For any horse hobbyist and anyone who is a caregiver of horses, hoof crack can be a very serious problem if it is not handled properly.
What I have seen here in my country, the problem of hoof cracks have been decreased among trotters, because the training and racing circumstances are better for horses nowadays. The ground is better for horses to run and by that also better for hooves.
Universally looking this problem, people who have horses as a hobby, mostly as riding horses or pets, are facing hoof crack problems more often.
I think the reason for that is just the lack of information how to take care of horses in whole, and in what kind of ground horses can be exercised, and in what kind of ideal circumstances the horse should spend his time, in pasture, paddock and stable.
It is almost never possible to give the horse the ideal circumstances, and therefore it is important that the owner/caretaker of the horse helps him to manage. Some hints about that later in this article.
Common reasons for hoof crack happen when a horse is galloping or trotting on hard ground.
The hoof will get a very strong concussion when hitting the ground, much like a person who falls and hits his head. When the hoof is hitting the hard ground, there is a big possibility that the hoof will crack.
The hoof itself doesn’t have a shock absorber, ok, the flexibility of sound hoof is some kind of that, but the ground should be the one for the hoof. So, soft/flexible ground is always better for the horse hoof in providing shock absorption and hard ground will not.
Weak walls of the hoof are one reason, because they can’t manage the pressure and they cracks. Weak walls can be a reason of bad hoof material or thin wall.
Laminitis can cause hoof crack because of the changes in the hoof.
Very dry horn of the hoof is causing cracks because the hoof has lost its flexibility.
The list of reasons for cracked hooves is quite long: bad heels, improper shoeing, unbalanced hoof, sharp stones, these all can be reasons for hoof crack, so it is important that person who shoes the horse, knows what he is doing.
Also, if a horse has studs, and by accident steps on the coronary band making a hole to it, the hole can also start a hoof crack.
Weather conditions, climate, can cause hoof crack too: too dry conditions can dry the hoof too much and the hoof is losing its flexibility, and too wet can moist the hoof too much and the hoof will be too soft.
Heel cracks and cracks which are close to the heel, are the difficult ones, because there are not so much hoof wall to work with(to put a patch for example), and heel cracks are usually infected, so they need more work to get away the infection first, if there is a possibility to patch it.
A quarter crack mostly tells you that the horse, or the hoof, is overworked and the horse need some rest. One reason for quarter crack can be when the horse is tired, in a race for example, he can step in bad angle the hoof to the ground and by that getting the crack. The horse can’t control his movements good enough anymore.
By Hannu Polvi
About The Author
To read more about how to prevent and treat Hoof Crack, you used to be able to continue reading more on this topic at this site, http://www.horsehoofandfootproblem.com/articles/hoofcrackarticle.html, but its server can not be found.
Hannu Polvi is a Finnish hobbyists, trotter owner and trainer, having horses more or less about 28 years.