When it comes to horse hooves, it doesn’t matter how fancy a pedigree is, owners still need to do their due diligence to assure that soundness and hoof health needs are met. This is especially true as the seasons change and we start to see more rain.
One main factor that plays an important role in hoof health is environment. What are the ground conditions like that your horse is spending his time on? Mud is inevitable in Spring. The rain and newly forming grass make for a mess. To help minimize the mud, there are a few steps you can take.
- Think of grass as a crop. You don’t want to put horses out on wet, mushy ground, where under their weight, hooves compact the soil and damage the roots. A good rule to follow is if you walk out into the field and water/mud squishes up around your footprints, the ground is too saturated. By waiting a couple days before turning the horses out, you give the soil time to firm up.
- Don’t overgraze or graze too soon.
- Rotate horses in fields so that one field isn’t taking all the beating all the time. Pastures need periods of rest.
- Other factors that are important to your horses hoof health are a balanced nutrition, regular hoof maintenance and the right hoof care products at the right times.
Look at the environment in which your horse is spending most of its time and choose products that will help replenish the hoof with what is missing. If your horse has a clean and dry stall at night but spends its days in a muddy field and wet arena, you’ll want to inspect his hooves for too much moisture, which can cause thrush, white line disease, and other fungal and bacterial infections. These compromises to the integrity of the hooves can leave his feet soft and vulnerable.
Let’s say your horse spends his time in hot, dry, sandy or rocky environments. Most likely you will see dry feet as a result. When the feet are too dry, they lose their natural give and can cause soreness, lameness, and cracks, possibly leading to more serious infections. To prevent this, be sure to use products that will add and help the hoof retain moisture.
At Hawthorne, we analyze the different conditions and vigorously test our products to assure they work safely and effectively to give your horses’ hooves everything they need and nothing they don’t. You won’t find us getting caught up in the shine, in fact, our hoof dressing is BLACK, but it works! Sole Pack dressing and hoof packing are specially formulated with all natural ingredients to add and seal in the needed moisture when hooves are dry and extract moisture when they’re too wet and soft. This balance allows your horses’ hooves to return to their natural state of pliability. Painting Sole Pack Medicated Liquid Hoof Dressing on the coronary band also aids in stimulating hoof growth. Dressings are not recommended for the hoof wall.
When using hoof care products, be sure to read the labels and use as recommended. If you have questions about your horses hoof health or how to best treat for a certain environment, please give us a call or drop us a line.