Horse being bathed

Wet/Dry Hooves

Summertime is when horses are most likely to be bathed and hosed off frequently. It is possible to keep your horse cool without damaging the hooves through the wet-dry cycle. Most importantly, do not use products on your horse’s hooves you would not use on your hands.

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Recommended Hoof Topical

Topical Hoof Dressings

Many horse owners tend to overlook the fact that as tough as equine hoof horn may appear, it is 95% protein (similar to your own skin). One should avoid use of any product that will denature protein and affect the normal function of the hoof tissue or that seals oxygen away from the hoof. Besides bleach, iodine and copper, one should also avoid remedies containing grease, motor oil, pine tar, formaldehyde, acetone, and turpentine.

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Summer Hoof Care

Protecting Hooves During Summer

It’s during the hot and dry days of summer that we typically see a rise in dry hooves. Dry and brittle hoof walls will often crack and chip, especially on solid surfaces. Then a thunderstorm arises and forces the horse to stand in mud for a prolonged time, making the hoof wall soft, with a loss of strength and increased wear. Then the weather gets hot and dry again, and so do hooves. It’s also very common for horses to be frequently bathed and hosed off during summertime.

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Hooves in mud

Hooves and Muddy Conditions

The mud and muck that comes along with the rainy season can wreak havoc on horse’s hooves. The resulting softening of the hoof capsule not only leads to increased wear and tear, but also creates an ideal environment for the invasion of “hoof eating” microbes that cause thrush and crumbling hoof horn.

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Summer Hooves

Summer V.S. Hooves

The hot and dry days of summer typically bring a rise in dry hooves. Dry and brittle hoof walls will often crack and chip, especially with horses that work on hard surfaces. Horses that have long toes, underrun heels and thin hoof walls (like the thoroughbred) are even more prone to develop cracked and chipped hooves during the summer. 

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