softening horses hooves

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by bubblez, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. bubblez

    bubblez Well-known Member

    hi there guys, my girls feet are due for trimming, but theyre rock solid and i dont think my farrier is going to appreciate it, so i was wondering what i can do to soften them up for him?
  2. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Simply soak them in water regularly by hosing or let water troughs overflow so the horse can stand in the water.:D:))
  3. bubblez

    bubblez Well-known Member

    ah okies, id read that somewhere but didnt know if it would actually work lol, will give it a try thanks :)
  4. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    Yep, water.
    My farrier suggested digging shallow puddles around their feeds bins so they can get a good 'foot' soak while they're having dinner.
    **One of our horses loves to dig so we'll get him to do the hard work for us :D
  5. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    ah if only all people would be so kind and appreciative to their farriers!
  6. Claireb

    Claireb Well-known Member


    I don't ask any of my clients to soak feet, As long as your rasp/nippers are good quality and sharp plus the trimmer/farrier uses them correctly then your tools do the hard work. It just means you use more rasps over time.

    Soaking once every 6 weeks for the farrier isn't a big issue if thats what they ask you to do but if soaking is done on a regular basis it can be detrimental, not necessarily the soaking but the foot rapidly drying.

  7. Horseagilitywa

    Horseagilitywa Well-known Member

    Depends where you are Claire.

    We soak before a trim, even though I have great gear. Too much of everything is bad of course, but we are in the desert.
  8. bubblez

    bubblez Well-known Member

    yeah my horses tend to have hardish hooves generally, which is usually great, but the farrier im using is a grumpy man but does a fantastic trim and balance, so i dont want to upset him by having such hard hooves...
  9. Nannoo

    Nannoo Well-known Member

    Something I do is put their feet in a 1/4 of a car tyre tube, poor about a litre into it and fold it back over and tie it up with bailing twine… leave to soak for 10 – 15 mins… soft as butter!
  10. Claireb

    Claireb Well-known Member

    Fair enough, Its more soaking as a regular practice i.e weekly that causes the problems. Good feet will cope with rapid water loss as a healthy foot will have good inner wall structure which will release water slowly.
  11. Babe

    Babe Well-known Member

    Soak feet in water on a regular basis...but I have been using old sump oil lately...farrier was amazed at how good a condition my horses feet were in when he came last:D

    Lucky I have a good friend with a mechanic hubby for supply!
  12. SexyRitzy

    SexyRitzy Well-known Member

    i use a hoof moituriser that has lanolin and aloe and a few other things in it. Use 2x a week on the whole hoof and rub it in to the corenet band and skin just above it and it works a treat as keeping thier feet from becoming too hard and cracking. :)*
  13. bubblez

    bubblez Well-known Member

    could u pm me what hoof moisturiser u use please sexyritzy?

    and babe ive heard about sump oil being used but bit difficult to get hold of lol
  14. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    I doubt anyone actually asks people to soak their horses' feet before trimming. But to say that once a week soaking of the feet is detrimental to the health of a horses foot... My horses stand and play in their dam EVERY day (as do wild horses, they almost have to step in water/mud to be able to drink) and their feet are in excellent condition even during this dry summer. Once a week would not be of any harm. Unless your horses lived in a very wet area or heavily reticulated paddocks, but then why would you bother?

    And despite whether or not it makes the farrier or trimmers job 'easier' the health of the foot is paramount. And a hard,dry brittle foot that is cracking is worse off for the horse than one that retains a little moisture and flexibility. the key is balance and good foot care in general.
  15. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    Recycling - good idea :D
    Next time your car goes in for a service, ask you mechanic to give you the container of old oil once he's done the change.
    He'll love you. Saves him having to dispose of it. :)
  16. LAURAmay

    LAURAmay Well-known Member

    yes please pm me to sexyritzy.
    my boys hooves are hard as rocks too.
  17. Claireb

    Claireb Well-known Member

    There is a difference between playing in water and hooves soaking in water. As you mentioned your damm has mud in it and most horses will muddy the water in the wild for 2 reasons. One is so they can take in minerals and the other is so that the mud left on the hooves prevent the feet from drying out too quickly.

    Water isn't the bad thing here its how quickly it leaves the feet. A hoof after all is an extension of skin and constant rapid drying is the thing thats not so good. Your horses sound like they have good feet and can happily cope with playing in the water.

    A healthy foot will retain water and the balnace is kept from what the horse drinks rather than what goes through the wall. A healthy inner wall will allow the hoof to flex better and thus will not crack. Like you say balance and health is the key.

    Cracking is caused by too much outer wall (which is naturally brittle) and poor balance. Of course on reticulated paddocks cracking also occurs due to infection but like you say why would you.

  18. SMR

    SMR Well-known Member

    Actually, dry feet don't cause any problems, except for the farrier, but soaked feet can cause detrimental changes within the foot and so over-soaking is not good.
  19. Claireb

    Claireb Well-known Member

    :) Thanks SMR
  20. Horseagilitywa

    Horseagilitywa Well-known Member

    Hey Clubignite
    Yeap some trimmers and farriers will ask people to soak their horses feet before they come. We have two here that do.

    I dug out an area for our waste water from the troughs to go and the horses play in it all the time. It also helps get mud plugs which we wouldn't normally get here as our ground is so very hard and dry.

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