It is very common for horses - whether barefoot or shod - to come into spring with weak, brittle or cracked hooves. Hoof care professionals and owners are fortunately becoming increasingly aware of the fact that nutrition is the foundation of ‘good equine feet’, along with a sound program of regular, professional hoof care, whether trimming or shoeing.
Experts agree that many undesirable hoof problems seen in horses and ponies are linked to mineral deficiencies and imbalances - excess sugars in the diet are also implicated, so do ensure your equine’s diet is not excessively high in sugars by checking the packaging of your feed bags, and limiting sugary licks and treats.
Concentrated horse vitamin and mineral supplements are important to a horse’s diet, and generally make a huge difference to poor feet. This goes for all horses and ponies, no matter what their work status. In particular, horses that are resting or retired are sadly often not given enough targeted nutrition to maximise their health potential, in our opinion. Pasture, no matter how good it is, and a mineral lick are simply not sufficient to really optimise hoof and all-body health! A targeted feed supplement is the key to optimising hoof health for horses and ponies.
Take a look at your horse or pony’s foot -
- Does the underside have a ‘tatty’ or ragged frog?
- In a barefooted horse or pony, are there wall flares, so the hoof flares out unnaturally at ground level?
- Do the feet have a dull, ‘shelly’ or crumbly appearance? Strong hooves have the appearance of a healthy piece of wood - strong, with a slight natural sheen.
- If shod, do the shoes stay on for the shoeing duration, or are the feet unable to hold nails?
- Does the rest of the horse look unhealthy - eg. a dull coat, and wispy or broken mane and tail hairs - as these signs can also point to mineral imbalances.
Any of the Above?
If your equine does have some of the above signs, then it is likely your horse or pony would benefit from a feed supplement that targets hoof health and contains the essential building blocks needed for healthy hoof growth - these include Biotin for Horses, Methionine, Lysine, Bioplex Minerals and MSM. Scientific Nutritional Products’ Robust Hoof ideal Hoof Supplement is essential for strong, healthy equine feet that can hold a shoe. Hoof Supplements like Robust Hoof promote healthy hoof growth and is ideal for horses and ponies that are prone to losing shoes. The dietary additive is a great-tasting powder that is easily mixed in with the hard feed, and will help to replace weak and crumbly hoof horn with stronger, healthier horn. As new hoof grows you can see a difference in your horse or pony’s hooves when feeding it.
To view our range of Horse Supplements and Dog Joint Supplements (Glucosamine for Dogs) including our bestselling Robust Hoof Supplement for Hooves, visit our website or call 01377 254900. You can also check out our Facebook page. To see a range of horsey articles, videos and reviews concerning lots of other equestrian and countryside matters, visit our friends at: www.horseandcountryside.com