Thursday, 19 January 2012

Those darned hooves......

Well, the farrier has just been...not great news. Merlin has suffered from crumbly feet since i have had him and living out all last summer didnt really help them as they got very wet. He is at night now until the spring and they have improved. Last farrier visit in December the farrier recommended taking his shoes off and seeing how he went as to whether they toughened up or not. Well, they haven't :(. Salisbury Plain is notoriously stoney and he just has worn soles and rather sore feet, so all shoes back on today, cold shod to save his feet. Farrier has recommended Keratex Hoof Hardener, which i have just ordered, anybody had any success with this product? Merlin is a very good doer, so not on any hard feed despite it being January and being worked 5 days a week, so a feed supplement isn't going to help at this point. (He has 2 enormous nets of haylage a night, out 7-8 hours on good grazing and has a roller ball with a daily ration of Equibites in it.....and i still need to get some weight off him really). If anyone has any tips and would like to comment, please do.

Last night's session in the school went really well, lots of long and low work in a rounded outline, he is finding it easier and easier, maybe there is a nice dressage test in Merly-horse yet!!!


  1. Buy this

    make it up in a jar and add 2-3 spoon fulls to a tiny bit of feed so that you can get it into him. It is the cheapest and easiest way to improve foot condition. If you don't want to feed him hard feed sometimes a good trick to get them to eat something less palatable is to hide it in a sandwhich, i know! cheap white bread works well, 1 slice, fold the gelatine/bute/wormer etc into the middle and feed it like a carrot. This works wonders with a few horses i know

    If you need to harden feet apply white spirit to the soles to toughen then up (by dehydration)watch that you don't over do it

    other than that you could try pads under the shoe to help with the thin soles, and also it eases concussion (maybe ideal for long distance riding?)

  2. I feel your pain btw

    see link -

  3. Have you tried Hoof Boots? The stud I went to in Africa they started their first horse off barefoot in boots and it worked wonders.

    I did use pads with my Warmblood but the problem there is they don't grip very well. Only used on particularly stoney ground.

    Keratex has worked for other people so hope it does for you.

    With this climate it is hard to do barefoot due to the feet being practically constantly damp so they soften.

    But do consider hoof boots. I am looking into getting a pair for Chador. Easyboot Gloves I think.

  4. Really interesting tips here, thanks alot guys. Merlin seems happier already with his shoes back on, but i like the idea of hoof boots. The gelatin recipe is something i will get onto this up Merly-horse!! Yum yum.....