The Importance of Copper and Zinc for Healthy Hooves

The Importance of Copper and Zinc for Healthy Hooves
Managing with the Mud this Autumn! Reading The Importance of Copper and Zinc for Healthy Hooves 3 minutes Next Enhance your Hunter’s Diet this Season

Horses hooves are very similar to our own fingernails and they can be prone to becoming brittle, cracking, splitting and even more so when exposed to the autumn/winter elements.  Maintaining optimum hoof condition when it’s raining, snowing and windy outside can be quite a challenge.  Here we explain the roles of copper and zinc in preserving the condition of your horses hooves. If your horse’s feet become saturated due to rain, sleet, hail and muddy conditions they can become very soft leaving them vulnerable to more serious issues.  Combined with a decline in the nutritional value of the grass during Autumn/Winter, the hooves can really suffer. Keratin molecules in the hoof horn swell and expand when they get wet causing weakening and cracks in the hoof when the feet then dry out and return to their original size and shape. Diet is very important, like humans a poor diet can affect our nails and hair and the same applies to horses and ponies whether they are show jumpers, dressage horses or happy hacks.  So with pasture being sparse at this time of year remember to include sufficient proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals in the diet through hard feed and supplements. Copper and Zinc are not very widely known for their essential properties in hoof condition. 

Biotin, Methionine, Lysine and MSM are more common but lets take a look at the powerful properties that Copper and Zinc lend to good hoofcare and cell reproduction within the hoof.


Copper deficiencies can lead to abnormalities in the bone, cartilage, tendons, ligaments.  Inadequate copper levels can also have an adverse effect in hair quality and the ingredients and growth mechanisms for hair and hoof are virtually identical.  Copper also supports the enzymes that form the strengthening cross-links between collagen and elastin molecules in connective tissue.


Zinc plays a vital role in the structuring of proteins and many enzyme system functions including pigment formation, antioxidant function and transport of carbon dioxide, insulin production and bone building and remodelling and insulin production. There are a range of Zinc and Copper supplements available on the market. 

Robust Hoof Supplement from Scientific Nutritional Products is a new advanced feed supplement which contains high levels of essential constituents Biotin, MSM, Methionine, Calcium, Lysine and Bioplex Minerals including Zinc and Copper.  The unique blend of vital ingredients assists the absorption of required nutrients and transports them via the bloodstream to the hoof tissues and this is where new hoof growth is stimulated.  The supplement is appetising for horses and can simply be mixed in with their hard feed. A range of equine supplements are available from Scientific Nutritional Products, including Robust Hoof Supplement.

For more information visit the website or to receive one-to-one advice contact our nutritional specialist Peter Fishpool on FREEPHONE 0800 032 7774 or 01377 254900

Click here for more information on providing a sufficient diet for your horse or pony >

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