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Thin walls + Mid-Atlantic summer moisture...what fun! Suggestions?

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  • Thin walls + Mid-Atlantic summer moisture...what fun! Suggestions?

    I've searched topics and I am sure this has been discussed more recently than the threads I found, but those were all several years old and there are lots of new products out there.

    I have a 5 year old QH with TB-ish feet. He's a show horse (doing just flat work), but in what I'd consider a moderate exercise program - ridden about 4x a week, shown about every 6 weeks. I have a competent/experienced farrier and he says my guy has thin walls (b/c that's the way he's "made") and his hoof grows forward towards the toe, which isn't ideal, but not at all unusual, again just the way my gelding is built. I had him reshod yesterday (at 4 weeks). He was in aluminum on the front for this last shoeing cycle because my trainer likes aluminum, swears he moves better, and I put them on since we went to a major show a two weeks ago. But at 3-1/2 weeks into the shoeing cycle, his hoof was spilling over his shoes. I called my farrier to come out early to shoe him yesterday (at the 4 week mark, instead of next Mon). I put him back in steel because it supports his hoof better, and he's schedule to be reset in 4 weeks again.

    But any recommendations for helping his thin walls (I'd love thicker walls, if possible)? I'm putting Keratex on 2-3 times a week (and have been for a year or so). He was started on a hoof supplement (Hoof Secret from Cox Labs) last July. I'm not sure that's making a significant difference, by now I think I'd start getting into better hoof. I've been trying to minimize bathing/hosing him off - and before I do, I paint a hoof dressing on his foot to help repel the water. I've read a fair amount - some vets & farriers says the hoof wall starts from the inside nutrients (which I get). He's on good pasture, gets fed about 7lbs of Southern States Carb Care Performance (not my ideal feed - but he's at a boarding barn, so that's what they feed and aside from his feet, he looks great...), the Hoof Secret Supplement, SS GastroCare, and has mediocre hay (which he barely eats during the day). On the flipside, I'm in NC. I've also read from vets/farrier in the SE, that we can't discount our environment - specifically the wet/dry cycles related to the dew. My barn switched over to night turnout at the same time he was shod last month, which means his feet get coated with AM dew, then he's in a stall for about 8 hours a day before going back out. Last summer I was lost quite a few aluminum shoes early on in the summer, switched to steel, and he held those on better. My farrier's suggestions are to keep putting the Keratex on and put any sort of dressing on his feet before hosing/bathing.

    So for those of you fighting this same battle in the Mid-Atlantic/SE - his feet aren't horrible (I know others with way worse), but I'd love for them to be better, if possible. I'd love for him to be able to wear aluminum during the summer show season, but not sure that's in the cards. Any suggestions? As mentioned, been using Keratex regularly. Previously used Farrier's Fix on another horse (and still will paint that on my guy's soles and sometimes the walls before bathing), have used Keratex Gel, but candidly, I'm not so sure that stays on more than a day (and he's a boarding barn, so putting it on daily is a bit unrealistic). I'm wondering about something like Farrier's Finish (by Farriers Formula folks). I've also read about putting a moisturizer on the coronet band and massaging that in good to promote good blood flow to that area to promote hardier growth. Again, any tips, or just suck it up b/c this is hoof life in NC? AGH!

    Thanks!!


  • #2
    Personally, I would stop the hoof oil ASAP. While you may be repelling water, more often then not, it softens the wall, which is BAD. Keratex or a sealant are better options.

    Healthy hooves definitely start from the inside out. Mediocre hay he won't eat and pasture may not be cutting it-- he might be getting lots of sugar in the grass and not enough quality protein overall. Can you supplement his hay with something better? I really saw hooves change for the better when I switched to a ration balancer (+ hay pellets + fat supplement if necessary) many years ago-- that might not be an option given your boarding situation, though. Personally, I've never seen hoof supplements do much of anything except help horses grow cruddy foot faster. Most of the time, the dietary deficiencies are well beyond the scope of what they offer.

    The quality of the farrier work also plays a huge part. A lot of farriers, even "highly recommended" ones used by pros and vets, just don't shoe well. They let the hoof get too contracted or unbalanced, then you are fighting a losing battle with the pathologies that develop. Just food for thought... I know you say your guy is competent, but when anyone is claiming stuff like poor feet are just how the horse is "made," I really wonder.

    Not necessarily your problem, but with my TBs with feet prone to summer damage, fly boots make a WORLD of difference. No, they don't help with the wet/dry cycles, but they do reduce stomping. If you think your guy might be stomping at all, you might consider it. Shoo Fly Leggins are amazing and fit loosely on the leg, so there's almost zero chance of rubs/constriction.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks Texarkana for the suggestions. Ration balancer may be good call in lieu of the hoof supplement. I believe some other boarders have added that to their horses feed program (but our BM is also leaving in a few weeks, so I'll have to see what new BM can/will do).

