Time and again I´m asked about TOPICAL PRODUCTS to improve hoof health. Those who know me know my mantra; A healthy hoof is 75% alimentation (the correct diet equines are designed to eat), 20% motivation (environment, exercise) 5% reformation (the correct trim). In short, a healthy hoof comes from the inside out.
In June 2016 I wrote an article regarding dry hooves. This is really an addition to that article. It was summer time, here in Spain, when I wrote that. A time when many go into overdrive, concerned their horses hooves are going to get dried out and suffer because of this. A time when people turn to external paints and polishes believing it is best for the protection of their horses hooves.
There are many external products that are beneficial to horses hooves. Products that combat bacterial and fungal infections. Products that can give a helping hand, in the form of a protective barrier, when dealing with old nail holes, some cracks and poor wall structure. Keeping bad microbes out during the healing of these things can possibly avoid white line disease and assist in the transition of weak hoof walls. But only if these products contain ingredients that preserve the protein and elasticity of the hoof wall.
Tough as it may appear, the a horses hoof is made from the same protein as our own skin. Actually being 95% protein. Most of the chemicals used in the preparation of horse hoof products can denature, thereby destroy, the protective function of the protein. FORMALDEHYDE, PINE TAR, ACETONE and TURPENTINE will harden the hoof and make it shine, but this causes the protein to be "chemically cooked" and therefore the hoof loses some of it´s elastic quality and ability to absorb shock. SHOCK ABSORPTION being a primary function of the horses hoof.
A hoof wall without elasticity is MORE PRONE TO CRACKING and, unable to "breathe" naturally, it can not maintain a healthy moisture content.
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