Help - poor hoof growth

tractorgirl

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9 October 2005
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183
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Somerset
Am at my wits end. My welsh cob came to me with poor feet, which improved a little with farriers formula and decent shoeing, but have been having terrible trouble again this summer.

His feet do not seem to be growing at all and he is losing shoes behind as the farrier has to keep nailing into the same level of hoof, (obviously he avoids the previous nail holes, but they have to be almost the same level as the previous nail holes due to the lack of growth). This is weakening the horn, which mean he then loses shoes, foot breaks up and so we go on.

Have tried both formula 4 Feet and Farriers Formula for over a year now, plus regular applications of hoof grease. Horse lives out in summer, on good grass, and looks very well.

Is there anything else I can do? Have been thinking of Keratex or Kevin Bacons or Cornucrescine, advice/good/bad experiences please?

Please help - am fed up of riding only 2 weeks out of 4 at best! All suggestions gratefully received.
 

miniemy

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25 August 2005
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129
I would totally recommend keratex hoof hardner due to personnal experience. I no longer use these hoof moists, greases, oils as they make the foot worse.

Hope this helps

Emma
 

no_no_nanette

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14 July 2005
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Both our horses have had problems with cracked and crumbling hooves this summer, both usually have perfect feet, so I think its a lot to do with dry and hot weather. We've used Cornucrescine with very good results - I guess Keratex might well be as good/better ... but do stay off any grease or oil, as our farrier said that these apparently dry and weaken the hoof, which is not what I expected at all! Is there any chance that you would be able to remove back shoes for a couple of months to give his feet a rest? (Very frustrating if you are wanting to ride, but might be worth doing for the sake of long-term?)
 

welshcobabe

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10 April 2003
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235
I have used keratex hoof mosituriser its really good I have also used the keratex hoof hardner but found the moisturiser better. Its not grease or oil its liquid and has helped my fresion in the summer months.
 

tractorgirl

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9 October 2005
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Somerset
Thanks everyone! Seems like Keratex is the way to go, then? I will stop the hoof grease too, I hadn't heard that before, and have also quizzed my farrier!

Rufus bluemoon, thanks for your suggestion, shoes off is an option that I may be considering for the spring to let Mother Nature take her course. I'd be really interested to hear whether this something you've tried and what were the results? My conern is that a - he'd go really really lame, and b - once off, if it doesn't improve and his hoof continues to break up, I don't know how I'd get shoes back on him?
 

lornaA

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9 July 2006
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Dumfries & Galloway
My mare has very poor hoof growth. She always has, i've owned her for 11 years since she was a yearling. Over the years i have tried varios things. Farriers formula gave both my horses lovely glossy coats and beautiful long tails but absolutely nothing for the feet. I have tried hoof grease but farrier says it was making the horn too soft so therefore weak, tried hoof oils, hoof moist just bout everything. Last summer to encourage growth i started on cornucresine but farrier once again said it was making feet too soft but he said it appeared to be helping the growth a wee bit so he suggested putting just a smear of it round the coronery band. This seems to of helped till this summer when the feet started cracking and crumbling and losing shoes and hauling chunks of horn with it. New strategy is conrnucressine round coronery band, keratex over botton 2/3rds of hoof and NAF biotin in feed. Yet to see if this is going to work but its a last ditch attempt to keep the shoes on for a couple of shoeing cycles. Bet it sounds like i'm mad but my horse is wearing remedial shoes and i really need them to stay on or they won't do any good. Someone else at my yard swears by formula for feet but i've not tried it myself and i have heard that if you over use keratex it can make the feet too brittle and cause them to break up so i just use it the recommended once a week.
 

Parkranger

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21 May 2006
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10,546
There seems to be so many new potions out there but we cured a cremello horse who had terrible split/crumbly hooves with:

Biotin
Cornucresene applied daily to the coronet band
Lots of hoof oil daily (although I'd now use hoof moisture)

Biotin is an amazing product and although alot of things have come out since then, I still think it's the best!

A good farrier will help aswell - Blue was shod quite long and it worked well for him....
 

jumpingkanga

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29 December 2005
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165
I would recommend Equimins Hoof Mender and "The Worlds Best Hoof Oil" on the hoofs. The hoof oil really works and seems to stay on the hoof for a lot longer than other ones that I have used.
 

brightmount

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25 January 2006
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3,122
I had a horse with awful shelly hooves, flaky edges that couldn't hold shoes - losing a shoe would take off more hoof, so it was a downward spiral.

We used Equibuild - basically rubber pads between the shoe and the hoof wall that distributes the weight over the whole of the sole. It stabilised his feet and he was doing really well. The farrier recommended however that if I really wanted to do him a favour, I should take his shoes off for 3 months over the winter, but it would be a sacrifice because he wouldn't be ridden during that time. I would have done this but fate intervened, he got an injury and after rehab I rehomed him (another story).

Equibuild can be seen half way down this web page:

http://www.cottamhorseshoes.com/equithane.htm

Alternatively there is the Equine Podiatry route - again removal of the shoes but with a structured programme of conditioning, and the horse would probably wear boots for riding:

http://www.equinepodiatry.org.uk/

I believe the old tradition of removing a horse's shoes for at least part of the year helps the hoof to regenerate. I have one barefoot and the shod horse will probably have her shoes removed for part of the winter.
 
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