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by hokie98 View Post
        I have a competent/experienced farrier and he says my guy has thin walls (b/c that's the way he's "made") and his hoof grows forward towards the toe, which isn't ideal, but not at all unusual, again just the way my gelding is built.
        It may be true that he's got genetically thin walls, but all feet, from the crappiest to the very best, grow towards the toe. Hoof material grows forward as it grows down.

        I had him reshod yesterday (at 4 weeks). He was in aluminum on the front for this last shoeing cycle because my trainer likes aluminum, swears he moves better, and I put them on since we went to a major show a two weeks ago. But at 3-1/2 weeks into the shoeing cycle, his hoof was spilling over his shoes. I called my farrier to come out early to shoe him yesterday (at the 4 week mark, instead of next Mon). I put him back in steel because it supports his hoof better, and he's schedule to be reset in 4 weeks again.
        Pictures would help a lot. IME (which is not saying this is 100% the case), walls that spill over the shoes in that short a time frame are either not properly trimmed, or the shoe was too small to begin with, and the outer edge of the wall had no support so starts collapsing over the edge.

        But any recommendations for helping his thin walls (I'd love thicker walls, if possible)? I'm putting Keratex on 2-3 times a week (and have been for a year or so). He was started on a hoof supplement (Hoof Secret from Cox Labs) last July. I'm not sure that's making a significant difference, by now I think I'd start getting into better hoof.
        Keratex Hoof Hardener? Not a terrible idea, maybe not helping either. And yes, any supplement started 10 months ago would have clearly visible changes by now, even if that horn wasn't quite at ground level yet, though by 10 months, should be.

        I've been trying to minimize bathing/hosing him off - and before I do, I paint a hoof dressing on his foot to help repel the water.
        While the dressings might well keep water from entering the foot from the outside, they also stay on the foot and work to keep the walls soft(er). And, they aren't stopping the water from wicking up from the bottom, which is where most of it comes from anyway. So definitely stop that. And work on the sweat issue with a bucket and scraper, instead of a hose. You can also tape baggies onto the feet to keep water (nearly) all off them

        I've read a fair amount - some vets & farriers says the hoof wall starts from the inside nutrients (which I get).
        Everything starts with nutrition

        He's on good pasture, gets fed about 7lbs of Southern States Carb Care Performance (not my ideal feed - but he's at a boarding barn, so that's what they feed and aside from his feet, he looks great...), the Hoof Secret Supplement, SS GastroCare, and has mediocre hay (which he barely eats during the day). On the flipside, I'm in NC. I've also read from vets/farrier in the SE, that we can't discount our environment - specifically the wet/dry cycles related to the dew. My barn switched over to night turnout at the same time he was shod last month, which means his feet get coated with AM dew, then he's in a stall for about 8 hours a day before going back out. Last summer I was lost quite a few aluminum shoes early on in the summer, switched to steel, and he held those on better. My farrier's suggestions are to keep putting the Keratex on and put any sort of dressing on his feet before hosing/bathing.
        The feed isn't all that bad. I can't find the NSC offhand, but I don't think it's all that high. The wet-dry cycle of things does compromise shod feet more than bare. The Keratex Hoof Hardener, or Tuff Stuff, are good things to put on the nail holes especially, daily for the first week after being shod, then every couple days.

        As for the nutrition - here in NC, unless you're on a sandy area, the soils are pretty high in iron, which means insufficient copper and zinc, either outright, or in relation to the forage. This means that supplementing those 2 things is usually beneficial. How much? Hard to say without a forage analysis, but a 1/2 serving of both polysaccharide copper and p-zinc won't hurt, may well help. Uckele, Horsetech, California Trace all have these. Mix 50/50 by volume, and feeding 1 scoop, will give easy access to 1/2 a serving of both.

        Massing the coronet may promote faster growth, but unlikely to promote healthier growth, ie thicker/stronger wall.

        If you can get a couple of pictures - ground level, lens perpendicular to the side of the foot - that might help with other suggestions.
        ______________________________
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by hokie98 View Post
          Thanks Texarkana for the suggestions. Ration balancer may be good call in lieu of the hoof supplement. I believe some other boarders have added that to their horses feed program (but our BM is also leaving in a few weeks, so I'll have to see what new BM can/will do).
          A balancer on top of 7lb of a fortified feed isn't necessarily a good idea. Or, not necessarily a bad idea either. But in general, he doesn't need more of all those nutrients. He likely needs more of some of them, ie the copper and zinc.

