November 18, 2015

Hoof Adhesives in Wet Conditions

Wet weather and muddy conditions are difficult situations for anything adhesive…temporary wetness like riding through creeks, passing through wet ground, and time at the wash rack don’t pose insurmountable problems for adhesive applications, but standing in water or mud is different.  

Sole-Guard is a urethane pad material that can help in some situations, however it is limited to 2 to 3 weeks, and in a mud environment, that could be much shorter since feet swell and shrink with excess moisture then dry out, making it difficult to keep something bonded. Sole-Guard is also not recommended for soles that are already bruised or sensitive; it’s more designed as a preventative pad for barefoot trail riding, and for brood mares when they are carrying extra weight.  In other words it’s a preventative rather than a fix.  What you’ll face next is the mud drying out and causing more soreness.  That is when Sole-Guard might be better.

If you must turn your horse out during the day, we suggest a couple of options.  First, a boot during the day, then barefoot at night; we have an application for providing cushion in the bottom of the boot (better than foam) since most boots have a hard floor.  Second, shoe the horse with padding until the situation improves.  Even good barefoot horses can benefit from a shoeing during periods of bad environment. We suggest the best option is to shoe the horse for a couple cycles since boots often get sucked off easily in mud and you don’t want to encase the foot in a rubber boot for very long or you will see changes in the shape of the hoof capsule.  Your only other option is to keep the horse stalled until his feet dry out and improve….although that can be tough to do.