Does Your Horse Suffer from Dry Cracked Hooves?
What are the Tell Tale Signs to look For
Fine vertical cracks in the surface of the hoof wall.
Large vertical cracks formed in the hoof wall?
The ground edge of the hoof wall is flakey or ‘shelly’ in appearance and brittle.
Feel very fine raised fibers on the front surface of the hoof.
Cracks appearing in the surface of the heel.
Deep cracks or splits in the centre of the heel bulbs.
At the top of the hoof, just below the coronet band is the ‘periople’ which is the gel like substance. This may appear heavily cracked, flakey, missing or dried up.
If your horse has one or more of these symptoms, then the hoof is suffering, requiring atttention. When the body is functioning correctly, has well balanced trimming, then the hoof will shine.
Why do they Crack?
Keratin cells make up the hoof wall. If these cells are lacking nutrients, they dehydrate, thus causing the hoof to crack, split and break away.
A horse’s dietary intake has an effect on the condition of the hoof, but the rapid changes in environmental conditions has a greater impact. This is when the hoof needs a little extra help.
We recommend a regular topical application of good quality plant based oils, rich in nutrients, like omega 3. This will ensure the hoof wall maintain its elasticity and suppleness.
Applying readily absorbed nutrients to the damaged area is the most effective way to replace and rehydrate the hoof.