          And yes to doing all you can to minimize stomping - pretty detrimental for thin walls and hard ground
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

          Comment


          • #6
            I wouldn't put a ration balancer on top of 7lbs of fortified feed either, except maybe in very small amounts.

            But 7lbs of CarbCare Performance provides a lot less Lysine, Methionine, and Threonine than even a 1lb serving of ration balancer would. If the horse is getting pasture, limited quantities of poor-looking grass hay, and 7lbs feed, I would bet money he is coming up short on his essential amino acids and protein quality.

            7lbs of CarbCare Performance also provides significantly less trace minerals than even 1lb of ration balancer.
            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

            Comment


            • #7
              Lots of good suggestions. I would also suggest you start researching hoof health via the barefoot practitioners. Not with the aim of going barefoot, but because barefoot horses need excellent nutrition and trim balance because they don't have shoes to compensate.

              You should look at your feed for the essential proteins, copper, zinc and biotin, as others noted above, and think about local iron levels. It is ratios as much as total intake.

              And from how you describe it I suspect the heels are running forward which will cause you trouble. In some places forward run heels are so common they seem normal. A new farrier might be in order. A good shod foot should have the same good balance as a bare foot.

              You might want to check out Pete Ramey for these basics and think about what could apply to your shod foot.

              Comment


              • #8
                At the 0.6% lysine in the CarbCare Performance, that's 2.7gm/lb, which means 7lb is 19gm. Most balancers provide in the range of 10gm/lb. 7lb is providing more nutrients than 1lb of every balancer I know of, at least the major players. So 19gm is quite a lot in the context of 30-35gm most average horses need.

                Copper:

                A balancer at 295ppm (such as TC 30) means 134gm/lb.
                CarbCare has 159gm in that 7lb (50ppm)


                Zinc:

                TC30 gives 427mg in 1lb
                CarbCare gives 477 in 7lb

                I didn't calculate more than that, but I would bet that most if not everything comes out at or more than most balancers, at least at the 7lb amount.

                That said, whether he's deficient in trace minerals, or AAs, really is up to the forage. The pasture sounds good, and is likely providing enough if he were on it all day. The hay? Can't know without testing. I know he doesn't eat it much during the day, for the 8 hours he's in, but he is eating grass for most of the 16 hours he's on pasture. So I think it's unlikely he's deficient.

                Mineral balance? That's a whole different issue, and I already put out my thoughts on that
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                  You should look at your feed for the essential proteins, copper, zinc and biotin, as others noted above, and think about local iron levels. It is ratios as much as total intake.
                  Not to hijack but I tried to do this recently for my thin-walled TB, and it's easy for his hard feed (Triple Crown Senior) but he's on 24/7 turnout at the moment so grass is a huge part of his consumption that is hard to quantify. NRC will give you some generic nutrient info for cool season grass pasture, but not copper, zinc, or iron. How do you factor that in? Does anyone know if there is a map of iron in soil, similar to the selenium map I've seen linked here before? I'm wondering if I live in a high-iron area.

                  I spent a lot of time crunching the numbers but without knowing what's in the grass I finally had to admit defeat. I decided to try JB's method of 1/2 serving each of poly copper and poly zinc and see if that helps (in addition to wanting better hoof quality, his coat just doesn't look 100%).
                  Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think you can get government data on iron in local soils or water. I was able to access data on iron in water that showed locally, there was very little iron in "city water" but a lot in well water, and some parts of some municipalities are on well water.

                    I expect the state agricultural agencies would have geographic soil maps. Depending where you live, soil can vary a lot or a little if you have river bottoms, flood plains, glacial till, etc.

                    I would assume visibly red soils are high in iron.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Libby2563 View Post

                      Not to hijack but I tried to do this recently for my thin-walled TB, and it's easy for his hard feed (Triple Crown Senior) but he's on 24/7 turnout at the moment so grass is a huge part of his consumption that is hard to quantify. NRC will give you some generic nutrient info for cool season grass pasture, but not copper, zinc, or iron. How do you factor that in?
                      www.equi-analytical has 19 years of historical samples with averages of a variety of forages, fresh and dried. But they are simply averages, and if you really need to know about yours, you need to have yours analyzed. But, analyzing pasture isn't all that efficient, since it requires a LOT of samples, and it will change, sometimes fairly significantly, with seasons. Hay is much easier

                      Does anyone know if there is a map of iron in soil, similar to the selenium map I've seen linked here before? I'm wondering if I live in a high-iron area.
                      Same source as the Se map frequently shown here
                      https://mrdata.usgs.gov/geochem/doc/...es/fe/usa.html

                      I spent a lot of time crunching the numbers but without knowing what's in the grass I finally had to admit defeat. I decided to try JB's method of 1/2 serving each of poly copper and poly zinc and see if that helps (in addition to wanting better hoof quality, his coat just doesn't look 100%).
                      For the coat, it's too late to affect the Summer coat, but it will impact the Winter coat and next year's Summer coat, so you'll have to wait for those changes. For the feet if it's going to help you may see a difference in the quality of new growth once it gets about 1" grown in, or roughly 4 months depending on rate of growth (average is about 1/4"/month)

                      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                      I would assume visibly red soils are high in iron.
                      little doubt of that.

