About the product...
The Keratex range
The Keratex range of hoof care products has been developing since 1990. It was designed by a family of chemists (and horse owners) – Dr John NB Irving MBE PhD C Eng FRAes, the present Managing Director of Penleigh Irving Limited and his laboratory technician wife Alison Irving FIMLS , in consultation with the late Professor HMNH Irving MA D Phil DSc, Dr Anne Irving MA D Phil and Dr John DN Irving PhD.
The prevailing concept in almost all our hoof care products is that they act directly on the keratin of the horn: that is, the chemically active keratin protein is used as one component of a process which results in the keratin itself being changed – to become stronger, or more water-proof, or more moist. Such improvements to the natural keratin of the hoof are required because the modern horse no longer operates in its natural grassland environment, and its hoof health suffers greatly as a consequence.
What is Keratin?
First, a quick note on the nature of keratin. There are many keratins, found in different species and organs, but for convenience we shall refer simply to ‘keratin’. Keratin is a hard-wearing and immensely strong component of skin, hair, nails, hooves, horns, and teeth. It consists of various amino acids – chiefly the small molecule of glycine, whose size allows the keratin of the horn to form tight spirals, bonded to themselves and to each other by a form of electrical attraction known as hydrogen bonding, and also by strong sulphur links between the molecules. It is these sulphur links – like rungs in a ladder – which give the horn its strength and hardness. And it is these links which form the target of many Keratex products, which react with them to join in and improve the structure of the keratin .All products are accepted by the UK Veterinary Medical Directorate, and the US Federal Drugs Agency, and the UK Jockey Club, and approved for general circulation.