You are likely here because you spotted one of our No Thrush Powder posts online and now recognize that your horse does, in fact, not only have a heel (sulcus) crack between the heel bulbs but also has softer than normal heels.
This is a major warning sign that there is an active thrush infection occurring right now.
Below there is a link to learn everything there is to learn about sulcus thrush. But here I want to show pictures and make sure that folks are taking care of these heel cracks now – instead of waiting for the wet, cold, muddy months. It is FAR easier to deal with this 30-60 day treatment and regrowth process while wearing a t-shirt and jeans, versus three layers of shirts, a winter coat, and a headlight with waning batteries.
On this page, you will find a few customers’ before and after photos. You will find dozens more here on this site, and on our Facebook page. Notice that we want a “Dimple” in the heel. NOT a “crack.” If a horse has a sulcus/heel crack, it is guaranteed that bacteria will gravitate to that warm, moist, airless area.
An old farrier once gave me a perfect analogy.
He asked, “What happens when you mow your lawn and you take the clipping and spread them out in the sun?”
I said, “They dry up and blow away?
“Right,” he said. “Now, take that same bag of grass clippings, put them in the trash barrel, and close the lid. What will you find in three days?
“It will be a smelly, slimy, green-goo mess.”
“Yup,” he nodded.”That’s exactly what sulcus thrush does inside those heel cracks.
Finally. Before I sign off, I know there are some of you living in warm, dry climates saying, “Yeah, my horse has a heel crack, but the frog and sole are rock hard! “
This may be true at the moment, but I guarantee you that thrush bacteria WILL get inside any open heel crack and it WILL ultimately cause multiple cases of sulcus thrush a year. Think about it. All it will take is for the horse to step in the puddle you made when you forgot to turn off the trough hose. That moisture activates the bacteria inside the crack, and Bamm, suddenly your horse is mysteriously “off” and you can’t figure out why.
Remember: Sulcus thrush hides in the heel so you can’t see it or smell it. Often you won’t even know it’s there until the horse gets a massive case and it becomes abundantly clear that SOMETHING is wrong with that heel!
Sulcus thrush happens at ANY time of the year.
Now, here is the link to the full Sulcus thrush story, as well as the application pro tips for No Thrush Powder to get the best and fastest results.
“Why am I so stiff and sore today?!
Hint: *MUSCLE FASCIA: (The slick tissue between the skin and the muscle). “Stuck” fascia is a key reason we (and our horses) become muscle-bound/sore and eventually lose our normal range of motion.*
Yesterday we received an email from Frances, a Therapeutic Body Therapist in SoCal. Her comments about NATURAL RELEASE Muscle Wash are terrific, and they also give us a chance to discuss how and why we become sore and tight.
Following Frances’s note, we have added some brief explanations about fascia, and its role in muscle soreness. Yes, we learned this in 9th grade biology, but I, for one, clearly need a reminder!
Here is Frances’s note: (She ordered six bottles of Natural Release and we asked her why.)
“Hi! The [Natural Release] product is great! It seems to melt layers of fascia that are stuck; breaks up the adhesions so wonderfully. So to answer your question, I bought it for myself and to give away a few bottles. I have some clients that need it very much. Also you should be seeing other orders from the south bay area. I’m telling a lot of people and I think the chiropractor I work for will be getting some soon too. Okay off to work. Have a great night. Frances” Click Here to Read the Reviews
So below, lets learn about Fascia – and remember why we need to stretch! (borrowed from StretchCoach)
WHAT DOES MUSCLE FASCIA DO?
There are three main functions that the muscle fascia performs:
1. The fascia holds the muscle together and keeps it in the correct place.
2. The fascia separates the muscles so they can work independently of each other.
3. The fascia provides a lubricated surface so that the muscles can move smoothly against each other.
STRETCHING MUSCLE FASCIA
As stated above; when improving flexibility is the goal, the muscles and their fascia should be the major focus of your flexibility training.
When you are inactive for long periods of time, due to inactivity or injury, the muscle fascia starts to bind together. This prevents the muscles from moving freely against each other, and leads to a stiffness or tightness that limits normal range of motion and prevents freedom of movement. Regular stretching will help to keep your muscles and their fascia in good working order, and prevent your muscles and their fascia from seizing up.
If you have read this far, here are a few suggestions that we at Four Oaks have learned, and try our best to employ each day. They help!
