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Stronger hooves; reduce fly stomping....

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  • Stronger hooves; reduce fly stomping....

    Well, my horse does not react well to farriers formula..... he becomes one of those psycho horses on it. Seriously goes from gentle giant anybody can handle to attack horse pinning people against the fence in the pasture... (!!!) This was the only thing changed recently. Also a search provided other accounts of the same thing happening to their horses.

    Well, the delima now is what can I do to help his feet grow? (The FF was under the recommendation of the barn owner and farrier suggestion. Ive never been a big fan of it in the past but agreed to giving it a try just to see.) I've given plain ole biotin in the past with no issues but I know biotin isnt the only key to keeping hooves healthy.

    His feet are very slow to grow out (per farrier) and he keeps chippin them with the fly stomping (he has the bands on but we are still having issues with flies. We think its the neighbors lack of fly control :P) He has shoes with clips on the front and open pads, bare in the back. Ground is nice, riding is minimal and in a soft sand arena.

    Things that I've tried:
    Farriers Formula
    Reducine (insanely messy and impossible to remove from anything!!! Not a big enough improvement to start it again)
    Tuff Stuff
    Biotin (wafer form and powder form both tried)
    Easy boots (rubbed the bulbs of his feet raw and bloody. Flies loved them.... :/ needless to say, those are gone after trying to fix them to not rub)
    Rain Maker

    So I guess im open for any recommendations or advice to help the new hoof to grow in stronger and to stop the excessive stomping so the current hoof stops chipping off....am I missing anything?
    Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!

  • #2
    I use fly boots on my horses in the summer, and they reduce a lot of the wear-and-tear from stomping. Something like the Cashel or Kensington boots. I don't think the repellent bands do much of anything.
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


    • #3
      Fly boots help. If you're looking for an alternative supplement, I've had great results with Horsetech's BioFlax Ultra. Bonus: Free shipping, always. They will send you a generous sample if you ask for it (I think it's 4 lbs?).

      Here you go: http://www.horsetech.com/bioflax-ultra.html


      • #4
        The flies that make horses stomp are usually biting stable flies. These flies reproduce in rotting organic material more so than manure. They are strong fliers and may be coming from old hay rings and storage or rotting leaves from miles away.
        A Biting Stable Fly Trap from Starbar placed in the sunlight about three feet off the ground will trap a lot of these flies.
        This trap is available in tack stores and cost about $9.50.
        More information on this trap here https://www.spalding-labs.com/produc..._fly_trap.aspx
        Larry Garner
        Spalding Fly Predators


        • #5
          As others have mentioned, get some fly boots. Dover and smartpak sell a 4 pack of them with fleece and velcro and they aren't very expensive.


          • #6
            I had good luck with the supplement by farnam H.B. 15. It has biotin, dl-methionine, and lysine and didn't change my horse's personality.
            \"In all manners of opinion, our adversaries are insane.\" Mark Twain


            • #7
              Guess I would go in another direction, starting from the inside out.

              Can your horse tolerate Soybean meal? We have added that to our grain, and consider the great hair coats, good hooves as the benefit from feeding it. Soybean meal is a protein, provides the material which hair and hooves are made from. I wouldn't add a lot, his body can't use great quantities, so you waste money if he gets more than he needs. His body just won't use the excess. Probably 1/4 cup daily is plenty, see how he does with it.

              The other thing is to get him on night turnout, away from the flies as much as possible. We stall our horses daily, put them out at night. It is kind of a toss-up, stomping flies, running from flies, during the day, or getting a lot of mosquito bites, during the nights. They are NEVER quiet during the daylight outside, so we go with the night turnouts. Secondary benefits are less stall time, horse is handy for use quickly if you suddenly have some time to go out.

              And the last thing is to RIDE him, USE him, so his hooves are getting a workout! Hooves are MADE to work, push blood around inside the legs, hoof capsule, and the more exercise he gets, the better his leg circulation will get. Improved circulation SHOULD get better hoof growth going so he is developing better hooves under him. This time of year is SUPPOSED to be the maximum growth time on horse hooves. Part of the genetic factor of wild horses being able to travel with new grass growth, herds moving, breeding and fighting in the Spring of the year. Horses still respond to the longer daylight hours which trigger the brain to do many things.

