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criso
23-01-11, 03:30 PM
Following on from a discussion I had with my farrier.
Frankie used to have horrible crumbly feet but since taking him barefoot and sorting out his diet that's all changed.

He was trimmed the other day and I was chatting to the farrier and we were talking about how much his feet had improved when he said something that took me by surprise. " Of course, you don't want them to get too hard".

His viewpoint is that there should be some give in the horn itself to shock absorb otherwise there would be jarring further up the limb.

So can hooves be too hard? Opinions please. :)

cptrayes
23-01-11, 05:10 PM
Oh please!?!? Ask your farrier to tell you what proportion of his customers' horses he nails steel to!!!! The very composition of horn, tubules of stuck together hair full of water, essentially, will prevent it ever becoming "too hard".

Now with a good barefoot horse there IS such a thing as a "too blunt" rasp and you'll often find them associated with Shetlands :)

criso
23-01-11, 05:47 PM
Well I hadn't done as much roadwork with the snow and he had to nip a tiny bit off the backs. He did look a little red faced as strained to trim ;)

DuckFatRoasties
23-01-11, 06:14 PM
Wow.. natural iron hooves! Now that's progress!!! LOL!!!

cptrayes
23-01-11, 06:42 PM
Oh... so he didn't mean "YOU don't want them too hard, he meant IIIIII don't want them too hard" :)

DuckFatRoasties
23-01-11, 06:49 PM
LOL!!

criso
23-01-11, 09:26 PM
Joking aside I am genuinely curious if this is a generally held belief or a one off.

And farrier is a very nice guy who is learning lots from what he can see before him. He's fairly open minded but if all your training has taught you something, then it takes a while to revise those opinions.

DuckFatRoasties
23-01-11, 09:49 PM
Sorry Criso... I honestly think he was talking in a context only you and him can speak from. In all my reading I've never come across this and hoof is just keratin, the quality will vary but the harder the better is the general proviso.

The hoof itself is not circular and grows down in a cone shape and naturally flexes with the frog, bulb and other structures under pressure whether 'too hard' or not. It's impossible for it not to flex unless shod.

cptrayes
23-01-11, 10:00 PM
OK, joking aside I have never in 30 years of owning horses ever heard anyone at all say that a hoof can be too hard. If you put it under a microscope you can see that horn is made up of tubules like hairs. If you cut a ring of it off the bottom of a foot, you can always flex it with your fingers, and as it dries it curls up, showing how much fluid was in it even though it seemed hard and dry. To finish the picture, it is not a complete circle, but missing the back portion. I too believe that it is impossible that an unshod hoof, however hard it seems to rasp, will not flex under the weight of the horse.

DuckFatRoasties
23-01-11, 10:04 PM
OK, joking aside I have never in 30 years of owning horses ever heard anyone at all say that a hoof can be too hard. If you put it under a microscope you can see that horn is made up of tubules like hairs. If you cut a ring of it off the bottom of a foot, you can always flex it with your fingers, and as it dries it curls up, showing how much fluid was in it even though it seemed hard and dry. To finish the picture, it is not a complete circle, but missing the back portion. I too believe that it is impossible that an unshod hoof, however hard it seems to rasp, will not flex under the weight of the horse.

Thats what i meant "not a complete circle":rolleyes:

criso
23-01-11, 10:38 PM
Tallyho - we were actually talking generallly as. I had been saying how pleased I was with how his feet had improved and he came out with that comment. So I ushed a little on his reasoning. I just smile and nod. It's not the oddest thing. I've heard,

DuckFatRoasties
24-01-11, 08:57 AM
Tallyho - we were actually talking generallly as. I had been saying how pleased I was with how his feet had improved and he came out with that comment. So I ushed a little on his reasoning. I just smile and nod. It's not the oddest thing. I've heard,

You probably did the best thing - if my farrier said that I'd probably do the same :rolleyes: maybe he was having a joke and it was a backhanded compliment... who knows :D

Archangel
24-01-11, 09:27 AM
Over the years I think vitually every farrier I have had has cussed my Arabs' hard feet. I just smile and think it can only be a good thing. Then I got a chunky great oaf of a horse and guess what? more cussing - apparently he's got feet like a butcher's block too! Sigh.

So no, harder the better I say.

ThePony
24-01-11, 12:09 PM
Not convinced that a good hard working hoof can be too hard, though in the summer I did wonder if hard could also be 'too dry' due to a lowering of the moisture levels in the hoof? What are your guys thoughts on this? Not sure if strong but dry hooves would start to crack or just seem hard?
My farrier does come out with some funny ones. I do the 'smile and carry on' I'm afraid! He does a nice job with their hooves, is good with the horses and turns up on time. For that I can forgive him his slightly strange, disbeliving in the face of evidence, type comments!

DuckFatRoasties
24-01-11, 02:31 PM
Hooves can definitely be dry to the eye but you should only worry if brittle/flaky. That could mean something up with diet perhaps... dry and strong is a good thing!

ThePony
24-01-11, 02:34 PM
Hooves can definitely be dry to the eye but you should only worry if brittle/flaky. That could mean something up with diet perhaps... dry and strong is a good thing!

That's fab to know thank you, it is something I was wondering about. My farrier often says my mares hooves are dry (absolutly no sign of flakiness/brittle/crumbly etc - they are smashing rock crunching hard hooves) and then suggests I oil them. I'm afraid his oil suggestion then wipes out any truth I might find in the dryness comment!

criso
25-01-11, 09:59 AM
During the dry spell in the summer mne had no problems with cracking. No oils though I do give them a little spray with water in the summer.