                      ______________________________
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Wow! There's alot to digest here.

                        So JB...I'm actually in your neck of the woods. The horse lives in Lewisville, so I have no doubt we're dealing with high iron. I called his hay mediocre, but it's local timothy blend grass hay, and last year wasn't an ideal hay year in our area (and the barn is polishing off last years hay and hasn't gotten in the first cutting yet). He eats the hay fine during the winter, but most of them in my barn don't eat much in the way of hay during the day - they're being worked and snoozing. But still, the hay isn't the quality of say, PA orchard grass or nice alfalfa. So really, I suspect a copper/zinc issue. But let me read back through all of this and answer some of the questions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Given where you are, I pretty much guarantee you've got a high iron situation going on.
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by JB View Post

                            As for the nutrition - here in NC, unless you're on a sandy area, the soils are pretty high in iron, which means insufficient copper and zinc, either outright, or in relation to the forage. This means that supplementing those 2 things is usually beneficial. How much? Hard to say without a forage analysis, but a 1/2 serving of both polysaccharide copper and p-zinc won't hurt, may well help. Uckele, Horsetech, California Trace all have these. Mix 50/50 by volume, and feeding 1 scoop, will give easy access to 1/2 a serving of both.
                            Yeah, thanks JB - I don't disagree at all that it's not a high iron situation - I've been wondering that. Plus he's on well water - so more iron there.

                            What should be my rough goal for copper & zinc in his diet to balance out this iron?

                            Right now for copper, he's getting 48mg in his hoof supplement, plus (direct copy & past from JB's reply above) CarbCare has 159gm in that 7lb (50ppm). Looking at California Trace - that would give him 175mg.

                            For zinc, he's getting 275 mg from his hoof supplement, plus CarbCare gives 477 in 7lb. California Trace is 500mg.

                            I would quit his hoof supplement if I went this route. But otherwise, am I reading this right - you suggest buying bulk poly-copper and poly-zinc and mixing that 50/50? California Trace is roughly 1:3 copper to zinc. Since you're not far from me, just curious, do you buy this locally, or online?

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              And I have a hay analysis! Another boarder had one completed a few months ago... But I need to figure out how to analyze it...and the picture of it isn't posting large enough for any of you to read.

                              But Iron as sampled is 80ppm, 36 mg/lb; Dry Matter is 87ppm & 39 mg/lb.
                              Zinc is 23ppm, 10 mg/lb as sampled and Dry Matter is 25ppm and 11 mg/lb.
                              Copper is 7ppm, 3 mg/lb as sampled and Dry Matter is also 7ppm, 3mg/lb.

                              Estimated Lysine is .39% or 1.8 g/lb as sampled and .42, 1.9 g/lb dry matter.

                              Now to figure out what that means.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Can you do night turnout for the summer? That would cut down on the stomping at flies, putting less stress on his hooves.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The ideal ratio of fe:cu:zn is 4-10:1:3. So for the hay, you'd need to estimate how many pounds he's eating.

                                  For the ppm - are you sure that's the ppm for those? Those are REALLY low. I'm not sure I've seen numbers that low as a ppm.

                                  80:7:23 is not a bad ratio, but the numbers are really low. 7ppm Cu means only 31mg in 10lb of hay. That's almost nothing.

                                  I don't buy cu/zn locally. I order from either Horsetech (free cookies!), I used to order from Uckele, and California Trace is a bit cheaper.


                                  Mango20 - she's already on night turnout So the issues are 6 of one, half dozen of another - the wet/dry cycle of (for now) the night dew and the drying stall, vs stomping flies.
                                  ______________________________
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by JB View Post
                                    At the 0.6% lysine in the CarbCare Performance, that's 2.7gm/lb, which means 7lb is 19gm...
                                    Thanks, this is what happens when I quickly eyeball a label and do math in my head.
                                    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      BTDT!
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Feed XL tells me my mare is getting plenty of copper and zinc, but when I supplement with PolyCopper and PolyZinc, I see a HUGE difference in her feet, especially with standing up to the wetness down here in Florida.
                                        I also have seen way more of a difference using Venice Turpentine vs Keratex. IMO you can't beat Turpentine for toughening up the hoof.
                                        Custom tack racks!
                                        www.mmeqcenter.com/tacklove.html

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