Spring and Thrush


Are you able to be at home with your horses?  Now's an excellent time to learn about and care more for the health of their feet.  

Can you believe it??  

Studies claim over 90% of domestic horses have an active infection in the pads of their feet, also called a frog pad. That may seem high but at least 90% of new horses we meet,  present a frog pad health crisis in the form of thrush – some mild and more topical and some deep burrowing and severe.  

Some people think it's normal for the horses foot to smell bad, and others have never been told how bad a problem thrush can be.  Many a lameness begins with some form of thrush.  

Some believe it is a ‘wetness‘ disease and that there is no thrush in the desert climate. I can assure you that there IS...it just presents itself a little differently.

When doing your daily cleaning and inspecting your horse’s feet...YES that should be a near daily chore especially for horses confined in small soiled pastures, pens or stalls, or simply standing around round bales etc.  Look for some warning signs of an underachieving foot that would be susceptible to thrush.  For example: a chalky flaky sole, tattered frog, deep crevices that trap manure and bedding, FLAT look to the bottom, skinny pointy frog and lacklustre bulbs.

NOTE: You should be able to press with ALL your might with the pointy side of the hoof pick on your horses frog pad and see very little give, if at all, much like the consistency of a rubber stall mat.  The pick should make an ‘indent‘ and then quickly fill in when released.
Try it on your horse.


Before and After, same foot. Using EQ System, trimming, diet and Magik Spray, this foot shows a healthy white frog after the thrush was healed in just a few months! .

Healthy frogs are large and robust, thick yet dense, wide and covering 2/3rds of the foot. Healthy frog pads reflect an environment that is balanced. 

What does your horse’s frog look like, feel like, smell like? Is it ‘squishy’? Is it peeling off? Can you get your hoof pick underneath any flaps? What color is the frog? Does it stink? Or is it elastic and smooth? When you press a hoof pick into the centre of the frog, are you afraid it will go right through, or is there already a ‘hole’ there? When you clean the collateral grooves, does your horse flinch at all? Is there ANY bad smell?

What can you do?

Recognize thrush is a symptom!
It is not something that a horse can ‘catch’ or come up with in one day. If your horse presents thrush...there is a clue to an underlying unbalance in either diet, lifestyle or trim protocols.

 Other factors include:

  • The shape of the foot itself has a lot to do with whether a horse develops a deep seated thrush or presents an easily rectified temporary or seasonal condition. Infrequent trim shaping or conventionally flat trimmed and even shod feet are much more likely to develop thrush. 
  • A high sugar or concentrate (processed) feed encourages the growth of thrush. It’s much like a ‘yeast’ infection of the foot. Feeding a staple diet of free choice grass hays with additional super food supplements rather than processed feeds, increases immunity to thrush.
  • Lack of active movement.  This is a huge piece to the puzzle of functional health.  Horses need to move... a LOT!   Stalled horses or horses in small turnout pens or paddocks are at a much higher risk. Urine is concentrated, more so if the horse is fed factory concentrates, and will burn and invade the frog pad.


Trim, Pick & Scrub, Spray!
 Daily cleaning means using a hoof pick to get at all the crevices. But even better is to follow up with a sturdy metal brush to really get everything clean. Finish it off with a hit of Magik Spray and your done!  Regular use of Magik Spray is proven to heal and head off thrush!   

For directions on how to make your own Magik Spray, go to: https://shoppeeq.com/magik-spray-diy.html






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