Just ask, and your farrier will tell you the main factors that contribute to healthy hooves – nutrition, regular care including proper trimming and balancing, footing/environment, genetics and regular TLC. The regular TLC is where you come in! We were all taught to pick out our horses’ hooves often. This reduces the chance for infection, allows you to remove painful foreign objects and gives you a chance to inspect each foot. After you clean each hoof, applying Hooflex® is the finishing touch and takes your TLC one step further between farrier visits.
You’ll often hear us at Absorbine® mention the “breathable moisture barrier” provided by Hooflex. This is referencing the two weather extremes many horses see, very wet and very dry. In the worst case, these conditions alternate in a damaging cycle. Our Hooflex formulas can help in both cases. Hooflex contributes to the pliability of a very dry hoof, making it less likely to crack upon repeated concussion. Alternately, oil and water do not mix and Hooflex absorbs like hand moisturizer, making it harder for water to penetrate and make the hoof too soft. Hooflex is “breathable” because it does not “seal off” the hoof. It still allows the structures of the hoof to regulate moisture, it just gives them a little help. You can’t always control the environment your horse is in, but you can provide a barrier between your horse and the elements. When you go to buy your own jar of Hooflex for the tack box, you’ll see that we have three variations. Why three? It comes down to your personal preference.
We’ve been making the original Hooflex – Hooflex Therapeutic Conditioner – in an ointment since the beginning. It has the yellow and green label. People like this one because as an ointment, it stays on the hoof longer. In 1974, we created the Original Liquid (in the orange and green bottle) and added our signature brush cap, making it more convenient to apply. Both forms, the liquid and the ointment, contain traditional ingredients like pine tar and rosin that have proven their value since before the times of the Roman army. Lanolin is added for moisture, and also the powerful antimicrobial Chloroxylenol to help prevent infection.
For those that follow a more natural trail, we offer Hooflex Natural in the all-green bottle. Natural uses a plant oil base with no petro-chemicals (our original formula contains petrolatum, the base of many commercially available ointments). This base provides your moisture balance, while Arnica, Comfrey and Tea Tree Oil help support strong, healthy hoof growth. Hooflex Natural contains no artificial chemicals or dyes.
No matter which Hooflex form is right for you, remember to always apply it to the soft tissue structures of the hoof. Similar to how people moisturize their cuticles, moisturizing the coronet band can allow for faster hoof growth. You’ll want to start with the underside, on the frog, sole and heels. Finish by setting the hoof down and coating the hoof wall and coronet band.