If you’re dealing with your horse’s cracked, dry hooves, chances are there’s an easy solution that doesn’t require buying expensive hoof dressings.
But it’s important to look for the root cause of the hoof issue, before you find the right home remedy.
Nutrition, good and frequent hoof care, and proper treatment of infections are all key to healthy hooves.
This post shares some helpful tips to get your horse’s hooves in top condition, plus a recipe for DIY homemade hoof conditioner.
Analyze the Diet
Even if your horse has been on the same feeding program for years, you should take into account other changes that might be taking place.
- Is there less grass available due to the weather?
- Has the level of exercise increased?
- Has your hay/feed supplier changed?
- Is your horse nearing the senior years?
- Has your horse been dewormed?
- Is the weather unusually hot or cold?
If you think these may have a factor on your horse’s overall health, now is a good time to adjust your feeding plan, and possibly introduce new supplements.
Sometimes a simple change can have big results over the long term for hoof health.
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Work with Your Farrier
In order to keep the hooves healthy and balanced, it’s important to get them taken care of on a regular basis.
In general, most horses should have their feet trimmed every 5 to 8 weeks.
The exact amount of time can vary for each horse depending on the season, the terrain where they’re kept and ridden, and whether or not they wear shoes.
Talk to your farrier about your concerns to find the right schedule for your horse (or find a new one if you’re not happy with the results!).
Watch For Infections
Spotting problems early can save you a lot of time, money and energy, as well as minimize damage to the hoof.
Keep an eye out for any sudden lameness, heat, swelling, an increased digital pulse or fever.
If one particular hoof is cracking more than the rest, get an assessment done by your farrier or vet to find the underlying cause.
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Keep Up Daily Care
Even if your horse isn’t being ridden, it’s still important to pick your horse’s hooves on a daily basis.
Not only does this remove mud and gravel, but it’s also a good chance to assess each hoof to see if the dryness and cracking is improving.
Progress may seem slow, so keep a journal or take pictures to track changes.
Use a Conditioner
Once you’ve found right hoof care routine for your horse, using a topical cream can help speed the healing process.
While many store-bought options are available, this simple yet effective DIY conditioner works well even in dry climates.
What are your favorite home remedies for cracked horse hooves?
Will vegetable oil work as a substitute for the vegetable glycerin? And can I use fractionated coconut oil to keep it in liquid form or does it mess it up?