Few of us are fortunate enough to ride horses that are permanently sound in mind, body and limb! The nature of riding means that lameness is infuriatingly commonplace, and as the technical level of competition increases, so do the risks of injury. Then there are the unavoidable accidents, genetic or hereditary conditions and problems associated with illness or simply old age.
We cannot wrap our horses in cotton wool, and most of us choose not to avoid dangerous competitive riding, but we can minimise the risk of lameness to a certain extent.
Maintaining equine soundness can be simplified as follows:
- Don't take unnecessary risks - ie, use protective equipment when competing and don't jar the horse's legs on hard ground. Also, be careful of jumping in wet, muddy conditions.
- Know your horse - if he is curious and clumsy, consider fitting protective boots in the field.
- Avoid safety risks - e.g. rabbit holes in the paddock, unsuitable fences and cluttered maneges.
- After stress, strain or injury, seek expert advice and treat your horse accordingly.
- Ensure all tack and equipment is correctly fitted and maintained.
- Feed a balanced diet specific to your horse's needs. Consider a targeted hoof supplement to boost hoof health.
- Employ the services of a good farrier.
If you’re considering a targeted hoof supplement to boost hoof health, of course first on your list of components will be Biotin. Part of the B vitamin group, biotin is water soluble, and is synthesised naturally by micro-organisms in the horse's hindgut.
Biotin is necessary for the metabolism of protein, fat and carbohydrate, and increases production of keratin in the hoof by breaking down protein. As biotin cannot be stored, it must be present in the horse's diet. Green pasture is a good source of biotin, however as pastures vary, feeding a supplement containing measured amounts is the best way to ensure that you know your horse is receiving what he needs! In Scientific Nutritional Products’ Robust Hoof product, we include Biotin at 400,000mcg/kg, as well as Zinc Bioplex at 3,000mg/kg, Manganese Bioplex at 3,000mg/kg, and other key compounds including copper, MSM and Methionine.
Another key supplement for soundness is feeding a comprehensive Joint supplement. Joint Right Supreme contains Glucosamine for Horses, Chondroitin, MSM, Hyaluronic Acid and Green Lipped Mussel; these are key ingredients for strong tendons and ligaments; and healthy mobile joints.
A range of supplements are available from Scientific Nutritional Products. For more information about their supplement range or to keep up with our informative and educational blog, visit the website at www.horsesupplementsdirect.co.uk.
For articles and info on equestrian matters please visit www.pegasus-magazine.co.uk . This is the website of the UK’s Pegasus Magazine. Visit http://pegasus-magazine.co.uk/magazine to find out how to access the printed version, of which 25,000 copies per month are read. The site also features articles.