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horsecrazy1234

Hoof Hardener

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My farrier told me my horse has soft soles. So I am looking for some opinions on different hardeners that would work best on the sole.

I have looked into a couple of different ones- keratex hoof hardener, durasole and venice turpentine. What are your thoughts on these and are there any others that might work?

I event said horse so we go through water and his feet really take a impact. So needless to say I want to do what is best for my guy before they get worse. I was given some durasole to put on him for the time being but wanted to do some research to decide what to use for the long term.

Thanks in advance!

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The best I've ever found, and was recommended by my best vet, is Sole Pack liquid. Just paint the sole well 3-4 times a week.

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The best I've ever found, and was recommended by my best vet, is Sole Pack liquid. Just paint the sole well 3-4 times a week.

For how long?

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About 6-8 weeks and you should notice the difference.

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Is hoof hardener a good on-going 'supplement' to keep non-shod horses sturdy?

(Sorry to ask questions on your thread, horsecrazy! I just didn't think it was worth it's own thread.)

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I'd rather feed a hoof supplement than use a hoof hardener, which you'll have to keep using anyway. Also, the hoof hardeners have chemicals in them that I'd rather not use or have around the barn.

A good hoof supplement will have good amounts of copper, zinc and biotin. I've been using one for a year and I can attest that the horse has harder hooves as it is much harder to trim him now.

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Raised a question on my own. Has anyone ever evented a horse in boots??? If they are successful on a rocky trail for an endurance horse, why not? This would be good, well fitted protection while in action kind of boot. Around the barn, therapeutic boots that accommodate pads, so that homework could be done at home.

It's going to take time for the growth to get that sole thick again. A couple of months anyway. In the meantime, it is imperative that the bone be protected/cushioned. Why? Not only is the ground jamming up on thinner/flatter/lower sole, but the much bigger factor is the horse's descending weight from the inside on that thin sole. With every step, the bone comes down on it, causing inflammation that eats into bone. (this is where the snub nosed shape in damaged P3 noses happens, the bone is being eaten from the bottom, eventually biting the whole nose back) If the sole is thin, bone low, or down on its nose, its already down on the inside of thin sole before he even takes a step. Because unlike most all other bones in the body, P3 is surrounded by a corium. It won't repair. The damage is permanent. When you consider the pain involved with laminitis and that's just the white line, you can imagine that if the corium inflamed inside a hard wall, it would kill a horse, so Mother Nature does not allow. (we're talking about a 1" halo area around the apex, the heart of the corium, the absolute bottom of the bowl of concavity) If you put a ruler across the hoof 9-3 and measure down from there to the bottom of the groove at the apex and get 1/2" or less, the bone needs protection and support from below. With proper nutrition, trim, movement, boots, gravel, development without setback, I imagine the thicker sole would begin to shine with the concavity in 2 months....depends. This is so you understand the problem with thin sole and where it needs help.

As to doing such a rigorous exercise, promote concavity, protect the hoof to the millionth degree, get confident/pain free performance from the horse vs. descending weight??? The only answer is transition if its going to be for the horse. Time and homework done. No matter what method you use to protect the hoof, the trim being balanced is the most important. Thrush care as well. A darn good trimmer and a good balanced trim, cushioned protection and movement, with you astride and at home on his own time. Good nutrition to feed those hooves as well.

I'm not a fan of these hoof hardeners. Formalin, embalming fluid, meant for dead tissue, not live tissue. It melts down the sole tubules and hardens it into a hard laminate coating. What does this do to the health/flexibility of the sole? The words that come to mind are "complete suffocation". How does this cushion P3 as described above? To me, sole hardeners are not the therapeutic or protective answer that's needed with thin sole.

Hope this helps.....

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Jubal- he is already on a hoof supplement which has made a tremendous difference.

Missyclare- not sure if jumping in hoof boots would be the best as we put studs in the shoe for traction.

When I got him over a year ago he had front pads on. We made the decision to take the pads off when we saw that his sole was hard and his hoof wall wasn't flaky. (Very crappy TB feet). We have been ok until recently. Instead of putting pads back on (that's are last resort) we want to try a hardener first. I am already putting Kevlar tuff hoof sealant on his wall and the difference it's made is astounding. My farrier keeps commenting on the difference of his feet in the last year.

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If you were to jump with boots, I would use those glue on shells , or even the glue on shoes that I am currently using on Smilie. These shoes give coffin bone support , allow individual heel movement and expand with the foot during the growth cycle. I am really impressed with them

Here is the link

https://www.easycareinc.com/our_shoes/easyshoe.aspx

Smilie has the Easy shoe performance

By the way, not all hoof hardeners are the same, and Keratex actually strengthens the bonds

Keratex Hoof Hardener is a gentle acting chemical formulation which forms additional intermolecular bonds between molecules of keratin through the process of cross-linking. Keratin is the main protein constituent of horn and is best described as the building block of the horn structure.

The cross-linking process results in additional atoms being distributed between the keratin molecules to produce a tougher and stronger horn structure.

Many other products claim to strengthen the hoof, but usually this entails a superficial layer of resin or varnish. Keratex Hoof Hardener works by actually improving the structure of the horn itself.

Since Hoof Hardener is neither a varnish or resin layer, it leaves no visible coating. Therefore the treated hoof is able to breathe and function naturally.

Edited by Smilie

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Ditto on Keratex.. It's the only external stuff I recommend.

HOWEVER, also look to the mineral content of your water, hay & pasture. If it's high in iron, low in copper & zinc, it's best to balance that. For the southeast, we have Seminole's 16:8 loose mineral Grass Balancer. I have all my OTTB clients put their horses on it because the TBs often have thin, shelly, fall-apart feet. The strong, tight growth coming down from the coronary band after being on the minerals is testament to it.

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I'm in a wet climate and bought some Keratex but have yet to try it as i've also got mine on hoof supplements - so wanted to give the supplements the chance to show what they can do for the hoof, before using the keratex if i need to.

Keratex is used a lot where i am and people say it does toughen up soft feet in wetter climates. I believe it's formaldehyde in Keratex that helps knit the layers of horn together. It sounds chemical and off-putting to me personally - my only concern is formaldehyde soaking right through into the bloodstream...but i don't think the Keratex soaks through that deep.

I'm a firm believer if minerals are balanced then health improves - always a challenge in the horse! - so it always seems sensible to look at diet first than topical 'quick-fixes'.

I wish my vets could do a full panel mineral analysis!

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UPDATE: You can now do the lower eventing levels in Hoof boots.! It was verified by two Technical Delegates.

My trim client riding her Holsteiner, Pisgah, just took third at Beginner Novice at Pine Top last Saturday, rocking the course in Easy Boot Epics!

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