Hoof cracks are a common problem for many horse owners, and typically take a relatively long time to heal.? Preventing hoof cracks is a much easier job than dealing with them, and some relatively simple stable management techniques can ward off these painful and irritating injuries.
- Keep your horse?s feet dry.? Cracks typically develop from the drying process ? as it dries the natural moisture in the hoof dries as well.? A constant cycle of wet-dry, wet-dry will usually cause cracking.? This could be from frequent bathing or even putting horses onto wet ground and then bringing them into a dry stable.
- Use a hoof sealer if conditions make your horse prone to cracks.? Avoid moisture rich dressings and creams which will produce the unintended and harmful effect of wetting then drying the hoof.? Instead, use a thin sealant product which dries fast on the hoof and seals in the moisture.
- Keep to a regular trimming and shoeing schedule.? As hooves become long and brittle they will crack more easily.? When a horse loses or pulls a shoe he can often lose chunks of his hoof with it.
- Try feeding supplements such as Farrier?s Formula that contain minerals and vitamins to help stimulate healthy hoof growth.? Talk to your farrier about what products they recommend.
- Exercise your horse regularly.? Exercise helps stimulate blood circulation to the hoof, thereby creating internal moisture.? Horses standing idle all day, unable to move around, will be at a higher risk for unhealthy feet.
Remember, hoof growth occurs at about one centimeter per month.? A hoof crack will take a long time to grow out, and also runs the risk of becoming infected.? Keep an eye on your horse?s feet and develop good horse keeping patterns that will maintain healthy hooves.