I have two horses (8 year old Appendix and 11 year old OTTB) that have weak, shelly feet that tend to bruise easily and don't hold shoes well. They both require shoes on all 4, and need to be shod about every 4 weeks in the summer, or they lose shoes. It doesn't help matters that I live in west central PA, where the ground is either muddy or rock-hard -- never anywhere in between. I am very big on turning my horses out, and it keeps their legs and their minds sound ... but with the way the ground conditions are around here and all the wet/dry cycles, it doesn't do their feet any favors.
I have tried feeding hoof supplements in the past, but after over a year and a half with absolutely no improvement in their feet, I decided to stop spending money on it. They are both in good weight and otherwise healthy.
My TB came in from the field today with an apparent stone bruise near the toe on his right front foot. I was at my wit's end after struggling just to keep shoes on all summer, and now this, so I picked up some Keratex from the tack shop to try on the two of them ... it is one of the few hoof care products I haven't already tried and found to be ineffective in strengthening hooves.
So my question is, has anyone used Keratex on their horses, and does it actually work to strengthen and harden their feet? If so, how long does it take to start seeing results? Has anyone had any bad experiences using it on their horses?
Last edited by Sticky Situation; Oct. 7, 2012 at 06:23 AM.
I use it all the time and have had great results. Tend to use the hardener on most during the winter, and gel in the summer, depending how their feet look. I also like durasole, so use that on the shoes as needed, and keratex on the walls. You can use the keratex on soles too, but I think the durasole penetrates more and does more good, but I might just be fooled by the purple color!
I got the hardener .... I used it for the first time yesterday, so I haven't had time to see any results ... I will say it did seem to penetrate the top layer of the hoof wall better than anything else I've used!
Will this work on a pony recovering from founder and a REALLY BAD TRIM that I am just heartsick over?
(Rescued small pony who was recovering very well from founder with new diet, careful trimming from my regular farrier and Remission. After being here 6 weeks he has lost about 60lbs and was trotting and cantering well on the longe. Left him at trainers 10 days ago when I had to be out of town for a week.
She mentioned he was probably due for a trim since feet flaring and toes very long and my farrier not due to come for another 2 1/2 weeks. She asked if I wanted her farrier to trim him. I said OK, but ONLY if he was extremely competent at trimming foundered ponies. Oh yes, he does it all the time.
Well, get back to pick him up and the guy butchered his feet. He had completely rasped off his toes removing all the protection my farrier was carefully preserving, and made him very sore again so I'm back where we were 6 wks ago. Basically accomplished in one trim what my farrier would have done very gradually over 3+ mos.
My farrier came and was pretty upset...said integrity of feet now compromised, set us back 6 months since toes are now crumbling and wouldn't even hold a glued on shoe. I've been putting Tuff Stuff on every day and duct taping foam insulation on but would LOVE to find something that would prevent the toes from chipping away.
Anyone use the hoof hardener in this kind of situation?
I've not used it in that situation, but I notice much less chipping and cracking on my mare's bare back hooves when I use the hardener regularly vs when I don't. We just made it through one of the worst drought summers on record here and her hooves look great.
Thanks for asking this! I just used some this afternoon on my boy. We pulled his shoes a while back, but he's been a bit ouchy off and on since the farrier trimmed him up. I totally forgot I had it. The stuff works great, just wish it wasn't so $$$.
Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.
I have used it on a number of our horses and it works great. I prefer the hardener for most of them because they can benefit from hardening the hoof horn, toughening the soles and they way it manages moisture in the hoof. I only use the gel on a limited number who have really great feet and I just want a little moisture management insurance. What I didn't understand in the beginning is you shouldn't use them both at the same time -- choose one or the other depending on if you want strengthening and toughening or just moisture management. The hardener worked really quickly for me, generally about 10 days to see a big difference.
Keratex saved the feet on my show horse years ago. Horse had the worst hoof walls ever! It was a regular occurance to put at least one shoe back on every few weeks. Due to showing, she had to be shod all around and just would not hold a shoe. After struggling with this for over a year and a half and trying every product known to man, my farrier had me try keratex. Within a short amount of time, she stopped throwing shoes and her hoof wall strengthened. Can't say enough good things about the product!
Mine has two cracks (in the front of each front hoof) that have been there for a couple of years now. I started using the gel in spring and FINALLY one of the cracks is gone. The other one will be 'mostly' gone after a trim this week. I love the stuff.
i also live in Pa- Eastern. My horse has feet that are crappy and the wet weather makes his walls crumble at the nail holes, so i have used it for a few years. it does Help. Nothing helps 100%, but i have seen improvement with consistent use. My horse is also on hoof supplements and i seem to need all the help i can get. good luck!