An every year ritual for me is buying new sandals for the summer season. Even the most awesomely stylish pair of sandals should be replaced after a season of use, because of the not-so-lovely sweaty feet smell that they tend to develop during their season of use.
And let’s be honest: by the time that cold weather rolls around, even the cutest pair of sandals just downright smell. Badly. And I mean really badly. Dems the breaks. Unfortunately, I think that trekking around everywhere in sandals (sans socks, of course) just inherently causes the sandals to develop a feet smell.
Feet are not pretty, and when I kick my sandals off to go without them for a bit, they also get grimy. And they sweat. So when I pull said sandals back on, who knows what kind of dirt, grime and/or bacteria cocktail they’ve got going on down there. Which is why I stick to my ‘use ‘em and toss ‘em’ theory.
Since horses spend a lot of time on their feet on grass surfaces, or hanging out in their stalls, I often cringe to think of all of the crud and bacteria that they pick up on their hooves on a daily basis. One of my geldings is particularly prone to abscess around once a year or so.
And it generally seems to happen at the absolute worst time possible. I have never really thought that there was much to be done to try to keep a horse’s feet clean and healthy, other than going at it with a hoof pick in hand and keeping the channels on either side of the frog clear and free of debris.
Not that picking out a hoof will do anything to help with any bacteria of funk that lingers. When I first heard about Copper Cuffs, I was immediately intrigued. Copper Cuffs are a fairly new to the market, having launched for consumer purchase early during the 2015 year.
So what are Copper Cuffs, and what can they do for your horse? Well, they are copper bands that when fastened around a horse’s pastern, and used in conjunction with bathing or hosing your horse, can help to protect against bacteria and fungus that develop on the horse. Sound pretty cool?
By using the Copper Cuffs when bathing or hosing your horse, the water runoff that passes through the cuffs helps copper ions to continually kill more than 99.9% of bacteria and fungus on the hoof. And during water runoff, copper salts can build up in hoof walls, which makes for protection on an ongoing basis.
Even after repeated uses and going through wet and dry cycles, Copper Cuffs will remain effective and they do not wear out. With proper care, the cuffs should last for years. They are safe to use, and are not harmful to people, pets, or to the environment.
The cuffs will naturally tarnish over time from use, which is a good sign because that means they are doing their job! When the cuffs tarnish over time, they do not lose their effectiveness. They should not stain a horse’s legs green, though if residue starts to appear, washing with soap and water should remove it.
When I use Copper Cuffs, I simply fasten a band around the pastern on each of my horse’s legs. I find that the bands to feel nice and flexible, and they wrap around and attach with a long Velcro area (which helps them to fasten securely). After fastening the cuffs, I noticed that they fit loosely and comfortably around my horse’s pastern.
In order for the cuffs to be most effective, I make sure to place them on my horse before bathing or hosing him down. As the water run-off from bathing my horse travels down his legs and through the copper bands, the result is that the copper ions kill bacteria and fungus residing on his hooves. It’s that simple!
After bath time, Copper Cuffs can be left on indefinitely, but they should at least be left on until your horse dries. I personally leave them on until my horse dries (he does well standing in his stall while wearing them), and then I remove the cuffs prior to turnout.
Copper Cuffs come in a set of four, so that there is one for each leg. At the current time, they do come in one size, which is 12” in length. I’ve found that the cuffs are generously sized enough to fit my both my 16 hand Quarter Horse Ripley, and my 17.3 hand Warmblood-Thoroughbred cross Mark both really nicely.
A single set of four (4) Copper Cuffs retails for $59.99, and you can find them here. Single replacement cuffs are also available if you’ve misplaced one from an existing set.
Go Cuffs that Conquer Bacteria (and Fungus). Go Copper Cuffs. Go Eventing.