              I wouldn't be doing so much in soft sandy ring, horse gets no impact, lesser results in circulation to his legs and hooves. Canter and gallop work would be great on grass, short works on hard surfaces like dirt roads or trails. But ANY kind of regular work, brisk walk, trot for a couple miles, just going on firm surfaces for horse will give you benefits to the hooves.

              See what you can do to wear off his bare hooves or keep his shoes shined up, worn out, between Farrier visits. Horses are MADE to work and use their legs, hooves to cover ground, so he will benefit from this exercise. Soft, no impact surfaces to stand or exercise on are not going to benefit horse with needed impact to the legs and hooves for better circulation and growth.

              Even if horse has soundness or leg issues, he should be able to walk and the more walking he does, the more helpful it is to his system. Of course this means you "have to!" ride him more, take the time to keep him exercised to reap the benefits! Some sacrifice, eh? Results will not show immediately, but they will come over time with a regular exercise program. Few horses will push themselves to get adequate exercise, you have to make them do it to get the improvements.

              Keeping the farm manure cleaned up, disposed of correctly or spread and dragged on the fields, helps reduce flies, biting insects. Putting horse inside out of the sun will reduce the biting insects that bother him in the day hours. Should have less hoof stamping to break them up, loosen shoes. Have enough bedding under him to pad the foot stamping inside. Stamping one leg is NOT going to improve hoof growth.

              Getting horse improved hooves is a whole horsekeeping approach, involving the outside areas, what he eats, how you keep him during the day light hours, AND PLENTY of exercise to impact his legs and hooves for stimulating growth.

              Good luck.


              • #8
                I agree. What are you feeding him? A good diet does WONDERS for hoof growth (which is why good farriers switch from 5 or 6 week shoeing cycles in the winter to every 4 weeks in the spring and summer!).

                Does the horse live out? This can wreak havoc on bad feet, especially in fly season. Like goodhors says, in during the day, out at night. As the bugs get worse, mine go out later and come in earlier to reduce the time they stomp at flies.

                How you keep your horse's stall also has an impact. Clean, deep, dry shavings is the best for feet. Minimal bedding that is soaked with urine in short order is awful (and just attracts flies! Which means more stomping).

                Keep the bathing to a minimum IF YOU CAN. My farriers always prefer I sponge to minimize them having lots of water on their feet (which just isn't practical with hot, sweaty, hard working horses). But it does help. If you do bathe or shower, paint his feet with something (doesn't really matter, as long as it helps repel water....anything oily or greasy will do the trick). Avoid soaps and other things, too. I'll also often paint horses' feet before turning them out if the grass is wet or dewy.


                • #9
                  I've had great results with the SmartSox supplement. Huge increase in hoof growth. Also keratex for hoof protection. Make sure you apply around the old & current nail holes to protect the areas where it would be easiest for moisture to get into the hoof.


                  • #10
                    I've used Keretex with good results. Every day for 5 days, then once a week. What do you feed him?


                    • Original Poster

                      He is out on pasture 24/7, no barn on property but two nice leantos in the pastures. Pasture is kept clean and is raked often. The neighbors are he ones with the lot ull of horses with mud and no manure control :/

                      Right now he is on grass with some nice alfalfa tossed out if its not windy. The grass is so lush him and his pasture mate put on helluv weight on it. Before he as on a generic local mill feed and would have a small amount mixed in with the ff he was getting but not enough for an actual meal. We probably have a few weeks left of .ice crass before summer hits us. Then its back yo grain and hay.

                      I've used the fly boots on other horses in the past and have had terrible luck with them. Between tearing, falling, trapping flies and other crap, and losing one in he pasture (seriously why is it always one!!! Ahh!)
                      Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GaMare View Post
                        I've had great results with the SmartSox supplement. Huge increase in hoof growth. Also keratex for hoof protection. Make sure you apply around the old & current nail holes to protect the areas where it would be easiest for moisture to get into the hoof.
                        I second having good results with smart sox.....and on horses without sore feet, just lacking growth. A friend told me about it after using it on her horse who didn't grow feet.
                        I also paint the soles with durasole, would never be without a bottle :-)
                        Happily retired but used to be:


                        • Original Poster

                          I'll be stopping in my local feed supply store tomorrow nd possibly.the local DnL to see what all they have. I've used Keratex before but honestly I don't remember if it was for my guy or not... Hmm. I guess its safe to assume SmartSo is from smartpak?
                          Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!


