Feet in constantly wet conditions have a few problems. There appears to be a definite link between horses exposed to moist conditions and the micro-organisms that like to dwell in those anaerobic conditions. Having said that, this is not the only condition that cause THRUSH. There are horses that live in these conditions and do not have any problems with this issue.
WHY - Because the horse has a balanced diet and its lifestyle is one that allows it to roam, lots of turnout in large areas and exercise. Now the balanced diet is a varied diet of low carb plants in open paddocks with the occassional nibble on bushes such as Tagasaste (Tree Lucerne) maybe the odd apple tree etc, that provides other nutrients to the diet.
A diet of grain, fruit and sweet feed is not healthy. Also a horse in agistment, on a small paddock allotment or stabled, has very limited ability to roam for nutrients. So the chaff and hay, although good, is still limited in the nutrients that a horse roaming is able to digest.
HOW TO MAINTAIN THRUSH
So how to help your horse.
1. Make sure the horse in not eating anything high in sugars (this includes to much exposure to spring grasses)
2. Ensure the hoof is trimmed to engage the frog in the movement of the hoof. This assists in circulation.
3. Hoof boots with a sponge and a treatment may be needed but not practical if you are not
there to take it off.
Recipe for a Thrush Powder
Bentonite Clay (1 part)
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) (2 parts)
Copper Sulphate (1 part)
Dolomite (2 parts)
So what is so good about these ingredients.
Bentonite Clay also know as French Clay, is an active clay and is rich in minerals such as silica, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron and zinc. They are excellent at revitalising the surface. Used in face and body masks in the cosmetic industry.
Green French Clay is the best of all the clays in the Bentonite Range, as it is the most absorbing. It is the best to cleanse, exfoliate, smooth and soften the cell structure.
Diatomaceous Earth is the fossilised remains of microscopic shells created by one-celled plants called DIATOMS and has amazing absorption of moisture abilities and kills the micro-organisms by physical action through the absorption process.
Copper Sulphate is an inorganic compound and is produced industrially by treating copper metal with hot sulfuric acid. Used in agricultural industrial as a fungicide, herbicide and pesticide. Is considered an irritant by Health Organisations so don't ingest it.
Dolomite is calcium magnesium carbonate and is a common rock forming material which used in this environment lowers the acidity levels of the THRUSH, killing the infestations.
How to USE
Mix the ingredients together dry and place in a container that you can "PUFF" onto the affected area. Clean the hoof out, if necessary wash or rinse the area and allow to air dry. Then PUFF the mixture onto the affected area, rub in if necessary to ensure that it gets into all the areas around the frog and sole.
Hope this helps let us know what you think.