Farriers’ Roundtable

Is there anything that can be done about small cracks in the toe? I’m not talking about the bad ones. Just the small ones that farriers and owners want you to make disappear.

Q. Is there anything that can be done about small cracks in the toe? I’m not talking about the bad ones. Just the small ones that farriers and owners want you to make disappear.

A: I generally find these small, superficial toe cracks, also known as grass cracks, to be a visual issue more than a soundness issue. These cracks seem to appear more often on horses that have been allowed to get too long in the toe, although I’ve also seen them on horses that are wall kickers (in hind hooves), or that have had their hooves neglected. I’ve never seen the rasping or scoring of a horizontal or half moon line permanently fix these cracks.

I start by properly dressing the toe back to a correct length and removing any dished or flared areas. My shoe of choice is a nice, round Kerckhaert Kings Plate or the blunt-toe Fast Break shoe to keep the hoof from becoming elongated. Prior to nailing the shoe, I use a Dremel rotary tool to remove the cracks and get back to healthy, attached tissue. If there are any signs of white line disease, the hoof will need to be treated and allowed to properly dry and air out before covering the area.

Once I’m sure the area is free of any fungus or sensitive areas, I use Grand Circuit Pro Fast Adhesive (with coloring for black hoofs) to fill the debrided area and then apply the shoe. 

Continued proper hoof care, keeping…

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