1. Each morning stand in place with your hands at your sides. Slowly begin to twist your shoulders back and forth. Keep your arms loose, and they will sort of flap along with your shoulders. After a moment start to VERY slowly raise your arms as your shoulders continue back and forth. You will now look like a scarecrow in the wind. Keep doing this as your arms raise up. Eventually they reach the top, and then start back down until they reach your sides. You have now loosened every muscle in your upper body : Back, shoulders, neck, arms and waist. Even your knees and legs loosen up. (Learned from Kim Kizzier, Equine Massage Therapy and Beyond. Thanks Kim! It is an amazing morning ritual… even though it makes me look a bit daffy:-)
2. If you spend your day at a desk, stand up and move at least every 30 minutes. (It’s easy to get lost behind a computer for hours at a time!) Do ten knee bends or 10 toe touches, or ten jumping jacks. Even walking to the mailbox will help. The added benefit is that your mind needs the same rest as your body. Science tells us that the maximum length of mental efficiency without a break is 90 minutes. For most of us in is less than a hour. After that our brainwaves falter, and we simply can not work at peak level.
Dear Heath / No Thrush,
I am looking forward to receiving my Release [Muscle Wash]. I have had such incredible results with No Thrush that I am pretty certain that I will see great results with Release as well.
My gelding could have been the poster horse for No Thrush. When I purchased him in April of 2011 I had no idea that I was also buying the worst case of thrush I had encountered in almost 40 years of horse ownership. He also had the worst case of thrush that two farriers AND two vets had seen in their entire careers. The thrush had eaten his frog and was working hard on destroying his digital cushion in all four hooves. All of the experts agreed that my gelding would never be sound and that the best thing to do was euthanize him.
I was not willing to give up.
We had big plans for that horse!
I tried almost every thrush product on the market and many homemade remedies that are not on the market. I battled that thrush for SEVEN long months. There would be slight improvement, then he would be back to being lame. Picking his hooves became dangerous because his hooves were so sore. I learned that he was Insulin Resistant and that IR horses are prone to thrush. I changed his diet but the thrush continued. I was losing hope.
Then one day I saw another boarder poofing some stuff on her gelding’s hooves. I asked her what it was and she told me it was this great stuff called “No Thrush.” I had seen the stuff somewhere online and had considered trying it, but didn’t because I had already spent HUNDREDS of dollars on other thrush remedies that did not work. She told me that if I ordered No Thrush and if I did not like it, she would buy whatever I had left in the bottle for what I paid for the full bottle. She would even reimburse me for shipping. I felt like I could not lose, so I ordered a bottle that night.
I received my first bottle of No Thrush and really put it to the test the very first day. It was pouring down rain and my gelding was standing fetlock deep in yucky mud. I poofed his hooves like the video showed and left convinced that I had just wasted my time and money.
The next day I thought differently. I picked his hooves and immediately noticed that his hooves did not smell foul. He did not seem so tender when I scraped the mud out of his hooves. Intrigued, I re-poofed his hooves that day. And the next day. And for the next couple of months. His frogs grew back. His lameness went away.
Excited, I booted him with Renegade hoof boots and started riding him. I started training him. I started competing him. I did several endurance rides and also some competitive trail rides. I did parades and obstacle competitions. I trail rode him thousands of miles over the next couple of years in seventeen different states. He won his very first ECTRA competitive trail ride! He became the Number Six NATRC (Novice Division) horse east of the Mississippi River! He became the Number Ten ACTHA (Pleasure Division) horse in the whole state of Alabama!
And he did it without a single lame step.
Unfortunately, my gelding’s story stopped last summer. About four months ago he had a bizarre colic episode and had to be euthanized.
About a month after his death I acquired a little rescue mare. I did not know that she had a locked up sacrum when I got her. The chiropractors have done what she can and she is sound, but the little mare still has muscle spasms in her lower back and hip area. They say there is nothing they can do for the spasms. They say that the mare will likely be a pasture ornament for the rest of her life. They say that she will always have the spasms.
Maybe she will.
Maybe she won’t.
I am going to see if Release can make a difference. And if it does, you will be the first to know! And if it doesn’t, then I can honestly say that I have tried everything worth trying.
Thank you for reading. And thank you for giving my gelding a couple of good years of life.
This is the first ever “official” testimonial for No Thrush – Circa 2010. I have to admit, this is pretty impressive!]
“I first witnessed the power of No Thrush while treating an A.O. Jumper who was suffering from months of severe thrush. In a matter of days after using No Thrush, the thrush was gone. We have continued on a No Thrush maintenance program, with no relapses, and the horse is now being re-conditioned to competitive show levels. Impressive product. Well Done”. Geoff Vernon, DVM, International Team Veterinarian –
Rider Credit: Elizabeth Dickinson. Champion High AO Jumpers – The Oaks, CA 08/2007 – Showpark, CA 08/2008
This is one of the first high-profile horses that NO THRUSH Powder helped get back into the Arena after a devastating case of sulcus thrush. In fact, this was the first, official No_Thrush_Powder testimonial.
Wow… that seems like a long time ago! At that time we only sold NT in a few California stores and at our brand new online store. Since then No Thrush is now sold in 30+ countries around the world under the international Label “NT DRY.” Of course, NT Dry and No Thrush are the same product, and both are made right here in Southern California.
