Flies and Hoof Harm

We had some promising looking rain clouds hanging around today, but once again, nothin’. So frustrating! We need the rain so bad!

Cloudy day
Luke’s front hoof looks like this from being so dry and stomping from the flies. I might have to put shoes on him for the first time in the 7 years I’ve had him. I did put some hoof conditioner on but I doubt that will help much. Just makes me feel like I’m doing something.

Cracked horse hoof

Murphy, with his platter-sized feet, is doing just fine.


Luke also has managed to kick or step on himself, probably also fly induced. Believe it or not, I cleaned out this cut, but the stuff I put on to keep the flies away is obviously a dust magnet. I didn’t even notice the bloody spot in the front where the brownish fur starts. Wonder what that’s from?

Horse injury

Yesterday, Java and I drove to another park that I want to trailer Luke to this weekend. It’s a state forest so I had to buy a trail license today in order to not get tagged if I ride there.

Java and I walked down a hiking trail while we were there. I wish I would have remembered to bring my camera because it was beautiful, with trees looming over us and so thick you couldn’t see where the trail was going to.

I’ll have to carry a camera when I take Luke there. A hand-held GPS would be nice too because the park is huge and I couldn’t find a trail map. I might not make it out again, which reminds me, I need to buy a water bottle holder to hook onto my saddle.

I’ll need to lavishly apply fly spray to both Luke and I when we go, because the deer flies are out in full force. Even Java, with her thick coat, was getting irritated by them.

The horses generally don’t start looking this worn out from heat and bugs until late June/early August. But it’s been a weird summer so far and not in a good way, at least not in a good way for horses.

Horses showing summer stress

I guess you have to take the bad with the good during the summer…

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  1. Brandy’s hooves start to look like Lukes, in August. But since it has been so dry here, they are looking chipped up already, and she was just trimmed last week. I have only put shoes on her one time since I’ve owned her, she does fine barefoot. I put shoes on her last August because of the chipping, it of course helped! I am putting shoes on her again this August. I only do it to prevent chipping, not because she needs them. Fritzy has to have shoes on. She is flat footed and has a terrible time.
    I hope you go try out the state park! But please don’t get lost! Do you take Java with you when you ride? You probably can’t in a state park, I don’t know the rules. Where we ride, dogs are allowed.
    The flies and skeeters are really bad out on our trails. We went riding again today, and they were all over us and the horses. Thank goodness I put on bug spray, and coated Brandy in flyspray, which didn’t seem to help her! But I didn’t get bit this time!

  2. We’ll send you some of our rain!! No problem.

    It’s funny about the barefoot thing. Absolutely everyone around here seems to have shoes on their horses for the summer. Perhaps it’s the very rocky trails and the dry weather that we normally have.

  3. My farrier is coming over Sunday morning and will check out whether it looks like Luke needs shoes or is just overdue for a trim. He’s generally ridden on sand or grass but when it gets so dry and buggy, it’s bad news for hooves.

    Paint Girl – I did make it to the state forest and got lost, but obviously found my way out. You can take dogs on certain trails, including the horse trails, but Java is not well behaved enough to go along on rides.

  4. The only topical stuff for dry hooves that I’ve found to work is a product out of Canada – Hypona Horse Care Products, Inc.
    The stuff is called Hypona Hoof Balsam. It’s a very stinky oil-based formula that you paint on the walls, sole and frog using a paintbrush. Stinks like fish oil, but it works amazingly well. You can find it online and they will ship directly to you. Or, we buy it from a local farrier supply company.

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