How Do Adhesives Affect Hoof Wall?

Moisture and heat are the most common enemies during repair

Chances are pretty good that you’ve repaired a compromised hoof wall at one time or another. In fact, according to the most recent American Farriers Journal Farrier Business Practices Survey, nearly half of all farriers find themselves using some type of hoof repair product on a weekly basis.

When facing an avulsion, a wall rebuild from a pulled shoe or any number of other situations that might necessitate an adhesive, you might wonder how it affects the horn. Two prominent elements that can be introduced to the capsule because of the application of adhesives are moisture and heat.

Moisture Is The Enemy

Hoof wall is a marvel in dispersing force and stress. Part of that quality is attributed to its moisture content.

“The inner hoof wall, by the white line and the stratum internum, has a higher moisture content,” says Pat Reilly, chief of farrier services at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. “The hoof gets progressively drier as you move to the outer surfaces of the foot.”

There’s a balance, though, and too much moisture can cause problems.

“If I have a horse that’s standing in a puddle, marinating for 6 months, that hydration gradient is likely to change,” he says. “We’re going to lose some of that robust character of the horse’s foot.”

Some adhesives might contribute to that problem.

Farrier Takeaways

Ensuring the perimeter of the patch is correctly bonded helps avoid moisture, bacteria and debris from causing problems with the hoof wall.

Rasping the hoof…

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Cota

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 25 years. A native of Maine, he is the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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