a longer lasting, more effective moisture barrier.

Good Luck,


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