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Keratex Hoof Hardener

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  • Keratex Hoof Hardener

    I started a similar thread in the horse care forum but thought I might get some responses here, since so many of us ride TBs and keep our horses shod.

    My 5-year-old TB has thin hoof walls that tend to flare. She is currently out 24/7 and with all the rain we've had this summer the ground has been pretty wet most of the time. She has some cracks on the front feet that seem to me to get worse when it's wet, and the area around the cracks is fairly soft. She also has had some problems with the hooves breaking up around the old nail holes as they grow out. Not surprisingly we've not had a good summer in terms of keeping shoes on.

    I recently started her on Smarthoof, but I realize that even if it works it will take months or even a year before I will be able to see an effect.

    A friend suggested putting pine tar around the nail holes to help make the hoof more flexible and less brittle in order to try to keep the hooves from breaking up, but since we're already dealing with a situation where the hooves are wet so much of the time I was concerned about using something that might add any moisture.

    Looking at the description of Keratex hoof hardener it seemed like it might be more what my mare needs.

    Her feet seemed to be getting better about a month ago when we had a dry spell but now they're getting worse again and heading into the winter I'm worried. I'm also wondering if I need to move her to a situation where she is stalled part of the time and where the turn-out is not so wet, but our options are very limited around here.

  • #2
    If she is standing in the damp, not much of anything is going to help what grew out as an unhealthy hoof. You can paint something on but...IME...even a heathy hoof will crack and start to break up around the clinches if they are standing in the mud 24/7.

    Save your money on the paint on "cures" and try to keep her feet dry until you grow that healthy foot out in about 6 months.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

    Comment


    • #3
      My TB/WB cross suffers from wet/dry cycles which soften his soles. I paint on Keratex for a couple weeks and it works.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am a big fan of the Keratex hoof hardener; IME, it works best in exactly the kind of conditions you describe.

        Make sure the feet are clean and DRY before you put it on - then apply it, let dry and voila! You have some protection against the damage that can come from standing in wet conditions.

        No, it is not going to be a miracle cure and you *will* have to wait for the cracks to grow out... but it will help prevent them from getting worse. For the record, I also rub Corona ointment into the coronary bands a couple times a week to help the new hoof grow in strong and crack-free.
        **********
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
        -PaulaEdwina

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        • #5
          We've had a mare who has had not great feet for years and she's always been on a hoof supplement. She goes out in bell boots but would pull shoes every other week. It got to the point where her feet were little because she was always pulling shoes and taking wall with it. This year, because of the constant wet, it was even worse. The owner started using Keratex per the rec. of the farrier and she has made it through a whole shoeing cycle without pulling one!

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          • #6
            With all the wet weather this spring and early summer, I was having the same problem with my boy. I have him on a hoof supplement called Gro Hoof (Dover carries it) and paint Karatex over the nail holes twice a week. He's doing great. I do try to have him in a bit more when the fields are really wet.

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            • #7
              Keratex is great, but if your mare's hoof walls are as thin as you say, you may be asking for a miracle that no supplement or paint can provide. I have one like that--you can literally peel the hoof wall back. We've tried supplements, Keratex, changes in environment and diet, but what really works is simply putting him in glue-ons.

              TB feet are difficult.
              Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a TB & like Keratex a lot. On the days when I don't use it, I use just plain old Pine Tar, which is much less expensive & seems to balance out the Keratex hoof hardener. If your farrier is innovative and creative, there is a product called equicast, which is brilliant! It is very much like a fiberglass cast you would use for setting broken bones, but it is specifically for hooves. When impregnated with water and painted over with farrier glue, it is like an amazing permanent "boot" that you just nail the shoes into. I've had my guy in this - one roll is enough for both hooves.

                Good luck - TBs certainly aren't bred for good feet, but so much else about them is wonderful; make 'em well worth it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  [QUOTE what really works is simply putting him in glue-ons.[/QUOTE]

                  Not to hijack - but do you use nails with the glue-ons? How long do a set last and in what kind of turnout situations?

                  To the OP – I think Keratex is a good product but it doesn’t work miracles. My horse’s hooves do the same thing in the summer (and we usually end up with a hoof wall made out of glue by the end of the summer). This year, I religiously applied Keratex in the spring/early summer (somewhat wet conditions with the morning dew, but not much standing in mud, 20 hours of turnout a day including night) and we maybe made it 2-4 weeks longer than last year before we had to go to the glue.

                  I am probably going to move him to another barn with a dryer environment – as that has worked better for him in the past. We’ll see if that helps.

                  That being said – I showed against his full brother last weekend who is in more of a show barn environment (turnout on dry grass, stalled at night) and low and behold, he had glue on his hooves as well.

                  Not nearly as bad as my guy – but still. I don’t think there is one easy answer.

