What's smelly, lingers, and lurks inside the cracks, crevasses, and sulcus of your horse's hoof?
I bet you've guessed it… thrush.
Most horses at one point or another experience this stinky, corrosive concern. Because the truth of the matter is, the hoof by design is like a vacation home and ideal environment for bacteria and fungus concerns like thrush to thrive.
The best and most effective approach to reducing thrush is environment control…
Your job as a horse owner is to frequently (daily or a few times a week at least) pick your horse's hooves, therefore removing as much debris and thrush breeding/feeding material as possible.
The second “environment” you will want to support is the microbiome of the GI tract.
The options I most often choose contain a prebiotic, probiotic, and digestive enzyme. Ideally you want to support all three of these if your horse encounters health conditions, injury, or is under high amounts of stress.
For my herd I like to use hay pellets from Wild Fed Horse which contain probiotics and chia seeds for additional digestive support. Above and beyond the hay pellet I also like to use the Wild Fed Horse herbal supplement called Stomach Soother.
Since I like to rotate my supplements… ForeFront Equine products are another common choice for me. My favorite go to is their all in one – Allstar. But whether you choose ForeBasics, ForeDigest, ForeRespiratory, ForeJoint or Allstar your horse's digestive system is sure to be supported. Reach out to me, if you need additional support on selecting the option best suited to your horse's individual needs, because cookie cutter approaches leave you feeling frustrated and without results.
Risk Factors of Thrush & Bonus Remedy Support
When you control the internal and external environment you will greatly reduce the risk and severity that thrush can thrive in your horse's hoof. There are other risks factors and contributors to be mindful of that boost things in the favor of thrush…
- Damp and wet conditions
- Dirty pens
- Poor circulation to the hoof
- Confirmation of the hoof (if it has deeper grooves and cracks)
- If a horse has pads or wears boots for a long period of time
- Poor nutrition or fortified junk food with tons of fillers
- Lack of exercise
After you take action to clean the environment of the horse, including their pens, their hooves, and the digestive system… it might be that your horse needs an extra boost to keep thrush at bay. Here are some tips and remedies you can utilize:
- Use a hoof powder like Evo Thrush or No Thrush – especially in wet conditions… clean the hoof thoroughly and apply a powder or clay and allow it sit/set before the horse returns to a wet or muddy environment that's ideal.
- Use a natural cleansing spray like Apple Cider Vinegar, Thieves cleaner, Aloe spray, or Evo Thrush spray (after hoof has been picked).
- Ensure regular pen cleaning and manure management.
- Utilize natural liniments to support circulation down the horse's leg, options like Ortho Sport or Ortho Ease Massage Oil blends are natural and ready for use.
- Be mindful and assess your horse's lifestyle often. Review your horse's nutrition for synthetics and chemicals, be honest with yourself about if they get adequate exercise, and if boots, hoof wraps, or pads are something your horse wears frequently, plan ahead for times of cleaning, inspecting, and adjusting.
Final Thoughts and Suggestions on Thrush
Remember don't panic or feel that thrush is a sign that you're not caring for your horse properly…
If you're already taking the suggestions above into account and your horse is still experiencing thrush from time to time, you're not alone and it's a commonality for many.
For horses that have chronic thrush concerns you can turn to the support of the Five Element Theory and Traditional Chinese Medicine for a solution. In the video below I share how to use the Liver and Gall Bladder Meridians to further promote balance of your horse's health when hoof conditions of any kind are present.
Setting a Solid Foundation of Health
Back in 2011, I was told euthanasia was my mare Pokey's best and only option. It was utilizing nature's solutions and adjusting Pokey's lifestyle to the 8 Laws of Health that she is still here with me today. Our mission here at Equine Essential Wellness is to help you promote your horse's health naturally. We invite you to get our FREE The Secrets of Equine Naturopathy PDF Guide, click here or the image below to get this guide sent to your inbox today!
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