Winter is hard on horses and this winter particually, due to the constant wet ground. Hooves are either constantly submerged in wet muddy conditons or always changing from wet to dry causing stress to the hoof horn.
There are many products available for various purposes so do some research and find out what your horse needs. Your farrier will let you know what condition the hooves are in and how you can help your horse.
Barriers which work to keep excess moisture out are popular at this time of year, CarrDayMartin’s Daily Hoof Barrier is a great every day brand that people trust and is affordable, you can find lots of tips and good advice on their website www.carrdaymartin.co.uk. The Keratex hoof care range, while more expensive is very trusted throughout the horse community.
Thrush is a common problem year round but more so in winter as bacteria breed in warm and wet conditions, hooves should be picked out and kept clean as thrush can travel deep into the sensitive tissue within the frog causing pain and lameness. Iodine and copper sulphate based solutions are effective aswell as anti bacterial hoof ointments. CDM Tea Tree Oil is great for thrush prevention and treatment and also popular is Kevin Bacon Hoof Dressing, which when applied daily prevents thrush and maintains healthy hooves. These applications can also be used weekly as a preventative measure in horses and ponies prone to such infections, check out www.alltimeequestrian.co.uk/product-category/hoof-products/ for all the hoof products available on our website.
Feed supplements containing Biotin among other vitamins and minerals can be beneficial. NAF’s ProFeet liquid is an advanced formulation with biotin and nutrients supporting healthy horn growth, or Equine America’s Hoof Power Plus, which is a biotin rich daily supplement and particularly beneficial for horses with weak, brittle or slow growing hooves.
What ever it is that works for you and your horse when keeping their feet right is worth the effort as we all know the expression, No Foot, No horse!