Hoof Armor in the Wet

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We have had lots of questions, recommendations and experiences of how to apply Hoof Armor in wet conditions or on a wet hoof. First a bit of Hoof Armor history on my trial and error. For many years after the three years developing the first Hoof Armor formula I followed the adhesive manufacturers’ recommendations. For any type of adhesive to stick, with few exceptions, the surface must be clean and dry. My typical procedure was to wire brush the bottom of the hoof, spray with alcohol, dry with a heat gun (until it looked dry), apply Hoof Armor, spread a thin coating over the entire bottom of the foot, and use a heat gun to cure until it was dry to the touch. This took about 5 minutes per hoof. I used a variable heat Makita heat gun set at a low temperature about as hot as a good hair dryer. That heat gun was quieter and over years I only had a few horses who were concerned with the noise. This worked with dry or wet hooves. That’s probably how I would still handle very wet hooves.

              Like much of Hoof Armor development, I learn from other users. One user told me that he forgot to bring alcohol to a barn and the Hoof Armor seemed to stick better without it. He still wire brushed and cleaned the hoof, but did not rinse with alcohol. So I tried that and it did work. Further research as to why told me that the alcohol, if not completely dry, diluted the Hoof Armor at the surface and actually slightly inhibited adhesion. However this didn’t help with very wet hooves and I still used alcohol to remove the surface moisture in those cases.

              About 12 years ago I developed the 6th formula improvement of Hoof Armor. This led to a much faster, more complete cure. This encouraged me to try to not use a heat gun. Putting a coating of dirt or sand over the Hoof Armor until it cured kept the Hoof Armor on the hoof and the sand or dirt quickly wore off because Hoof Armor is a coating and not a glue. This formula was also exothermic (gave off heat during curing) so, except for very wet hooves, it dried the surface and helped adhesion.

              But there was still a problem for very wet hooves. This past year, particularly, was a problem in many areas. And, not everyone has a facility to allow the hooves to thoroughly dry out. Again, feedback from Hoof Armor users around the world have contributed to application practices.

  • Butane torch and moisture meter – Bernzomatic (and others) makes a mini butane torch available in most hardware stores or on Amazon. The caution on this procedure is to move fast, keep a distance (6”– 8”) and don’t stay in one spot. You can hold your hand in front to tell how close is too hot. A moisture meter is also available at hardware stores. This will tell you the moisture content in the hoof surface before and/or after drying.   
  • Wax Paper – Wax Paper Hoof Armor Application

Thanks to Renee Martin for her Hoof Armor application Research and Development.

“I use wax paper to set mine, i put a paper towel on the ground these days and set my now wax paper covered foot on the paper towel. 
Here is how I do my boys feet that I have had the best experience with.

1. I always use fresh trimmed hoof,
2. Clean with wire brush, this will create a lightly roughened surface, better grip for hoof armor…kinda like painting your nails, a light roughing up makes it stay better.
3. Use alcohol to clean hoof and open pores, makes hoof eager to attach to hoof armor.
4. Let dry in hand, usually a few seconds
5. Apply hoof armor across sole, and a smidgen over the wall
6. Slap wax paper on,
7. Use, wash rag, old rag, paper towel, newspaper, or soft ground to set foot down on.
8. Immediately pick up next foot so treated foot doesn’t get picked up. 
9. When all 4 are treated pick up 1st foot to keep last foot planted.

Note: You can leave the wax paper in place on the bottom of the hoof until it comes off by itself. Hoof Armor is a coating-not a glue-so the wax paper won’t stay long.

  • Standing in shavings – I have heard success from users having the horse stand in a stall with shavings for an hour before, and then an hour after to allow Hoof Armor to cure without smearing. This seems easy if there is hay available to keep them quiet.

From Hoof Armor’s New Zealand Distributor:


A question posed by a follower was something like this…. “So do we all need to have a barn to apply it in winter/spring?”

The answer to that is no, but it sure helps.!!!

But I do understand that many of us don’t have horses near to home, we don’t have sheds/stables/barns sometimes either.

That got me thinking about a list of application ideas for the wet.

During the drier months it can be applied out in the paddock (See summer/autumn photo) .
But things change rather dramatically in winter spring here in NZ!


* A shed with a DRY dirt floor

* A shed with sawdust put down. This can be done over concrete floors. You could box an area to contain the sawdust even.

* Your horse float (trailer in the US). After your float journey, – you have drier feet, unload, move divider over and put horse back on. Apply Hoof Armor and feed in float for 30mins or so.

* Use hoof boots with a generous amount of talcum powder in the boot. My personal preference of boot is the blue boot made by Shoof as it is generous in size and wont rub-allows air to circulate. Try and use a boot a little larger than the normal boot if you have them handy.

* Non-stick baking paper. Cut a generous size and stick to bottom of hoof after application of Hoof Armor. Apply duct tape to hoof wall to hold it there for 30 minutes or so. Keep the horse on a soft dry area during this time to avoid ripping the paper.
* Baking paper method again but apply the duct tape to all of one side of the baking paper. Then place the baking paper side on the prepared foot. The duct tape side will be on the outside and on the ground, this will give it strength.- tape off at the walls. Do this gently and you could reuse.

* Rubber matting and a hair dryer, stand off in your garage.

* Large rubber inner tube. Cut to hoof, fill with powder and tape to hoof.

*Dry hoof with a butane torch. I use a “cigarette lighter” type of torch which I got from Bunnings. Very cheap to purchase. I run it over the hoof prior to application and then i run it over again afterwards.
This awesome tip actually originated from Pete Ramey.

* SPOT Applications. This is worth a mention because some of these areas wont even touch the ground during the cure process…. an abscess hole wont sometimes, thrushy areas is another. These parts of the hoof – I have just applied Hoof Armor and let the horse loose on a dry surface or concrete until I feel its dry and non-tacky.

Hope this helps!!!
I will add in more as ideas come to hand.
Please feel free to share any tips you may have.

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David Jones

David Jones was designing robotics when a farrier put 4 shoes on his horse and guaranteed them for 6 weeks. Two weeks later they had all fallen off. Frustrated, David went to Michigan School of Horseshoeing to learn how to do it himself. When his neighbors found out and offered to pay him, it became a new career path. After teaching horseshoeing nationwide and becoming one of the top Morgan and Saddlebred farriers, David again found himself frustrated. In certain cases, it was nearly impossible for shoes to stay on a horse. There had to be a solution…a protective adhesive coating…nothing to fall off!!! After trying everything available, failure was followed by three years of trial and error formulating. Finally, David developed Hoof Armor, which met his 4 criteria: harder than a hoof, more flexible than a hoof, cures in about a minute or less, and stays on a hoof for up to 100-mile endurance. Now in its 6th formula improvement, Hoof Armor also contains a natural antimicrobial that actually increases elasticity and builds sole thickness, as well as treating White Line Disease, Thrush and wound care. Hoof Armor is now sold worldwide. Combined with David’s simple and conservative trim technique, Hoof Armor horses are in nearly all disciplines and doing 50, 75 and 100 mile races every week.

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