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FormaHoof barefoot horse

Have you heard of FormaHoof – the newest face in the world of hoof care? Promising to support a number of conditions, it could prove quite handy for owners of horses with less than perfect hooves

If you’ve ever had a horse that suffers from laminitis, seedy toe, white line disease, collapsed heels, dry, brittle and cracked feet or any other hoof problems that can afflict our equine charges, you’ll know that the old adage ‘No hoof, no horse’ has a sound basis in reality. The fact is that the conformation and condition of the feet has a major influence on soundness and, ultimately, their ability to work and perform to the best of their ability.

The fact is that the way horses are shod hasn’t changed significantly over the years. There are newer, lighter materials available than the traditional iron shoe and nails – there are new pads and wedges that help increase comfort and support hoof balance, too. However, in the case of a horse whose hoof conformation or quality leaves a little (or a lot) to be desired, a little more flexibility might be beneficial.

A new approach

Enter FormaHoof, a new approach to hoof care that offers a solution to a wide range of hoof problems in horses, from laminitis and navicular, to seedy toe, white line disease, poor conformation and beyond. It uses flexible, reusable moulds and an adaptable polyurethane resin that gives horses durable support that not only contours to the hoof but mimics its natural function and enables the hoof to heal and grow.

FormaHoof application

 

 

So, just how could FormaHoof support some of the major hoof-related conditions? Alongside appropriate veterinary and farriery attention, there are a number of ailments that could feel its benefit…

Laminitis

Laminitis is an extremely painful condition caused by inflammation of the tissues bonding the hoof wall to the pedal bone in the hoof (the laminae). As the hoof wall is rigid, the swollen laminae within it are unable to expand, which results in the pedal bone sinking or rotating within the hoof under the horse’s weight.

How FormaHoof helps The quick and safe application process gives immediate comfort and provides the hoof with a clean environment 24 hours a day, with no chance of urine or faeces re-infecting the area. FormaHoof uses a carefully researched polyurethane resin that eliminates the need to drive nails into an already inflamed hoof structure, and once the application is complete, the shared weight is disbursed across the entire hoof, allowing even growth across the entire hoof.

Click here to read about Libby – a laminitic who was given a new lease of life by FormaHoof.

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Did you know?

Diseases such as laminitis are also reaching epidemic proportions and can result in many, many months of severe pain and long roads to recovery, if at all for many horses.

Navicular syndrome

Navicular syndrome is caused by the inflammation or degeneration of the navicular bone and its surrounding tissues, which can lead to significant or permanent lameness. Prevalent in warmbloods, Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, navicular syndrome usually becomes evident between the ages of 8–10.

How FormaHoof helps The podiatry system addresses navicular disease by realigning the hoof-pastern axis, reducing stress on the tendons and ligaments in the hoof and leg. The application results in reduced stress on the navicular bursa and heel area and provides support to the external sole, which allows the structure to improve, the medial coronary band to relax and horse to land evenly with an improved stride.

Did you know?

FormaHoof is available in a wide range of mould sizes, so all breeds and sizes can be accommodated, resulting in a customised and perfect fitting each time.

Hoof cracks

Hoof cracks occur when the horn dries out and loses elasticity and, although in some cases they’re genetic, they can be controlled and often cured with a balanced diet and good hoof management. Cracks can appear in any place around the hoof, top or bottom, and may or may not cause lameness. However, cracks can lead to infections and hoof loss, and should be addressed as soon as possible.  The biggest issue is that organisms can enter the cracks and invade the inner tissues, which result in pain and additional hoof and veterinary care.

How FormaHoof helps By eliminating the leverage on the hoof wall that causes flaring, structural cracks can be kept to a minimum or eliminated entirely. The hoof becomes encapsulated in a moisture-mediated control environment, eradicating the bacteria and organisms that cause infection and forces that create cracks, while offering support and protection, enabling the hoof to grow.

Hoof abscess

Hoof abscesses can be caused by the trauma of a nail or other sharp object penetrating the hoof sole, white line or frog, which allows bacteria to enter the hoof capsule and infection to brew. Another cause of abscesses is connected to hoof cracks, which allow bacteria to enter and tend to be as a result of extremely dry conditions or a soft sole caused by very wet conditions.

The abscess itself is caused by bacteria multiplying within the infected area, which causes pus to gather and spread, creating pressure within the hoof wall and becoming painful. The pus usually finds an escape through the path of least resistance – typically the coronary band, hoof bulb or wall. The most obvious signs of an abscess is clear (often extreme) lameness, a warm hoof wall, sensitivity to hoof testers and an increased digital pulse.

How FormaHoof helps When a horse is in FormaHoof, direct puncture wounds from nails and foreign objects are prevented in the first place, as the hoof is encased by protective resin. In a hoof that already has an abscess, FormaHoof can be used as to secure a poultice, enabling the affected area to be unloaded and for the pus and discharge to drain into a medicated pad.

 

FormaHoof fitting

 

Multi-functional hoofcare

FormaHoof allows you to protect your horse’s foot through the various stages of his athletic career, by encapsulating and preserving the hoof structure and correcting irregular palmar angles. The long-term advantages of an application can be summed up in two key functions…

  1. To support the biomechanical functions of the hoof and leg as it replicates the horse’s natural hoof angles within every mould.
  2. To increase or develop the proper solar concavity, by allowing the natural expansion and contraction of the hoof. This can be accomplished thanks to the functional solar arch already designed within the FormaHoof mould.

Another key benefit of using FormaHoof is that, unlike traditional recovery recommendations, it allows your horse to return to work while his feet heal, avoiding lengthy and expensive layoff periods.

For more information, visit formahoof.com

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