Believe it or not, the hoof is a complex grouping of sensitive structures.
Since the hooves are porous, they absorb moisture, and the excess moisture weakens them. And the result?
Brittle, overly soft, and weak hoof!!!!
The truth is several reasons make horse hooves soft, especially in wet conditions. So is there any solution to harden the hooves?
You can use hoof care hardeners like durasole or keratex to toughen your horse’s hooves. But which one of these two hardeners is the best?
Yes, this article talks about all the good, bad, and ugly parts of these two hoof hardeners.
So, What is Keratex?
Keratex is one of the best hoof hardeners that strengthen, harden, and protect your horse’s hooves. This is actually the most popular go-to medic for cracked, brittle, weak, and soft hooves of horses.
Does Keratex hoof hardener work?
This gentle-acting formulation works for thin or sensitive soles. It actually strengthens shod hooves and unshod hooves by ensuring the hooves don’t crack or break. This works best for
- Weak hooves.
- Soft soles are susceptible to bruising.
- And barefoot worked horses.
Apart from horses, the hoof hardener is also used to strengthen the hooves in goats, sheep, and cattle. This hoof hardener contains ingredients like methyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, formaldehyde, methyl salicylate, glycerine, and aluminum chloride hexahydrate. Can you put Keratex on wet hooves? You can put both dry and wet feet.
Why should you choose keratex hoof hardener over others?
Here’s the advantage of Keratex!
- Strengthens and softens the hooves;
- Great for dry and wet conditions;
- Maintains the right moisture balance by ensuring the horse’s hoof breath naturally;
- Protects chipped, cracked, and split hooves;
- Toughens the sole and minimizes bruising;
- Improves the hooves of your horse;
And What is durasole used for?
If your horse has tender soles, durasole hardener works best to toughen the soles.
The iodine-based hardener contains anti-fungal, antibacterial, and fixing agents that thicken and strengthen the sole and frog. Apart from iodine, it also has other ingredients like acetone, formalin, isopropyl alcohol, tannic acid, and potassium iodide.
And the best part?
The formula is concentrated and highly effective in controlling white-line disease and thrush. Durasole hoof hardener is best suited for horses that work in hostile environments. Moreover, you can use it to transition horses from shod to barefoot.
You know what I mean, right?
The good thing about durasole equine hardener is you can use it for a longer time without worrying about your horse’s foot drying out. If your horse is suffering from thin soles and bruised feet, vets also recommend using durasole.
Using durasole has many benefits like:
- Hardens and thickens frog and sole;
- It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal;
- It is a fixing agent;
- Relieves sole soreness;
- Controls white line disease and thrush;
- Best for thin-soled horses;
Also read: If you’re wondering whether you can ride a horse with cracked hooves, the answer is yes – but there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Keratex vs Durasole – Which one is good for weak soles & feet?
Well, most horse owners use both as they serve different purposes. But let’s see some of the basic differences head to head.
|Applied on the hoof wall
|Purposely made for applying on frog and sole
|Used to strengthen weak and cracked hooves, best hoof hardener for barefoot
|Used to toughen and thicken the exfoliating frog and sole
|Applying keratex is not messy
|You need to wear eye protection and gloves when applying.
Should you choose Durasole or keratex? How to Choose the Right One For Your Horses?
The answer depends on your horse’s needs, as it is best suited for various parts.
What do I mean by that?
If you need to apply the hardener on the hoof wall, keratex is best suited for that job. On the other hand, durasole hardener is made for the frog and the sole.
As a general rule of thumb, each product has its intended use. You should not apply durasole on the hoof wall because the formula is made for frogs and soles. Lastly, follow the instructions provided strictly when applying the hardeners.
How Quickly Does Keratex Hoof Hardener Work?
It takes up to 2 weeks for the hooves to get optimum strength after using keratex hoof hardener. However, the hoof begins to harden a few days after using the hardener. You can quickly tell that by the sharp sound unshod hooves produce on harder surfaces.
See also: Learn the surprising facts about their natural toughness and find out why hoof trimming isn’t always necessary.
How do you apply Keratex?
To work perfectly on the hoof wall and the sole, follow these application tips:
- Apply keratex on the sole but not on the heel bulbs and the frog. Put more on the part that fits a horseshoe.
- Ensure you have not used any other product when applying keratex because it will prevent the absorption of the hardener.
- If you have used any other product, wipe the hoof with acetone to get rid of all product residue.
- Try to apply the Keratex on the outer hoof wall from beneath the coronary band to the floor.
How do you apply Durasole?
Let’s be honest……..durasole can be messy to work with. To achieve the fastest results when applying durasole, follow these tips:
- Wear gloves and safety lenses and avoid inhaling vapors when applying durasole;
- Apply durasole on a clean foot before application;
- After cleaning the foot, use a heat gun or hair dryer to dry the sole and the frog;
- Use a brush to apply durasole on the sole dropwise;
- Apply only an amount that the frog and the sole can absorb at once;
How often should you apply Durasole?
Apply durasole once for 1-2 weeks until the sole gets hard. For maintenance purposes, apply once or twice a week;
Taking proper care of your horse’s hooves starts with proper trimming and horse supplements to making the hooves stronger for healthy hoof growth.
You know that Because of various environmental conditions during winter and summer, your horse’s hooves can get brittle, soft, or brittle. Using a hoof hardener makes the hooves strong, promotes healthy growth, and treats hoof infection, among many other benefits.
One more thing……..
While there are many hoof hardeners on the market, durasole and keratex are the most popular. I believe, at this point, you understand the uses and benefits of each of the hardeners. For the frog and the sole durasole is the better option, and try keratex hoof gel if you want to apply it on the hoof wall.
Zunnun AhmedWe are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.
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