The sunshine and dry spells have been unprecedented. Here in the UK, we never expect much of a summer, let alone one so dry. The sunshine filled few weeks we do tend to get have never had much of an impact on my horses hooves however this year, things have changed dramatically. Whilst I once needed to throw some oil on once a week to keep their hooves looking tiptop, I found myself in a very different position. Couple this with being away from them while I recovered from a C-section and it created the perfect ingredients for hideous hooves.
With all five horses barefoot this year, (three youngsters, one child’s lead rein pony and my big lad who’s been tack free due to my pregnancy) I noticed a huge difference in their ability to cope. So much so that we moved on from mere cracks to great big whacking chunks. Hoof care is something that I haven’t had to focus on heavily in previous years, however with such a sight in front of me, I knew I had to do something. What’s the saying? No hoof, no horse? That filled me with dread.
While I usually head straight for the Kevin Bacon, I’d run out and couldn’t find any stock in my local saddler. Thankfully, a lovely girl in my local saddlery recommended Keratex Hoof Moisturiserafter using it herself. So I grabbed a litre bottle of Keratex (from Vio Vet as it was cheaper than the saddlery) and began moisturising their hooves daily.
I didn’t notice a difference initially I will admit BUT, and it’s a big BUT, I have certainly noticed a difference since the farrier visited. I think they’d gone beyond a point of no return and the cracks and chunks would continue to appear until their next regular trim. Once they’d all been trimmed however, with continued regular moisturising, I noticed they had a much hardier quality. The cracks and chunks missing, didn’t return as their newly moisturised hooves gave them that much needed flex and fought off the brittleness.
While we still have the hideous dryness, that’s soon to be fought off with a few thunderstorms and light showers (and so the panic of laminitis ensues with suddenly sugary grass…), the cracked hooves and unsightly chunks are – so far – no where to be seen. Here’s hoping with regular applications, the boys should get through the remainder of the summer relatively unscathed in the hoof department!
I do wonder if I’ll go back to Kevin Bacon as I usually do in the winter however I’d be keen to see the difference between the two. Maybe I could start using Kevin Bacon on 2 and Keratex on the remaining 3. Then see who’s hooves look the best? That might be worth a little try, starting at the tail end of next spring perhaps or maybe even now, especially as we have a couple months left of summer??
You can purchase the Keratex Hoof Moisturiser here: https://www.keratex.com/product/keratex-hoof-moisturiser/
I would have included a link to Vio Vet however I’ve since found it actually more expensive than the Keratex website itself.