                          • #14
                            Another vote for fly boots. My TB has a set of the Kensington boots that keep him from stomping his feet apart!

                            I'd avoid most topical hoof treatments- in my experience, they make the problem worse.

                            I'm not a big believer in hoof supplements, but I did try SmartHoof one summer and he seemed to have a slightly increased growth rate. But in my opinion, the best "supplement" is a good, forage-based diet with balanced vitamins/minerals and minimal starches and sugars.
                            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                            • #15
                              He at least needs a vitamin/mineral supplement. You can get samples from SmartPak. Keretex does work...I just brush it over the nail holes.


                              • #16
                                Instead of fly boots you could try fly leg bands: http://www.statelinetack.com/item/de...nds/SLT101474/

                                I used these when I had an Appy with no tail and was very happy with how they worked. I had tried the boots before and they sucked - always falling down/ripping etc.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Grain is a 12% Purina horsemans choice (green bag.)
                                  he lost hid shoe again today. Not enough hoof to reattach it again it looks like. Meeting woth farrier tomorrow to plan. Any suggestions of stuff I should ask or bring up?
                                  Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!


                                  • #18
                                    Keratex hardener on the lower half of the hoof.

                                    Before you add a specific hoof supplement, start off with a good multivitamin/mineral. I like SmartPak's EZ Keeper formula. There is a Grass and an Alfalfa version.
                                    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


                                    • #19
                                      Fly repellent: I use SWAT on the legs from the hocks/knees to the hooves. The pink ointment (red label) works longer than the clear (blue label), but the clear works well enough for daily application so that's what I get. I don't like to see pink ointment smeared all over my grey horse. I also use it under the eyes and massaged on/in the ears for the horse who refuses to wear a fly mask.

                                      Hoof supplement: Some horses need it; some don't. FF worked for one of our horses, but no another, so we dropped it. It is made in a heavy alfalfa base, so you may want to watch out for that when you choose another supplement. For hooves that are not problematic I had good success with Grand Meadows hoof supplement. Glanzen3 is also good. We are using Nu Foot right now to banish recurring white line issues, and it also works well. Fast growth, rock solid feet. A large pocket of white line has shrunk to a tiny little hole. We also keep the feet short (5 week trim in the summer, 6 weeks in the winter) to eliminate chipping and cracks. If you feed Nu Foot, remove vitamin/mineral supplements from the diet, as it is heavily vitamin concentrated.

                                      I only use a hoof dressing (Fiebings Hoof Dressing) on the one horse who has been diagnosed by both the farrier and the vet as having chronically dry feet. If I use it on the other horse, his feet get too soft and then they chip up. Also implicated in the chipping: wood pellet bedding that has been soaked with water. The farriers here see a lot of soft, chipping feet with that combination. We tried it once, and sure enough, the chipping came right back. We leave the bedding dry; a friend switched to pine shavings for her mare and the problem disappeared. Also: turning out in wet conditions, then bringing in to dry conditions, then back out to wet conditions, etc. With all of the expanding and contracting of the hooves, the chips and cracks start up.

                                      Sometime back I interviewed a lameness vet who is in both the Horseshoer's Hall of Fame and the AAEP Hall of Fame. Her opinion on feeding plain biotin was that the studies she knew of showed that horses pretty much poop it out for about a year before they begin absorbing enough of it to help their feet. It does not seem to happen if it is in a combination supplement. Also, good water consumption goes a long way in helping the feet stay strong.

                                      Feeds we have used that we ended up having to supplement a hoof supplement for one horse or another: Triple Crown Sr, Nutrena Sr, Nutrena SafeChoice, Blue Seal Trotter, Blue Seal Vintage Senior.
                                      Last edited by Chief2; May. 24, 2013, 02:55 AM.
                                      "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                                      • #20
                                        I have a STB with awful feet from severe founder. Tried FF, didn't work. Several years ago, a COTHer recommended Calf Manna. Since I had tried everything else, figured it couldn't hurt. Plus, a top equine nutritionist boarded at my barn at the time and agreed it was OK. Within three months, my horse's feet had improved significantly. He's been on it ever since. Also recommend the Keratex and fly boots.