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What it is & who it’s for: Biotin is a member of the B-vitamin family and is essential for cell growth, serving as a sort of intercellular “glue.” A deficiency of biotin in horses may result in reduced hoof quality, such as a thin and friable hoof wall, crumbling and cracks, and a soft white line. As a result, supplementing with biotin is a smart choice for owners who want to support their horse’s hoof health.
Source and bioavailability: Biotin is naturally found in the horse's diet, with alfalfa hay, oats, barley, and soybean meal providing moderate amounts and corn very little. It is also produced by micro-organisms in the horse’s GI tract. However, there is evidence that supplementing with additional biotin may be helpful in certain horses to address issues of hoof quality such as hardness, integrity, strength, and even growth rate.
Serving size: According to Equine Clinical and Applied Nutrition, the amount of biotin recommended for average-sized horses with poor quality horn is 15-20mg/day, while Nutrient Requirement for Horses suggests a higher intake of 30mg/day. It is also recommended that biotin be supplemented daily for at least 6 to 9 months and that if the hoof responds, then to provide supplemental biotin on a continual basis.
Complementary ingredients: Since hooves may benefit from additional nutrients, methionine, an amino acid, and the trace minerals zinc and copper are often paired with biotin.
Toxicity: Effects of excess biotin have not been seen in the horse, and therefore an upper daily limit of biotin has not been set.
Not sure which supplement is right for your horse? We have compiled comparison charts so that you can compare active ingredient amounts in the Hoof Supplement category.