Anyone who has ever had a horse with poor feet will know how true this is. With the farrier on speed dial and spending half your life hunting around a muddy field for lost shoes.
There are lots of factors that that can affect the quality of a horse’s feet; climate, genetics, workload, nutrition and management. Some of these factors are out of our control, but nutrition and management are certainly manageable and a key role in your horse’s hoof health.
Keratin is the main protein constituent of horn and the building block of the hoof structure. Keratin is produced by specialized cells within the hooves called keratinocytes, which rely on a nutrient-rich blood supply, this is why nutrition plays such an important role in hoof health.
It is important to realise that on your horse’s list, hooves are low in priority. Nutrients will be prioritised and used first for survival. Vital organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and glands will use available nutrients. If any nutrients remain they can then be used for hoof tissue. Poor hooves are often an indication that there isn’t enough nutrients to go around.
Horses that are not fed adequate calories will also have a reduced rate of hoof growth. Horses that are fed too little protein will have slowed hoof growth and poor quality hooves that are prone to cracking. A calcium deficient diet will also have the same detrimental effects on your horse’s feet.
If your horse needs a little extra help use a supplement that contains biotin, zinc, calcium, methionine and a quality protein.
Biotin – A vitamin necessary for normal growth, healthy hooves and skin formation, reproduction and feed efficiency.
DL methionine – An essential amino acid necessary for growth and wide variety of the bodies processes.
MSM – A rich source of sulphur, an essential mineral for healthy hoof growth and maintains and supports cartilage, joint flexibility and mobility.
Brewer’s Yeast – A natural source of sulphur, this is an essential mineral for healthy hoof growth and enhanced circulation.
Zinc – A trace element necessary for muscle and bone growth and food utilisation.
Vitamin C – For its anti-oxidant properties and is essential to formation and maintenance of connective tissues.
Calcium – Important for holding the keratinised cells of the hoof wall together.
To see our range of high quality hoof supplements https://equi-box.co.uk/horsecare/hooves.html
A stabilised moisture content of the hoof is also essential and the external environment can be controlled by applying a dressing to either prevent or provide moisture to the hoof. Toview a range of hoof ointments and treatments https://equi-box.co.uk/horsecare/hooves.html