website The Impact of Arena Footing on Hooves and Maintaining Proper Moisture

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The Impact of Arena Footing on Hooves and Maintaining Proper Moisture Balance

Posted by Animal Care Team on
Lainey Ashker going over a jump on a horse for Hooflex Blog


As an equestrian, caring for your horse's hooves is of utmost importance. While modern footing is wonderful for optimizing horses’ peak performance and comfort, there are some watch-outs for arena footing when it comes to hoof care. Some common substances found in arena footing, such as magnesium chloride and calcium chloride, can potentially dry out the horse's hooves. Read on to learn more about dust suppression, possible effects on hoof health and how to avoid overly dry hooves.

The Drying Effects of Magnesium and Calcium Chlorides

Arena footing often includes various additives to improve its performance, and two commonly used substances are magnesium chloride and calcium chloride. While these compounds are beneficial to making great footing, they can have documented adverse effects on the moisture balance of a horse's hooves.

Magnesium Chloride: Magnesium chloride is often added to arena footing to help prevent dust and provide stability. However, its hygroscopic nature means that it absorbs moisture from its surroundings, including the horse's hooves. Excessive exposure to magnesium chloride can lead to overly dry hooves, increasing the risk of cracks, brittleness, and discomfort for the horse [1].

Calcium Chloride: Similarly, calcium chloride is used in arena footing to control dust and improve footing quality. Like magnesium chloride, it can absorb moisture from the hooves, potentially causing them to become excessively dry.


To protect your horse's hooves from the drying effects of arena footing, it's essential to adopt a proactive hoof care routine. Using Hooflex® products can help maintain the proper moisture balance in your horse's hooves, promoting overall hoof health and performance. [2]

Hooflex hoof care products

Hooflex® Hoof Conditioners: Hooflex® offers a range of products designed to nourish and protect hooves. The Hooflex Therapeutic Conditioner (Original Liquid and Ointment versions) provide deep-penetrating moisture to replenish dry, cracked hooves. It contains ingredients trusted since the Roman times such as pine rosin and lanolin to help maintain a proper moisture balance and promote hoof flexibility. Rinsing hooves off and then applying Hooflex® Hoof Conditioner regularly after riding or exposure to arena footing can help restore and maintain the ideal moisture balance in your horse's hooves. Hooflex is specifically designed to create a breathable barrier to help regulate moisture in the hoof capsule, protecting critical structures from constant changes in moisture levels.

Hooflex® All Natural Dressing and Conditioner: For equestrians looking for a natural solution, Hooflex® offers an all-natural dressing that moisturizes and conditions the hooves using only natural moisturizers and conditioners. This product contains tea tree oil, which has natural antiseptic properties to support hoof health.

Hooflex® Thrush Remedy: Just like washing and drying our hands over and over can cause our skin to dry out and crack, hooves do not like to swing from dry to wet to dry repeatedly. Repeated fluctuations of moisture levels in hooves can weaken the tissues and make them susceptible to various issues, including thrush. Hooflex® Thrush Remedy is specially formulated to treat and prevent thrush, providing relief from discomfort and promoting a healthy hoof environment. By addressing thrush proactively, you can protect the hooves from further damage caused by dryness and infection.

In conclusion, the arena footing plays a crucial role in a horse's performance, but some common additives like magnesium chloride and calcium chloride can potentially dry out the hooves, leading to various issues. To maintain the proper moisture balance and promote overall hoof health, equestrians should consider using Hooflex products. Whether it's the Hooflex® Therapeutic Hoof Conditioner, Hooflex® Thrush Remedy, or Hooflex® All Natural Dressing & Conditioner, these products can help protect your horse's hooves, ensuring they stay in top condition for peak performance and a happier equine companion.

Check out all of the Hooflex® Hoof Care Solutions Here!

For informational purposes only, always consult your horse care professionals.  

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  1. Keeping Arena Dust Down
  2. Dusty Arenas: Do Your Homework with Magnesium Chloride

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