Winter hoof maintenance

lucy_108

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28 August 2018
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I've got a TB who came to me with shocking feet simply due to a lack of care and nutrition (super skinny also - and not just racing lean!).

We've really worked on his feet from the inside out - changed his diet, added a quality supplement and have the cats pyjamas of farriers. His feet are unrecognisable to what they were and I do feel it is due to a combination of things, but primarily our farrier as he is a genius. However, we're coming into the winter and I've been doing my reading and research as all of my previous horses have had good, strong feet that I've never really needed to pay too much attention to. I've been using Kevin Bacon Hoof Dressing throughout the dry weather, but I feel like I need to revert to something else in the wet weather?

I'm not a hoof oil lover as I feel it just locks the hoof up and doesn't allow anything in or out or anything to breathe. I was having a read about the Keratex hoof gel and wondered if anyone had any opinions on that or anything else they use in the winter to maintain feet?

TIA!
 

Lindylouanne

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Look at Red Horse products. They are my go to fix any foot problem. My Connie came out of shoes after 10 years and his feet were shocking. 6 months on after using Stronghorn on his soles, Sole Cleanse in all the fissures and central sulcus they are looking 100% better. I use Artimud in the winter to pack any cracks which is brilliant at stopping seedy toe which he has always suffered from.
 

lucy_108

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28 August 2018
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Look at Red Horse products. They are my go to fix any foot problem. My Connie came out of shoes after 10 years and his feet were shocking. 6 months on after using Stronghorn on his soles, Sole Cleanse in all the fissures and central sulcus they are looking 100% better. I use Artimud in the winter to pack any cracks which is brilliant at stopping seedy toe which he has always suffered from.
Thank you - I have seen Artimud, he does have a couple of chipped bits from old nailholes cracking, would that be any good to pack in there?
 

Lindylouanne

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Artimud is a good texture for small cracks as you can squish it in, for big holes that need packing Hoof Stuff is made of natural fibres soaked in the gloop. RH told me if you can get cotton wool in a hole then go for the Hoof Stuff if not the Artimud is the better option.
 

sbloom

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I used Keratex years ago but wouldn't now, and I have read of a better product that does the same thing but darned if I can remember its name. I'm very cynical about Kevin Bacon Dressing, so not to cast aspersions on what you've done so far, you've made amazing progress by the sound of it, but I'd read further and wider and take lessons from the barefoot community, even if he's shod.
 

vhf

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I've recently stared using the Keratex hoof gel, and also use the hardener. Really rate the hardener so long as you remember it's a treater of symptoms, not a cure. I use it on two unshod horses. One does roadwork quite happily, the other needs to be shod if she works but the hardener helps with splitting. Early days with the gel, but have noticed that soggy heels and coronet bands seem to be a thing of the past! Only use it on one, as the other's never look bad anyway. I'd be interested to know the other product that @sbloom mentioned but have no complaints so far.
What goes into the horse makes the most difference, but even though both mine are on the same management, one has far better hoof than the other even though she was the one with poorer feet when she arrived - and all white!
 

Birker2020

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I got some iodine and eucalyptus from the vet which i use on the frogs and also nail holes.

I've ordered some Keretex hoof hardener from ebay as that strengthens the horn and stops the nail holes widening when feet get wet thus preventing loss of shoes. Its very effective.
 

ycbm

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Anyone using Keratex hoof hardener, it says on the bottle that it is 8٪ formaldehyde. You can buy 38% formaldehyde on ebay and water it down to 8%. I've been using it for years, it does exactly the same job at a tiny fraction of the price.
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Birker2020

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Anyone using Keratex hoof hardener, it says on the bottle that it is 8٪ formaldehyde. You can buy 38% formaldehyde on ebay and water it down to 8%. I've been using it for years, it does exactly the same job at a tiny fraction of the price.
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Is that all Keratex contains? Thanks for the tip, mines being delivered today but I will know for next time.
PS I never use horse shampoo, or mane and tail spray, I use shampoo and baby oil from my local 'Savers'.
And instead of using hibiscrub watered down for tooth issues I used Chlorexadine again from 'Savers' about £1.25 bottle.
 

ycbm

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In my experience it doesn't work any better than formaldehyde. The blurb says it contains a hardener and a powerful disinfectant, but formaldehyde IS a hardener and a powerful disinfectant so I think they are one and the same and that the 8% formaldehyde is the ingredient creating the most impact.

The rest is

Aluminium chloride hexahydrate CAS No 7784-13-6, Glycerine (glycerol) CAS No 56-81-5, Formaldehyde CAS No 50-00-0, Ethyl alcohol CAS No 64-17-5, Methyl alcohol CAS No 67-56-1, Methyl salicylate CAS No 119-36-8, Water.

The methanol and ethanol I think are degreasants to allow the formaldehyde to penetrate the foot. Methylated spirit is the same if it's really needed, I found it wasn't. Tne glycerine is to put back in flexibility and there are cheaper and more natural ways to do that. The aluminium chloride hexahydrate is the pore blocker used in strong antiperspirants and I suspect it's included to stop the foot losing fluid but I wouldn't want to block the natural action of the foot that way. Methyl salicylate (wintergreen smell) is probably used to mask the nasty chemical smell of formaldehyde.
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Last edited:

Birker2020

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In my experience it doesn't work any better than formaldehyde. The blurb says it contains a hardener and a powerful disinfectant, but formaldehyde IS a hardener and a powerful disinfectant so I think they are one and the same and that the 8% formaldehyde is the ingredient creating the most impact.

The rest is

Aluminium chloride hexahydrate CAS No 7784-13-6, Glycerine (glycerol) CAS No 56-81-5, Formaldehyde CAS No 50-00-0, Ethyl alcohol CAS No 64-17-5, Methyl alcohol CAS No 67-56-1, Methyl salicylate CAS No 119-36-8, Water.

The methanol and ethanol I think are degreasants to allow the formaldehyde to penetrate the foot. Methylated spirit is the same if it's really needed, I found it wasn't. Tne glycerine is to put back in flexibility and there are cheaper and more natural ways to do that. The aluminium chloride hexahydrate is the pore blocker used in strong antiperspirants and I suspect it's included to stop the foot losing fluid but I wouldn't want to block the natural action of the foot that way. Methyl salicylate (wintergreen smell) is probably used to mask the nasty chemical smell of formaldehyde.
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Well knowing my luck I'd make my own mixture and my horses foot would fall off or something :oops:
 

MuddyMonster

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22 September 2015
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I'd personally use either Red Horse or Horse Leads.

I use Horse Leads hoof spray all year round for maintenance. In the winter I use Red Horse Strong Horn to counteract the wet along with the either their or Horse Leads clay
 
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