• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

What's this business I keep hearing about hooves being "too hard"?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What's this business I keep hearing about hooves being "too hard"?

    Over the past several months, the notion of hooves becoming "too hard" or "too dry" has come up here and in real life as well.

    Given that the real life example was with someone I know who is a die-hard "barefoot or bust" fanatic, I am wondering if this is an emerging tenet from the "BUA" realm. Or is it something I just never heard of until recently?

    Living in a high desert climate, my horses hooves are uber hard for a good portion of the year, to the detriment only of the farrier's tools.

    One of my farriers did once show me a photo of a hoof that was dried out such that it resembled a bit of gnarly, petrified tree root, but I think that horse had some serious issues going on (perhaps made to stand in lighter fluid for weeks at a time?).

    Who is promoting the idea that hard, dry hooves are a bad thing, and why?

  • #2
    Ever read the label on a can of hoof moisturizer?

    Comment


    • #3
      Dry hooves makes the farriers have to work too hard.
      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

      Comment


      • #4
        Half round nippers and a toeing knife make the job easy. What is hard is convincing horse owners to throw away the Rain Maker.

        Comment


        • #5
          I hear it from owners of horse who are shod to distortion so they have cracking around the nail holes. They seem to think the cracks are from dryness vs the reality of flared crappy wall not holding up to being nailed into.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm just kidding... husband does farrier work and he always complains about how hard the feet are in the middle of the summer on some of the harder hooved ones. Our old Morgan mare's feet turn to solid rock in the middle of a hot dry summer. She's never been unsound a day in her life.
            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

            Comment


            • #7
              It's called BS. Hard, dry hooves ARE a good thing.

              FWIW, my horse is trimmed by a barefoot trimmer and she has never said anything like that. She loves that my horse's hooves are rock-hard, even if that means she has to sharpen her knives in the middle of a trim. Sometimes she has me soak his hooves in water right before he's trimmed to make things easier for her, but other than that she *wants* them to be hard and dry.
              Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

              Comment


              • #8
                I am going to say that the complainers are folks with little or no hand strength and dull Farrier tools. They complain to the horse owner, who then starts to believe that hard hooves are "bad".

                I don't live in the desert, so no experience with how hard those hooves get. We did use our horses on the dirt roads a lot as kids, so hooves DID get darned hard, and those animals were pretty sound for all our activities. Hard hooves WERE desirable, though we did whine when we needed to trim or smooth hooves up with our VERY DULL old tools. Sometimes we soaked hooves by making a muddy place and tying horse to stand there for a bit, which can make hoof material softer for a short time to get them trimmed.

                However frequent wetting and drying of hooves, is hard on them, can lead to cracking, so is not a good idea.

                I LIKE a horse with hard hooves, which is desirable to me. Farrier has sharp tools, no issues with getting hooves trimmed or cleaned out for shoeing. Horses can go barefoot easily, but we put a lot of miles on them or need them having traction, so they are kept shod most of the time. Some have been shod for years, hooves are well shaped, no issues from being shod that long.

                Just like other many good horse keeping ideas, the hard hooves is going to now going to be taught as being a BAD thing for equines. I figure horses are doomed for the long term, with poor management practices getting all the headlines.

                Comment


                • #9
                  DH has been known to make his old Morgan mare stand in the mud the night before he trims her feet! Then he's proud of her rock hard feet the rest of the time. She used to go all over the hills without ever having shoes; tough old mare.
                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                    DH has been known to make his old Morgan mare stand in the mud the night before he trims her feet! Then he's proud of her rock hard feet the rest of the time. She used to go all over the hills without ever having shoes; tough old mare.
                    Well one good soaking every six weeks is no big deal. Hope she had some foals to pass on her good hoof genetics! I like a horse with hooves like that!!

                    Our breed is known for their good hooves, staying sound for long working lives, one reason my Farrier husband got them to use. It's true! But we need the traction under them, so they are usually shod, and they do keep their shoes on well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Most farriers love soft feet 'cause they are easier to trim both on the tools and the farrier. Most farriers hate soft feet because they are bad for the horse and cause a lot of headaches for the farrier. Most if not all farriers prefer the feet at least moderately hard. Especially on a working/performance horse. ymmv
                      Given that the real life example was with someone I know who is a die-hard "barefoot or bust" fanatic, I am wondering if this is an emerging tenet from the "BUA" realm.
                      I don't know if it is just emerging or not. Even F. Strasser used to say(I don't know if she still does or not) that horses need to get their feet in water once a day.
                      Who is promoting the idea that hard, dry hooves are a bad thing, and why?
                      Well, if its not the farriers, and its not the 'moderates' on the barefoot side of the equation, then that really only leaves one group. And, you'll just have to find one of their gurus or perhaps even a disciple, to find out why.
                      Last edited by Rick Burten; Mar. 15, 2013, 09:23 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                        Well, if its not the farriers, and its not the 'modeerates' on the barefoot side of the equation, then that really only leaves one group. And, you'll just have to find one of their gurus or perhaps even a disciple, to find out why.
                        I can honestly say I've never heard a trimmer say that feet can be "too hard." If anything that is considered much healthier than overly soft. Granted I was taught by the more moderate trim style folks so I dunno about the radical ones.

