California summer days bring hot and dry conditions. This type of sizzling weather affects your horses’ hooves. As always, focus on adequate nutrition, plenty of water, exercise, and supplementation with electrolytes when necessary. And, make sure that hooves are exposed to moisture.
Any time the hoof does not have routine contact with water, contraction becomes a risk. The frog, bulb and white line, which contain large amounts of water, can dry out quickly. The drying of these structures results in:
Loss of elasticity and resilience in the hoof
The loss of optimal hoof shape as a result of shrinkage
The loss of the hoof’s ability to serve as a “shock absorber”
Open spaces where healthy tissues once were, enabling the invasion of bacteria, fungus, and parasites
Chips and cracks becoming more prominent due to the loss of elasticity and structure.
Many horse owners try to treat dry hooves with a paint-on dressing. It is important to
recognize that no topical application will take the place of the natural moisture of water.
There are some simple steps you can take during very dry conditions that will help keep your horse’s hooves adequately hydrated:
When filling or cleaning water tanks, leave some standing water on the ground.
When hosing your horse to cool him, do so in an area where water can collect around his feet.
Allow hooves to be exposed to water past the coronet band every day during dry seasons.
Regular trimming schedule as recommend by your farrier or trimmer to keep feet balanced.