As if you didn’t have enough to cope with, now the constant wet and mud means your horse keeps losing his shoes!
Sometimes it seems like the mud literally just sucks the shoes off, but it isn’t all down to the mud – the health of your horse’s hooves is the overriding factor.
The horse’s hoof is designed to hold a small amount of water to keep it strong, resilient and elastic to the forces of hard ground. BUT, when the hoof becomes saturated (imagine a sponge) the hoof wall will lose its structural integrity. The cells will become swollen and thus the whole hoof will start to lose its shape and it’s strength. Research has shown that the hoof is weakest when saturated. Excess moisture will disrupt the keratin molecules, and the bonds that hold them together. They swell, and lose their strength, making it much easier for a shoe to work lose. Also the constant wet allows bacteria and fungi to enter via the nail holes, weakening the hoof further and loosening the tightness of the nail.
Although we can’t do much about the mud, we can make our horse’s hooves more resilient to the wet. Feeding nutrients specifically to help strengthen the hoof wall, such as Hoof Hero, will help to protect the hooves against the wet. Ensuring that the keratin and hoof wall is in its optimum condition will help to ensure it can withstand the contstant wet and mud of winter.
Unfortunately it is not as simple as just brining your horse in. If he is out in the day and in and night, the constant wetting, then drying, swelling then contracting will also cause shoes to loosen!
If your horse is prone to losing his shoes, feeding a supplement such as Hoof Hero can make a real difference.