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Article: Cracked hooves at the beginning of summer. Causes, symptoms & tips

Rissige Hufe zum Sommeranfang. Ursachen, Symptome & Tipps

Cracked hooves at the beginning of summer. Causes, symptoms & tips

Cracked hooves – what can you do about it?

A problem that causes a lot of headaches for many riders in Germany is dry or brittle hooves. This problem often occurs at the beginning of summer, when the hooves have endured a wet winter and the first really hot days are beginning. This is precisely when many horses' hooves become brittle or brittle. Brittle hooves are not only ugly, they also often lead to problems at the farrier.

What does a hoof need to develop well?

First of all, we should understand the conditions under which a hoof can develop well. Probably the most important factor here is fluid intake. For healthy development of a hoof, it is necessary that it is moistened at regular intervals in order to absorb fluid. In addition, a balanced and adapted diet for the horse contributes significantly to hoof health.  mineral feed can be used in phases. However, tips like keeping your hooves constantly moist are complete nonsense.This would cause mold to form, which is probably even worse for your horse's well-being. Rather, care must be taken to ensure that the housing conditions are constantly optimized. Constantly standing in a box that is manure irregularly can also have very bad effects on the hooves, as the horse's feces and urine act like acid on them.

5 tips against cracked hooves:

  • Morning dew on grass has proven to be a very good remedy for cracked hooves. The horse's hooves absorb this morning moisture well and store it throughout the day. That's why it's time to get out of bed and give your horse regular grazing, ideally in the morning. The horses should be given this freedom regularly anyway.
  • Another great way to moisturize cracked hooves is to Moisten the paddock floor. This trick is as simple as it is ingenious. The soil retains moisture very well and sticks to the soles of the hooves for a while. A paddock that is too dry can deprive the hoof of additional moisture.
  • If the hooves are particularly dry, it may be helpful to wash them off once or twice a week after riding and then  with some hoof grease or hoof oil brush. The outer wall, which is not in direct contact with the ground, can certainly be rubbed with oil if the hooves are dry. However, this should not be done too often, otherwise it can lead to habituation, which leads to dependence on this oil. It is also important that oil is only applied from the outside, as the sole still has to absorb moisture and the oil could slow down this process.
  • The next tip is regular farrier visits. It is actually obvious that the farrier is a professional when it comes to hoofs. Cracked hooves can also occur if your horse is literally standing crooked. Misalignments can cause hooves to become brittle. So call your farrier and ask him for help. Regular hoof care is essential for your horse’s health anyway.
  • Offer your horse opportunities to move on different surfaces. Ideally, it can choose how and where it moves and at what speed. Ideally, in an open stable, because all the movement stimulates hoof growth.A mixture of different soils such as gravel, sand, earth, wooden floor, concrete or a mud hole can be very helpful. In addition, a nice ride through the wall can also provide different surfaces.

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