Hoof cauterization


Barbara Rosensteel
 

Has anyone ever heard of cauterizing (or "burning" as it was called) the bottom of the hoof wall allegedly to close the ends of the tubules thus holding moisture in and promoting strong walls and thicker soles?    When the farrier said it is what he would like to do to my new 10-yr-old thoroughbred who has thin soles and walls, I emphatically said "No!", but I want to know if anyone else has ever heard of it and has any information on it.

Thanks,
Barbara Rosensteel
Baxter, TN


Barbara Rosensteel
 

I will add to my post by also asking if anyone knows anything about "Venice turpentine".  I had a new-to-me farrier trim my horse today.   He applied Venice turpentine to "harden the sole".   And he said that what he would do to strengthen my horse's hooves would be to "burn" them.  Hence my initial question.   I had never heard of either Venice turpentine for sole hardening (and why would I want an external hardener when what my horse needs is a trim that will help to create concavity and sole depth, not hardness as a cosmetic fix), or "burning" the hoof.  Neither seems like a good idea to me.  But there is still much I need to learn about hooves and i didn't want to come off as a "difficult" client, until at least i could find out more about both things.    There are no qualified natural hoof care practitioners anywhere close by.  

I currently supplement my horse's diet with added copper, zinc, biotin (16 mg now but increasing to 30 mg), and methionine (among other minerals and amino acids), and hope that this is working to  create a stronger, healthy hoof growing in.  

Thanks,
Barbara Rosensteel
Baxter, TN


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Hi Barbara,

Venice Turpentine has been around a long time as a sole paint. It can help to toughen the soles to some degree but can't replace a proper trim. It's not harmful. Usually, a sole is sensitive because it is thinner than it needs to be. Need to get at the root cause to actually cure the problem.

Burning the bottoms of the walls has also been around a long time and comes into and out of fashion: it's when the farrier takes the shoe, heats it up after fitting it to the hoof, then holds it onto the hoof while still hot. There's no way it can actually make the soles thicker. A tightly mineral balanced diet along with a physiologically correct trim are the cornerstones for helping the horse grow the best hoof it is capable of.

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Lavinia
Jan 2005, RI

Moderator/ECIR Support


Johnson, Cathy
 
Edited

We switched farriers in late 2020, after having problems with the one we had used for over 5 years.  The new farrier does both hot and cold shoeing, and barefoot.  He wouldn't take us on as clients unless we had front x-rays done on all 3 horses so he could see the internal structures before he started trimming.  One of our horses has PPID and we have struggled with his feet.  He is on a mineral balanced diet, which helped, but didn't solve hoof wall issues where the wall gets crumbly at the base.  However, we were successful in growing beautiful deep soles on all feet.  The new farrier prefers to hot shoe this horse to seal the wall/sole/white line connection.  It has definitely made a difference with the wall being less crumbly.  (We have had 3 shoeing cycles so far so I feel comfortable making this statement.)  One of our horses has slowly been developing a "gap" in the wall/white line/sole connection.  This is something the previous farrier wasn't concerned about, but we were.  The new farrier is also concerned and hot shoes this horse as well to seal the bottom of the "gap" to keep bacteria out to prevent abscesses.  He is trimming this horse differently than the previous farrier(shortened toes and getting more heal to grow) and we hope to see a strengthened wall/white line connection over the next 12 months as her hooves grow.  The third horse has fabulous feet and gets cold shod.  All 3 are shod in the front and barefoot on the back.
_._,_._,_
Cathy Johnson
joined 2017
Washington State

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Cathy Johnson
joined in 2017
located in Roy, WA


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Hi Cathy,

You were correct to be concerned about the horse developing the "gap", as that was a signal his trim was not as physiologically correct as it should have been. Sounds like the new farrier is seeing this and making the necessary corrections - backing up the toes.
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Lavinia
Jan 2005, RI

Moderator/ECIR Support


suzy zarek
 

Some farriers around here say that they need to heat the hoof to draw the moisture up. They want to do it when the hoof is very hard and dry. They take a blow torch and run it on the sole for a few seconds.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 


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Suzy Nebraska 2019


Barbara Rosensteel
 

Thank you all for your replies.  But I still don't know whether this practice of burning the bottom of the hoof wall has actual benefits, does more harm than good, or does no good at all. 

Lavinia, you write that it has come in and out of fashion, but not the purpose of the technique - why was it done in the first place? 

In the case of Cathy's horses, it sounds like the purpose of the hot-shoeing was to prevent white line infection and abscesses, and to prevent the bottom of the hoof wall from crumbling.  But that the growth of deep soles and a stronger hoof was due to other factors (proper trim, nutrition, and time), and not the burning.     

  My farrier is sold on it, but if it doesn't do any real good that a good balanced trim and nutrition won't do much better, then I see no reason to have it done.   I would like to have a reasoned explanation to give him when I refuse to have it done.   I will ask him specifically why he thinks burning the hoof would lead to improvements in sole depth and hoof wall strength, and see what answer he gives.  

As for the Venice turpentine, would a good hoof dressing  do just as well, or does that tend to soften, instead of harden, the hoof wall and sole?

Thanks again,
Barbara


Bobbie Day
 

Around here a blow torch is used to “soften “ the hoof. We have hard, dry surfaces.
My horses wouldn’t stand for it.


Bobbie Day
 

I should have said to soften it enough to used the nippers 
because they’re so hard and dry.
ive used Venice turpentine on Desi’s soles but didn’t help her, I have it on hand though.