After what seemed the most gloriously warm summer, many people are approaching winter with concern about their horse’s hoof health. Hooves in autumn and winter often have a slower rate of growth than in spring and summer and we should take this into consideration. Cracks and splits can appear at any time of year, they tend to be a sign that the hoof is too weak, or isn't being stimulated enough. Prevention is better than cure, ensuring your horse is up to date with trimming / shoeing is also crucial to promote healthy hoof growth.
Wet conditions and more time spent stabled can increase the chances of your horse developing Thrush. Thrush is a fungal and bacterial infection which appears in a black, smelly form on the hoof sole. Areas particularly affected are around the frog and hoof bars. In severe cases it can cause lameness as the fungus damages the healthy hoof tissue causing further potential issues such as bruised, thin soles and abscesses.
Spraying the sole with a natural cleansing hoof spray such as The Alchemist's Garden Hoof Spray will ensure your horse or ponies feet stay clean, healthy and thrush free! Chemical based hoof sprays can also kill healthy bacteria and disrupt the hoofs natural condition.
If a chip or crack appears there are a number of things you can do to minimise damage and promote healthy regrowth.
The Alchemist's Garden Hoof Clay is a pliable, natural clay with essential oils and fibres which easily pack into hoof cracks and holes to prevent bacterial and fungal infections. It can be used to treat conditions such as seedy toe, white line disease and abscesses.