I already wrote about my time in a horse clinic back in Switzerland. One of my most agreeable memories is about a mare called Dielke. She was a Frisian horse. Well, that says it all. She was a beauty! A black heavy horse with an incredibly big heart. Everybody loved her kindness and patience.
She was a carriage horse which work led over time to cracked hooves. That‘s why she stayed at the clinic – for intensive hoof care. Every day we fought over the right to apply the horse hoof hardener to her hooves. It’s quite easy, you can do it yourself for your horse.
As horse owner you probably know that horses walk on their fingernails – so to speak. The hoof is nothing else than a fingernail, actually the fingernail of the third finger. Well, you see immediately how vitally important it is to take proper care of the horse hoof with a good horse hoof hardener. The hoof – this single finger – has to hold and endure the horse‘s whole weight. The saying „no hoof, no horse“ carries a very deep truth.
What you see when you look at the horse hoof is only the wall. When you lift the hoof you see the sole and the frog. These are the three components a hoof is made of. Now let‘s take a look at why hooves can crack.
While many hoof cracks are cosmetic and superficial and don‘t cause any damage, some hoof cracks are persistent and can be a serious problem such as Dielke had to deal with. There are no horse breeds that are more susceptible for hoof cracks. There is nevertheless the fact that horses that perform heavier workload as well as racing horses have to deal more often with cracked hooves than others that don‘t participate in strenuous activities.
However, you will need to pay attention to the health of your horse‘s hooves and act as soon as you see more than just cosmetic hoof cracks.
A good horse hoof hardener should be applied to both, wall and sole of the hoof. And you will need to apply it over an extended period of time. Back in the horse clinic we recommended the owners of Dielke to apply the horse hoof hardener as regular routine since she was working as carriage horse.
The horse hoof hardener works – as its name implies – by hardening the keratin that is the main protein constituent of horn. The horse hoof hardener produces a tougher and stronger horn structure. Also a good hoof hardener shouldn’t be a varnish or resin layer, therefore it shouldn’t leave a visible coating. Thanks to that the hoof is able to breathe and function naturally.
Keratex Hoof Hardener
- Hoof hardener strengthens, hardens and protects cracked, chipped, weak and splitting hooves
- Toughens soles and reduces bruising
- Effectively manages moisture in the hoof while allowing it to breathe
- Needs to be applied to the entire outer hoof wall and sole
- Includes a small brush
After using it daily for a week there was noticeable difference in the amount of cracking/ breaking. After a few weeks she could not only walk but be ridden without a problem with her feet! I now am never without it. It does come with a brush. Really, one of the finest products I have used in 45 years in horses.
This stuff is incredible! This stuff is truly amazing! I applied every day for a week and immediately noticed a difference. She has not had a single chip, crack, or break. Her hooves look lovely. I still apply 2-3 times a week and her hooves are rock solid! If you’ve got a horse with soft or brittle hooves, this stuff is definitely worth trying!
Used as directed this hardener works. Stops hoof cracking and keeps shoes on even in wintry conditions. This is the only hoof treatment that has done anything at all. We’ve been using it for about 3 years and wouldn’t go without it. We use it all year.