From all of us here at Four Oaks Farm,
Have a great Fall Season!
IMPORTANT NOTE about our company: All of our products are made at our Four Oaks Farm Sport Horse Rehabilitation and Reconditioning Centre here in Simi Valley CA. When owner/creator, Kathleen Busfield finds a problem that she can’t fix using existing products, she goes to the drawing board and literally starts from scratch. After developing, testing and ultimately improving the health of the horse in question, the new product is then used and tested for years (on hundreds of horses) before Kathleen will allow the product to be sold in stores. Rest assured that Four Oaks Products will do exactly what we claim they will do.
This is worth a few moments of any horseperson’s time.
We received an email today from a good customer we had spoken to in the past. She provided pics The quick backstory is that Mrs. C is from B.C. Canada and late in January, she bought NO THRUSH Powder (AKA: NT DRY in Canada) to use on 4 horses with significant sulcus thrush.
Her email today said that she had great success on all the horses, except had trouble with one foot. It wouldn’t seem to firm up the way the others did. Then a few days ago she was cleaning feet and suddenly her pick dropped down into and created the hole in the sulcus that you see in the photos. It was bleeding and messy. She determined it was not a blown abscess, and asked for advice on what we thought this was and if she could use her NO THRUSH Powder to treat it.
This letter below will take you through the entire process with a Plan A as well as backup plan A.2 (if necessary.)
CLARITY NOTE: The before/after photo in the pics is not Mrs. C’s horse. This is the photo that I sent to her and which I mention in my response below.
“Good Morning Mrs. C:
“The short answer is:
Yes, you can use NT Dry for this issue. The fact that you can’t get this heel/frog firmed up using NT over these 4 months means that there is definitely an infection inside/underneath the tissue.
I looked back at our emails from January and reviewed the pics from back then. Those pics showed a typical thrush-created split between the heel bulbs. Now the horse has no heel crack. It appears that what has happened is that one of those old heel cracks closed up and encased a pocket of thrush…. FYI; When I’m doing customer demonstrations I show folks how to be quite aggressive when getting NT powder into the sulcus crack. I will wiggle my hoofpick side-to-side and really manipulate the tissue. The idea is to allow the tissue to regrow from the bottom, but not let it prematurely close from the top. This overgrowth is not normally a problem, but it happens. I’m sorry that I didn’t mention this protocol to you when we last spoke.
I’m guessing the thrush pocket has been active for a while, which is why the sulcus is now detaching from the frog (the area you circled in yellow.) Now it has finally made it to the surface and “suddenly” appeared.
So, to the point… If this was my horse, this is what I’d do for Equine Sulcus Thrush:
Do a good clean of the foot. Since you already did an Epson salt soak, and you feel that it doesn’t appear to be an abscess, I wouldn’t do more soaking or washing. This will just give the bacteria the moisture it needs to thrive.
Use your NT powder and puff it into the hole/opening of the wound, and really work it into the cracks around the detaching sulcus area. (Be sure to also use it in the clefts around the frog). and then Scrub it in with a stiff hoof brush.
Add a little more powder on top and then do the same duct tape process you were doing. I like to add some cotton batting between the foot and tape to ensure the powder pops around in there all day long. If possible, change this every day for several days.
The goal is to “Draw out”, “Dry up” and “Firm Up” as quickly as possible.
In the ideal world, this process will draw out all the bacteria that was exposed when that hole opened up, and full regrowth will occur (20-50 days) to become the dimple we are looking for.
The potential concern would be that the bacteria pocket has expanded throughout the interior parts of the frog. So…. if in a few weeks you don’t feel that the frog/heel is firming up as it did with all your other horses, we may have to go to plan A./2
Heel crack test for thrush.
In that case, here is what I would do to be proactive…….
After several days of doing the NT / Duct tape, when the frog has firmed up a bit, I’d get my farrier in and start slowly trimming away the detached sulcus. That tissue is trying very hard to become necrotic and his body will ultimately shed it. You will just be helping it along.
NOTE: I have attached a before/after pic so you can see what I mean about trimming away the necrotic tissue. In the “After” picture, the sulcus looks dished out and has become a “dimple.”
Continue the NT process. Really, really get the powder into all those little cracks in the sulcus tissue. (At some point when everything is very firm you can stop the duct tape wrapping.. But stay steady with the dusting.
You or your trimmer keep paring down the sulcus whenever you can. At some point, you will hit the pocket of ingrown infection and can dust it directly with NT.
Keep dusting until the hole/wound becomes a dimple and is completely covered with hide.
After that, I suggest keeping up a preventative NT dusting a few times a week, since we know this horse is prone to thrush and infection.
Long-winded there! Hope this helps, Mrs. C. Call any time I can help.”