Hoof Moisturizers and Hoof Dressings

Hoof moisturizers and hoof dressings have been around a very long time. I’m sure I have used a few gallons of it myself. What else was I supposed to do, my horses feet were “dry”. Or so I thought. Wild horses live and thrive in some of the most arid areas on the earth yet do not suffer from the cracking we associate with a dry hoof. 

The horse’s foot has a tremendous ability to absorb and release moisture from the foot as needed. What most of us see as cracking in the hoof wall because of “dryness” has been explained to me like this. The horse’s hoof develops microscopic cracks called fissures. These fissures come to be because of the expansion and contraction of the hoof wall from going back and forth from dry to wet.

In the wild these fissures are worn off from the large amount of travel over rough terrain. In our domesticated horses these microscopic cracks soon become a home for bacteria to live. Once the bacteria is in there it continues to multiply and causes the fissures to become larger and larger. We see these cracks and think we have a dryness issue. Then we come along and cover the hoof wall with a dressing. This seals the bacteria in and gives it a warm, dark, moist area in which to thrive, multiply and create even more cracking. The cure for this is a simple soaking program. See article on Fungal Infections for treatment.

One other thing I would like to bring up. Most hoof dressings are petroleum based products.  Plain and simple, petroleum products are not good for live tissue.

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