                        In my area that is wet and swampy, we deal with the over soft hooves a lot more than hard ones.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                          Well one good soaking every six weeks is no big deal. Hope she had some foals to pass on her good hoof genetics! I like a horse with hooves like that!!

                          Our breed is known for their good hooves, staying sound for long working lives, one reason my Farrier husband got them to use. It's true! But we need the traction under them, so they are usually shod, and they do keep their shoes on well.
                          She's outlived her only offspring, a filly she had 20 years ago... our mare is 33! She and my husband grew up together-he bought her for $100 when he was 14.

                          We had a half Morgan once with pure white feet that were hard as quartz too-it was always fun to see people grumble about "white feet are always soft" and then try to get a hoof knife into his.
                          “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                            She's outlived her only offspring, a filly she had 20 years ago... our mare is 33! She and my husband grew up together-he bought her for $100 when he was 14.

                            We had a half Morgan once with pure white feet that were hard as quartz too-it was always fun to see people grumble about "white feet are always soft" and then try to get a hoof knife into his.
                            Well darn on the genetics thing. Sounds like you folks pick horses with good features, starting with the hooves. We shop the same, start at the ground and work up.

                            My good old Western mare had terrific hooves, only lame once with a cut hoof. I loved her being ready to go, anytime or anyplace, with her good feet and legs. She had darn hard hooves, which only got harder with use. Keeping her conditioned for showing all-around, entailed a lot of road miles for fitness, so she was hard as a rock, hooves and body. Needed that when we entered 15 to 20+ classes at a day show. Did need to get the tools to surgical sharp to work on her! She had an awful lot of miles on her with being used so much, wore out two trucks showing her, trail riding, Pony Club and lived to be 35. I think being used regular was a big help in living long. She never did catch when we tried to breed her, I would have liked a foal from her.

                            Nice to hear about your old girl. Husband got a bargin in her! And I also never saw a difference in hardness of white or colored hooves on a good footed horse, they were all REALLY hard. Probably why Farriers buy the GOOD TOOLS, so it is easier to work on those hard hooves.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The one recent thread on here saying, "Help! My horse's hooves are too hard!" that person was being told by her farrier (and I think her vet IIRC) that the hooves were too hard. I don't think it's any one group, just people who clearly don't understand hooves.
                              Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We tried to get her bred to one of the old studs that the Jacksons in Montana had but they only did pasture breeding and she wouldn't cooperate. She would stand all day long for that half-Morgan gelding we had but she was a loyal mare and wouldn't tolerate the well bred perfectly matched STALLION that we hooked her up with!

                                This is her last summer, she was standing kind of piled up but she was mad b/c we took the rest of the horses on a ride and she didn't get to go. She's still possessive of my husband.

                                https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

                                She's got that old heavy face too-I love it, no pretty araby morgany face on her: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...e=3&permPage=1
                                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  This is funny, but she looks rather like my old horse! Similar shape blaze, same kind of coloring, proportionate sized hooves for her size and similar head shape!! Yep, no Araby heads for me. Mine wasn't bred Morgan, though they did list Remount stallions in her pedigree, so maybe there was some snuck in.

                                  I think your old girl is LOVELY.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My farrier and his assistant both commented yesterday on my horses and their dry, hard feet. But not a complaint. Just something along the lines of the hardest feet they'd worked on since...6 weeks ago when last at my place! I think it was a testament to good hoof care, good feed, and my $$ mud-free paddocks (I'm in the PNW, where most have mud and soft feet right now).

                                    My dad used to stand his mule and horse in a mud pit he made for that purpose while living on the dry side so he could trim their feet. And my farrier has talked about when he used to shoe in CA, he went through tools so much more frequently than here.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      I guess I was assuming "hooves too hard" might be a fad because the first time I remember hearing about it was from a friend who is prone to jumping on all of the trendy, natural horse care bandwagons.

                                      It came up when I was helping her with a horse having an acute episode of laminitis, probably triggered by being trimmed too short with an electric grinder (I guess because they were too hard for the knives and rasp).

                                      The horse had big, beautiful hooves and apparently thick, hard soles as well. The friend was determined to find a way to soften his feet and didn't offer an explanation when I asked why. I believe it was some combination of the good feet, good fortune and me practicing veterinary medicine without a license that reversed his condition.

                                      PS: Years ago I had a half Morgan with those nice big feet and a big ol' head like that.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Ah! Is that why he picked up a blowtorch one day.

                                        And then he trimmed it.

                                        And then re-shod it.
                                        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X