Thursday, October 6, 2011

Soliciting Hoof Advice

Because you are all so smart and I value your opinions, I wanted to get some advice about an issue my dad is having with his horse's hoof.

Justus has a history of hoof cracks on his right front hoof, but if he's shod long enough, they can get the crack to grow out. Once the shoe comes off, though, the crack slowly comes back. Justus is retired and my dad would prefer to keep him without shoes. I figure there must be a way to keep cracks at bay without shoes.

The crack has gotten a bit worse over the past few weeks and now Justus is uncomfortable on that foot. We're looking into getting a pair of boots for him to wear to keep him comfortable until we can get the crack under control, but how to do that is where I'm hoping I can solicit some advice.

My personal opinion is that there's most likely some bacteria in the crack that is keeping it from growing out. I suggested he start spraying the crack with apple cider vinegar to try and kill the bacteria that's growing in there. Soaking would definitely be better, so I'm going to suggest that as well.

I'm also thinking that since he's barefoot, a mustang roll might help alleviate some of the pressure that's being put on the hoof wall. I think that's why it's cracking, but that's just my very unprofessional opinion.

Here are a few pictures of the hoof and the crack. He actually has two cracks, but the bigger crack is the one I think is causing the issues.

Any suggestions or ideas you might have would be much appreciated!!


  1. You are right, the horizontal crack probably does have some fungus and bacteria growing in it. My personal suggestion would be to do a White Lightning/Oxine soak first to really hit those suckers hard. Then you can go to the apple cider vinegar.

    The vertical crack on the side is called a quarter crack and is there because the quarters are too long.

    If I were trimming this horse I'd take all that hoofwall off the ground, rocker the toe, put on a mustang roll, and scoop the quarters (if the horse is standing on a solid surface you should be able to slide a piece of paper under the quarters). I would then take just the edge of my rasp or my knife and open up those cracks just a tad to get some air in there. Then I would soak with something high powered.

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  3. Thanks, Smaz! Now we have a great game plan for Justus!

    Terry, "ouch" is right!

    Samihob, I'll do that... thanks!