What is with me and horses with “bad” feet? Not sure, but my first “reset” after getting the boys home did NOT go well for Duke. I had to get a new farrier, since the previous farrier does not come to my location. The new guy came highly recommended and he did not disappoint in the workmanship area. The boys feet looked absolutely amazing after he left and I was highly impressed. My bank account however, was not impressed. The previous farrier was much more budget friendly, and he always took excellent care of the boys despite their not so ideal feet. I’m hoping since now I can control every detail about their living and working environments, I can help keep their feet the best they can be. I can be extremely OCD and meticulous, and this situation is one of those things I have been very meticulous in managing.
The work Duke needed to keep his feet together required keeping leather pads with a shoe and applying epoxy to fix the parts of his hoof that were literally crumbling apart. He had soft, shelly feet and the bill I paid made me cringe. Shelly feet come from too much moisture, among other things (including genetics, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, etc) and I had a lot of instructions from the farrier to control and fix this moving forward.
- No hose bathing
- Sponge off sweat only, keep bell boots on to keep sweat scrapings off feet
- Keep stalls clean/dry
- No working on wet footing
- No turnout when dew is present
- Always work with bell boots on
- Start feeding Farriers Formula Double Strength
I will probably do a review of Farriers Formula after he’s on it 6 months or so as it takes a while for the new hoof to grow out and see any benefits from a feed through supplement. I needed something to help FAST as I can’t sustain paying to glue my horses feet back together repeatedly over time. That’s where the Keratex comes in. I had used Keratex previously on Fizz when he lived in a field 24/7 and it seemed to help keep his shoes on longer, but I never really could use it in a controlled environment so I wasn’t sure if it was the Keratex or something else so although I had mentioned previously that we used it, I never did an actual review.
I wish I had gotten better photos, but I will share the photos I do have. Below are Duke’s front feet after being trimmed, where you can see the parts of them with chunks missing. This photo actually doesn’t do the damage justice. Those chunks were just flaking off with only finger pressure.
Below is a photo after the reset. The sections of white are the epoxy to create pieces of hoof to nail the shoe to. Such a pretty manicure!!
The day the above photos were taken, as soon as the farrier was finished, I went and bought a package of farriers formula and started him on it that day. I also started application of the Keratex the same day. Following the instructions on the package, I applied Keratex daily for 7 days. The packaging says to apply twice weekly after that as maintenance, but I went with 3x weekly due to the condition of his feet and how much we needed to improve by the next reset. Good idea/bad idea? I don’t know but in my mind an extra application wasn’t going to hurt anything.
Fast forward to 7 weeks later due to a farrier delay, and here is what the farrier had to say. Duke’s feet are HARD. He was able to do a reset into regular plates, with no pad for winter work! NO epoxy was needed! There is still a little bit leftover from the previous reset but by next trim it will be gone. He said they could actually use a little moisture, so he recommended to use Rainmaker 2-3x a week from this point forward.
Here is a photo of the reset after 7 weeks, just plain plates with no pad. The bill was much more acceptable! The Keratex did it’s job and then some. We have successfully managed to get hard feet in 7 weeks time with the use of this product plus the other management tips listed above from the farrier.
Verdict? If you have a horse with shelly feet that are crumbling apart, I would absolutely recommend Keratex. It appears to be the only product that chemically alters the horn of the hoof to provide results to what is essentially “dead” hoof horn. It also works on the sole, just follow the instructions on the package and stay away from the frog and the coronet band. I am not affiliated in any way with this product and I do not receive any commissions for recommending it. I am just a horse owner who has used this with fantastic results, and want to share so that it may help other horse owners with their horses if you find yourself in this situation. I hope you don’t, but if you do, give Keratex a try!