Sad but oh-so true! Jessica Bortner-Harris shares some of her favorite hoof and shoeing products.
Top photo: Bug’s good looking legs and hooves. Photo by IveGotYourPicture.com
This past weekend marked a year since I made the big move up to Advanced with Bug. I was all excited to get out there and tackle the tough Southern Pines XC. Unfortunately, Bug was a bit foot sore this weekend, and I decided it was in his best interest to withdraw. There’s always another show, but there is only one Bug.
The weather this winter seems to just be wreaking havoc on hooves. I have had quite a few horses on the farm with thrush, bruises and abscesses. We have had a ton of rain, and it seems that whenever the ground starts to dry, the skies open up and pour down on us again.
It is amazing the amount of products that are out there for hooves, but as the old saying goes, “No hoof, no horse.” Hooves change so much depending on the moisture levels, that you can’t just use one product to keep a healthy hoof. There are products to moisturize when the conditions are dry, products to toughen the hooves when the conditions are wet, products to assist in hoof growth, and products to just make them look pretty. It can all be very overwhelming to any horse owner.
At the upper levels, it becomes even more imperative to have your horse’s hooves just right. I have my Farrier’s Barrier for wet conditions, Sole Pack Ointment for dry conditions, and Thrush Buster and Kopertox for thrush that just won’t quit. Keeping my kids’ hooves healthy (among everything else!) is certainly a priority.
Of course, nutrition also plays a huge role in hoof consistency. Again, there are so many hoof supplements on the market, it is tough to decide which one is best. Bug has SmartHoof Pellets in his Smartpaks, and so far, I have been happy with the results.
How your horse is shod is yet another thing to consider when dealing with hoof issues. Bug has always been shod in regular steel shoes, but I think, in light of all that has been going on, he may get some pads to help eliminate his bruising issues. Every time you add something, though, you have to consider how it will effect how your horse goes. Will they have the same grip on the ground? Will it change their hoof angle? Will it actually add more pressure to the sole of their foot? There are just so many things to consider!
So, EN, what are some of your favorite hoof and shoeing products??