Hoof-Care Email Q&A

What kind of hoof coatings, if any, do you use and what benefits do you think they provide?

Q: What kind of hoof coating, if any, do you use and what benefits do you think they provide?

Protection From The Environment

A: I use Keratex gel and hardener. It stabilizes internal moisture content, preventing it from getting too dry or too moist.

— Karl Shewmake, Stevens Point, Wis.

A: I use Hoof Heal by Cut Heal. I started experimenting on harness horses because they have hard, strong feet that need to be pliable for the hard surface they race on. Hoof Heal did the trick. It keeps the hooves from becoming too dry in hot weather and too soft in wet weather here in California. I also use a sealant, mostly on pastured horses, and only apply it on the bottom half of the hoof.

— Sabina Knight, Sacramento, Calif.

A: When I use a coating, I generally use Kevlar’s Hoof Guard. I do not use it on every hoof, but on problem hooves or hooves exposed to a wet environment, I think it’s beneficial to put some type of sealant on the hoof. I’m more likely to use it on shod horses to fill in the old nail holes than on barefoot horses.

Coatings can help prevent rapid moisture changes in the hoof, especially here in Virginia. You can have dry, hard ground, but very heavy dews. It’s helpful to lessen nail hole exposure to bacteria and fungal spores.

— Anita Leckie, Charlottesville, Va.

A: I use all kinds of hoof coatings —…

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