Does My Horse Need Hoof Dressing? Best Moisturizing Dressings & How They Work


Have you ever seen a horse at a horse show with those shiny hooves that look so clean and healthy? There is a way to get your horse’s hooves looking this way and it is actually very affordable. It is likely that these show horses get this shiny coat of hoof dressing quite often which is what gives their hooves that beautiful healthy look.

In this guide, I will discuss:

  • What hoof dressing is
  • What hoof dressing does for the horse’s hooves
  • How to apply hoof dressing
  • What hoof dressing prevents in horses
  • The different kinds of hoof dressing
  • How to know if your horse needs hoof dressing
  • The best hoof dressings on the market

What Is Hoof Dressing?

Hoof dressing is a type of hydrating ointment that you put on your horse’s hooves to prevent cracking, dehydration, and other commonly seen hoof problems. This ointment is applied to the outside of the horse’s hoof using a brush, especially near the coronary band to prevent any sort of hoof issues or cracking on that part of the hoof.

How Does Hoof Dressing Work?

Hoof dressing is a hydrating hoof product that really benefits the hoof and promotes good hoof health. But how exactly does it work?

  • There are usually different hydrating and moisturizing ingredients in the dressing that help to contain moisture in the hoof and prevent the hoof from drying out and cracking.
  • These ingredients penetrate the hoof wall and absorb into that tissue helping it to become moisturized and less brittle

How Do You Apply Hoof Dressing?

Usually, hoof dressing will come with a brush that is dipped in the ointment and then brushed on the hoof.

Generally, the hoof dressing is applied to the entire outside of the horse’s hoof, to the back of the heels, and at the coronary band. This is to help moisturize and reduce the brittleness of the hoof wall.

What Are The Benefits To Using Hoof Dressing?

There are so many great benefits to using hoof dressing on your horse! Hoof dressing:

  • Moisturizes the hoof wall
  • Prevents sand cracks and quarter cracks in the hoof
  • Reduces moisture loss
  • Helps to treat brittle dry hooves
  • Helps to treat splits and cracks that are already there
  • Promotes hoof growth
  • Promotes hoof health

As you can see, there are so many benefits to using this dressing on your horse’s hooves.

Are There Different Kinds Of Hoof Dressings That I Can Buy?

Actually, yes there is! There are so many different types of hoof dressings on the market and many of them are used for different things. Some of the different kinds of hoof dressings you can buy include:

  • Moisturizing hoof ointments
  • Shiny dressings (intended mainly for a good appearance rather than actually benefiting the horse)
  • Natural dressings made from essential oils
  • Pine tar dressings

There are even more types hoof dressings for sale!

How Do You Know If Your Horse Needs Hoof Dressing?

There are a few ways to tell if your horse is in some need of hoof dressing. Some of the ways you can tell are:

  • If your horse’s hooves are cracking
  • If your horse’s heels are surrounded by rough or flaking skin
  • If the coronary band is surrounded by rough or flaking skin
  • Thin, weak hoof walls
  • Thin, weak, cracking sole
  • Scarred hoof walls

If your horse is showing any of these symptoms, it is likely that their hooves are in need of some moisture. That is why these hoof dressings are important to use if any of these symptoms are noticed.

Best Moisturizing Hoof Dressings On The Market:

There are so many good hoof dressings for sale today that it is hard to choose a favorite. The top 3 moisturizing hoof dressings on the market today include:

#1: Fiebing’s Improved Hoof Dressing

This hoof dressing is an extremely popular dressing. This is because not only has it been around for a really long time and used on so many horses, but it really does help to moisten the hoof wall of your horse’s hooves and help heal cracks

This is a hoof conditioner that I myself use on the horses at my barn and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good quality and long lasting hoof oil for use in all conditions.

#2 Farnam’s Rain Maker Hoof Dressing

The nice thing about the rain maker hoof dressing is that not only is it easy to apply, but it also is one of the best hoof conditioners when it comes to keeping those hooves moisturized.

Not only does the rain maker dressing help to keep moisture in the hoof, but it also will actually attract more moisture and absorb more water into the hoof from the environment the horse is in.

The rain maker is one of the best hoof dressings to put on hooves who are chronically dry and dehydrated.

Though this product has a great reputation in the horse world as a great hoof dressing for dry hooves, it does have a stronger smell than most dressings.

#3 Absorbine Hooflex Hoof Conditioner

This hoof conditioner is one of those that doesn’t dry at all once it is on the hoof. Some of these hoof conditioners will dry to the hoof after a little while, but this one will stay wet until it is either rubbed off or worn off from dirt or something else.

One of the best things about this hoof conditioner is that it doesn’t have a smell. I like this because some of these conditioners have an unpleasant odor that can make handling this product quite uncomfortable.

This, like most other hoof conditioners goes onto the hoof clear. This means that there will be no discoloration to the hoof and if your horse has striped or light colored hooves, they will be easily visible with this hoof dressing.

All of the product links posted on this site are associated with Amazon Affiliates. Through these links I earn a commission so your purchase is greatly appreciated!

Hailey Johnson

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

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