Three Easy Steps to Dry Hooves

by Matt

We all know that mud and constant wet wreaks havoc on our horses’ hooves. We also know that mud and wet weather is a part of life in most stables. So what’s an equestrian to do with all those wet hooves? Here are three easy steps to dry hooves that can maintain a balanced moisture level and make your horse happy.

  1. Stable your horse on clean bedding. Even a horse who is happy living outside can benefit from some time on your favorite bedding if their hooves are water-laden. Wood products naturally draw moisture from hooves. Just a little bit of these products on a wet hoof can dry the outer walls and soles almost immediately.
  1. Ease up on baths. Giving a horse a bath can saturate their hooves just as surely as letting them stand in a mud-puddle for a few hours. Water streaming down the horse soaks into the hoof and saturates the walls, which can lead to swelling and significant weakening over time. If you give your horse a bath, take care to have him stand on a draining surface (like the Boyd stable wash stall, or dry ground afterwards.
  1. Leave the hoof oils on the shelf. Oil can accumulate in cracks and the horse’s sole, leaving behind a messy sludge that will trap additional moisture and bacteria. Healthy wall growth comes from the inside — all we can do for the outside is maintain the right moisture levels.

It’s very difficult to dry a hoof too much, but wet, saturated hooves are a disaster waiting to happen. Focus on keeping your horse’s hooves dry, while addressing poor growth through feeding nutrients. You’ll be fighting the elements from the inside.

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