After lots of years of farrier work I know that each season has its own challenges as far as traditional hoof protection – horseshoes and rubber boots. I’m sure horse owners are aware that in the northern U.S. most horses will have their shoes pulled for the winter. In the snow belt I remember pulling shoes in October and saying goodbye to the horse until May. With three feet of snow on the ground it was “out of sight, out of mind”. Some farriers up north spent the time making horseshoes for spring; some went on welfare for the winter. Rubber Boots are temporary protection and, besides falling off, will retain moisture.
There is a reason for pulling shoes…they come off. If the snow doesn’t pull them off, the mud will. Also, if they do stay on snow will ball up under the hoof by catching on the interior ledge making upside-down snow cones which make it very difficult and dangerous for horses to walk. Unless hooves are trimmed throughout the winter, they will be chipped and broken in spring. I remember trying to put toe-weight shoes and pads on Saddlebreds in spring…not much left to nail to.
In contrast, Hoof Armor will protect the hoof throughout the winter. Nothing to fall off, nothing to make snowballs and a preventative for chipping provided the hooves are trimmed regularly. The non-stick surface prevents snow from sticking and also keeps excess moisture from weakening the hoof. Any snow that packs in the hoof ends up coming out in the form of a puck!
When we’re just done dealing with Winter’s excessive moisture, along comes a wet spring. Here again, Hoof Armor protects the bottom of the hoof from excessive moisture just as the periople, the shiny coating which naturally grows on the top surface of a hoof, seals out excessive moisture. Probably the worst for hoof health is alternating wet/dry periods. This leads to brittleness and small cracks. Hoof Armor allows the hoof to maintain its internal moisture level by protecting the sole. It is similar to the protection the periople affords the rest of the hoof.
Next comes summer and maybe a drought. The hooves dry out and try to shrink. Have you ever watched a fresh hoof trimming laid out in the sun? It goes from hoof shaped to a shrunken pretzel shape. A hoof would do that too, if it didn’t have the periople to help maintain the existing moisture in the hoof. Hoof Armor in this case, assists the sole in keeping ground moisture levels from negatively effecting the hoof so it remains healthy throughout the dry periods.
Autumn can again be excessively wet but the anti-microbial elements in Hoof Armor will help prevent bacteria from attacking the hoof. White Line Disease can be made up of any combination of over 40 fungi, aerobic bacteria or anaerobic bacteria. Hoof Armor has been used to cure White Line Disease and even toenail canker in an elephant.
Hoof Armor, along with regular natural hoof trimming, is the way to keep hooves in top shape year-round.