                  I have read on here that a lot of people swear by Life Data Lab’s Hoof Disinfectant for hardening hooves as well. I bought a bottle of that and will be trying that next year instead of Keratex (a little more affordable.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I used Keratex on my TB with wimpy hoofs. It was the only thing that worked on him.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      TBs and their wimpy hooves... sigh.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TrakeGirl View Post
                        Not to hijack - but do you use nails with the glue-ons? How long do a set last and in what kind of turnout situations?
                        No nails--that's exactly what we're trying to avoid! For me, they last the same amount of time as a regular shoeing (6-8 weeks), although I know of horses who can go 12 weeks. Both mine and one of the 12 week horses are on 24/7 turnout. Another 12-week horse is out for 12 hours, in for 12 hours.
                        Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks to everyone for their comments. I bit the bullet and ordered some Keratex.

                          About the glue-ons, I've heard that the horse needs to be in a stall for a few days beforehand to ensure that the foot is dry. Is this the case and are they much more expensive than regular shoes?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            EAY, I hope the Keratex works for you. For the others reading this thread -- I've tried many things on my TB with thin hoof walls. Keratex and Tuff Stuff just seemed to make his feet crack more. Life Data Labs Hoof Disinfectant didn't seem to do anything. I've had him on 5 different hoof supplements with no significant improvement on any of them. I used Master's Hoof Blend, Hoof Power, Farrier's Formula, Glantzen each for about a year. Recently I switched to SmartHoof Ultra. I agree, there is no magic bullet -- but I want one!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EAY View Post
                              Thanks to everyone for their comments. I bit the bullet and ordered some Keratex.

                              About the glue-ons, I've heard that the horse needs to be in a stall for a few days beforehand to ensure that the foot is dry. Is this the case and are they much more expensive than regular shoes?

                              Keratex is the best, I'd give it a try, although it sounds like the horsekeeping options are not your best bet right now. The hoof does need to be dry for application of the shoes and until the glue dries, after that it shouldn't matter. I've never had good success with the glue-ons, but maybe they'll work better for you, who knows? The shoes themselves are more expensive, but it's the farriers that will charge you a lot more (usually) for their time and expertise in applying the shoes (with good reason).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My TB gelding kept pulling his front shoes because his feet were cracking, so we decided to try a few things and so far, so good. He is now on HorseTech's BioFlax Ulta supplement and I've been using Keratex. I followed the directions on the container that said to use everyday for 1 week and then 2x/week after that. So far so good. It's been 6 weeks and he still has both front shoes

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Keratex question

                                  Does the Keratex help harden the soles? I am having the "thin walls/ TB/ cracking and chipping around nail holes/ losing shoes" issue and decided to try pulling the shoes, letting them grow out some w/o nail holes etc. Obviously his soles are tender at this point but improving daily. My farrier suggested painting iodine on the soles but I am interested in any additional suggestions. Thank you.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Sometimes it's a struggle to get hooves to come around, but if you keep on doing whatever you can, eventually they do get better. Whether 'better' is actually 'good' or simply 'less bad,' is another question.

                                    I use Keratex (I like the gel better than the plain) on the bottom half to 3/4 of the hoof wall, Corona on the coronet, and Venice turpentine on the soles. I also use Thrushbuster, dripped into open nail holes around the white line and into the clefts of the frog. Keratex putty is good for plugging up minor cracks to keep dirt out.

                                    The biggest difference, though will be when you use a good hoof supplement with maximum amounts of biotin. It won't take a year, it will take 4-6 months, sometimes even less to grow down a new set of hooves, but you 'll be able to see a "biotin line" making an appearance after just a few weeks.
                                    Inner Bay Equestrian
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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by TuckawayVT View Post
                                      Does the Keratex help harden the soles? I am having the "thin walls/ TB/ cracking and chipping around nail holes/ losing shoes" issue and decided to try pulling the shoes, letting them grow out some w/o nail holes etc. Obviously his soles are tender at this point but improving daily. My farrier suggested painting iodine on the soles but I am interested in any additional suggestions. Thank you.
                                      Yes! That is one if its main purposes. Used to toughen/improve soft soles. I had a pony for eight years that I was able to keep barefoot while using Keratex. I got lazy and stoped using the Keratex on his soft soles and poof - he was very tender. Restarted Keratex and the problems went away. Really helped the pocket book out!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by EAY View Post
                                        Thanks to everyone for their comments. I bit the bullet and ordered some Keratex.

                                        About the glue-ons, I've heard that the horse needs to be in a stall for a few days beforehand to ensure that the foot is dry. Is this the case and are they much more expensive than regular shoes?
                                        I keep mine in from the night before to 24 hours after shoeing.

                                        Price depends on the farrier. My own farrier is on a little bit of a learning curve and is cutting me a break. It does require a significant amount of prep and time, as well as skill. However, if the horse keeps them on for 12 weeks, then it's comparable than having standard shoes reset every 6.
                                        Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

                                        Comment

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