Learn how supplements
can help give him the hoof strength he needs.
Everyone knows the saying, “No hoof,
no horse.” But did you know that hoof
quality has as much to do with what’s
going on inside your horse as it does
with his external environment?
A horse that receives proper nutrition
will have stronger, more resilient
hooves than a horse lacking the
dietary foundation needed for hoof
integrity. Unhealthy hooves are more
prone to problems like chipping
and cracking, and they don’t hold
shoes well. If the hoof wall or other
structures become damaged, this may
even lead to soundness problems. To
make sure your horse’s foundation is
strong, be sure his diet provides the
building blocks he needs for healthy
hooves by feeding a hoof supplement.
Daily supplementation of
Biotin improves the growth
rate and hardness of hooves.
Many factors influence your horse’s
hooves, including his genetics, his
environment and the type of work
he does. However, all horses need
certain nutritional components
in their diets in order to have
strong hooves. These nutrients,
which can be provided by a quality
hoof supplement, include specific
vitamins, minerals, amino acids and
essential fatty acids. Your horse’s
body needs them to produce healthy
connective tissues, which include the
wall and sole of the hoof.
a B vitamin, is the
most common ingredient
in many hoof supplements.
Biotin is vital to growing durable
hooves because of its role in collagen
formation. Collagen helps form
connective tissues throughout the
body, including skin, bones, cartilage,
tendons and hooves. Research
studies show that long-term, daily
supplementation of Biotin improves
the growth rate and hardness of
hooves, especially in horses with poor
quality hoof horn.
is an essential
amino acid, meaning it must
be provided in the diet since
the body cannot create enough of its
own. Methionine contains sulfur,
a key component of connective
tissue. Because the concentration of
Methionine is highest in hoof and
hair, it is often included in hoof
supplements. Lysine and Threonine
are two more essential amino acids
often included in hoof supplements.
is also important to
hoof health. This micromineral
has many important
roles, including forming connective
tissue. Other minerals you might find
in a hoof supplement include Copper,
Cobalt and Manganese.
like Omega 3s and Omega
6s are needed for more than just a
shiny coat—they are necessary for
moisture maintenance and pliability
of hoof structure. Look for a hoof
supplement that provides fatty acids
from Flax Seed, Soy or Rice Bran.
Feeding a targeted supplement is an
excellent way to improve or maintain
your horse’s hoof quality. Plan to feed
a hoof supplement for at least six
months to see results—it takes time
for new, healthier hoof to grow.