SBS EQUINE RESEARCH FACILITY, Naples, FL
Modern “Dual-Action” Hoof Conditioners perform better and last longer than Grandpa’s pine tar and hoof oil.
What makes an ideal hoof conditioner?
To be truly effective, todays hoof conditioners, dressings, and treatments need to perform two major functions: 1) provide moisture balance to the hoof, and 2) protect the hoof against infection. Unfortunately, the ability of most hoof oils to resist fungus and bacteria do not benefit the hoof, but are usually limited to prolonging the useful life of the oil itself. Oils are fats. They are self contained and do little to influence the surrounding fungus and bacteria that contribute to hoof disease. Like your next shower, these fats tend to wash off very quickly. They must be reapplied frequently and tend remain tacky and wet after they are applied. This usually negates their useful life on the sole and frog, which also needs protection.
What did Grandpa use?
Grandpa and his grandfather before him intuitively used pine tar to help the hoof maintain the hoof’s natural moisture balance to resist chipping and cracking. Pine tar, unfortunately, had its drawbacks, but Grandpa was on the right track. Later came products that contain hoof oils made from plants, animals, and petroleum-based ingredients. Hoof oils are really fats with fancy names. Animal fats (oils) are classified as lanolin, emu oil, fish oil, neat foot oil, and beeswax. Vegetables fats (oils) from plants include tea tree oil, aloe vera, pine tar, caster oil, linseed oil, cottoned oil, wheat germ oil, peppermint oil, jojoba oil, etc.
What are “Dual-Action” Hoof Conditioners?
SBS Sav-A-Hoof Protectant and SBS TOPCOAT are examples of dual-action hoof conditioners. Both products provide an antiseptic barrier against infection, and a protective coating for moisture control. Together they influence the entire hoof capsule including the horn, sole & frog. Domesticated horses are confined animals. They do not roam freely like wild horses. Domestication creates a unique set of circumstances and problems for horses and their hooves.
What hoof care options exist today?
SBS EQUINE has upgraded two of their most popular hoof conditioners to optimize their strength. SBS Sav-A-Hoof Protectant and SBS TOPCOAT are dual-action hoof conditioners that coat and protect the entire hoof capsule (horn, sole, and frog). The finish coat of these products are made from natural proteins which help to maintain the hoof’s natural moisture balance. There are also scientific ingredients that provide hoof tissue with an antiseptic barrier against infection. Grandpa would have been proud to use these products, had the technology existed in his day. Thanks Grandpa for getting us this far!