Thursday, August 17, 2017

Moist hooves

Thor is checking out the scenery and I am dreaming of this red iforWilliams trailer.

As probably everyone who has ever read my blog knows, Thor does not have the best hoof quality. For the past years I have been feeding him Farrier Formula Double -strength and after that I continued with Chia de Gracia's Check My Hooves -herb mix

After a pretty disastrous summer a few years back we have only been going upward and with our fantastic farrier and the right care Thor's hooves were looking and feeling amazing before the summer. 

The must have sceleton picture from the clinic.

Last summer Thor lost one shoe but other than that the summer went really well. Summer is usually the hardest time with the hooves and this summer Thor lost the left front shoe (the left front is definitely the one we have had the biggest problems with) but we got it on the day after.  I had reserved a clinic time to our farrier for the next shoeing but it wasn't until next week and he was almost loosing his shoes again after five weeks of shoeing. 

Hooves in all its forms and sizes.

The day before yesterday I was practicing loading with Thor before the clinic time we managed to get for yesterday at Viikin eläinsairaala with Jaska. During the loading Thor kicked of the left front shoe again and I put on some "Jeesusteippiä" for the night to keep the heal as intact as possible. 

Yesterday I woke up at 4 am and left to the stable at 5 am. Tiina helped me with the loading that went extremely well and then we headed off for our daily adventure with Thor. 

As always I love visiting horse clinics. Especially when I get to learn new stuff and we do not have any serious issues with our animals. This time Jaska did the shoeing and we were asking a lot of questions with the veterinary candidates. Jaska was a bit worried about Thor's left front and even if he got the shoe on the hoof he said that it is really too short and that everything we do with a hoof in such a bad shape is a risk. He said that the problem with Thor's hooves is that they are too moist and if he would squeeze them there would probably come a liter of water out of them. 

Shoes in all its forms and sizes.

Because the hooves are moist the nails do not hold and the shoes start to loosen within weeks of the shoeing. He said that the most important thing would be to get the hooves dryer and stronger in that way. 

Nobody had ever told this to me before and it made sense since we have only had problems in the summer time with the hooves. Thor has also had different bedding this summer and Jaska said that  the bedding we use and especially how well we clean the bedding is of uttermost importance. E.g. powder (puru) has a PH value that is not suitable for horse hooves. 

We also discussed plastic shoes and talked how the bacteria can grow in them and that at least Jaska has still not found any replacement that he could recommend to steel shoes. That does not mean that he wouldn't use plastic shoes or even build hooves from a mass for horses with hoof problems. But for normal, healthy hooves he still uses the old fashioned steel ones. 

I also asked him what he thinks if I would take the shoes of completely. He said that he wouldn't mind me doing it but I would need to prepare for at least a three month period before they would start to strengthen. 

After the shoeing I thanked Jaska so much and then I got some help from a few students in loading Thor. He didn't want to go in directly so we drove the trailer between two paddocks so he couldn't pass by on the sides. That was a really nice way to load Thor since it didn't give him any options and he went nicely in after the second try. I was so happy because on both times he did not even think of backing out. I do not mind loading him for a longer time but I really want him to stay inside once he is in the trailer. Luckily I had watched Brett Kidding's trailer loading demonstrations a couple of nights before so it made me laugh out load about all the things I was thinking about doing with him. 

After the clinic we drove straight to another stable. I unloaded Thor there and let him out with a few other horses into a large field. All went well and at least I have not heard anything from the stable owner today which is always good news. I really hope it will work out since I want to offer to Thor a life where he can move as much as he wants to. 

The day was a long one but such a lovely one together with my amazing horse. Thor is just so dear to me and I am always happy when he is happy. I will tell more about the new home soon. 

More hoof related articles can be found here.


  1. What an interesting read. Thank you Kia for sharing this.��

    I've always thought that most problems with horse's shoes falling off are due to the hooves being too dry. Sounds so silly to admit that I never thought it could be because of the hooves being too moist. And I had never heard that the PH for powder isn't suitable for hooves. �� There's so much one doesn't know about horses and their wellbeing! But with an open and curious mind you'll learn something new every day. Thank you Kia helping me on the way!

    Looking forward to hear how Thor is settling in to his new home.

    Maarit L. ��

    1. Thank you so much Maarit L. for your kind words. Isn't it funny how much there is to learn. Just amazing. This one lifetime is just simply not enough.:)

      Are you coming to Horse Show and Ladies Night this year?

    2. Absolutely! Bought my ticket for the whole show already last December. =) Now I just have to get a ticket for the Wednesday show which was added afterwards.

  2. Super duper fun! See you there then.:)