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Good hoof health is essential to the overall well-being of a horse. Hooves can be influenced by genetics, breed, weight, diseases, exercise, ground conditions, weather, and diet, and these factors should be continually assessed and managed to ensure optimum hoof quality is maintained.

Hooves will inevitably undergo some wear and tear throughout a horse’s life, especially in extreme conditions, when the hooves can easily become softened (wet weather) or brittle and cracked (dry weather). As with all horse health problems, prevention is better than cure and nutritional supplementation is one way to help maintain strong, healthy hooves.

How do I look after my horse’s hooves?

A good diet is very important in keeping hooves healthy, and supplementation should always be used alongside a well-balanced, high-quality diet. Hoof Aid is a nutritional supplement that promotes hoof growth and strength. It comes in both liquid hoof supplement and powdered hoof supplement formulations that can be mixed daily with feed.

Read ‘Maintaining healthy hooves’ for more information

Would my horse benefit from hoof supplements?

Horses with a history of hoof disease, as well as individuals with long periods of turnout on challenging ground conditions, can benefit from long-term daily supplementation of Hoof Aid, to help support the growth of healthy new hoof.

What should a good hoof supplement contain?

Hoof Aid contains nutrients biotin, methionine, zinc, and calcium which are all essential for healthy hoof growth:

  • Biotin is a B vitamin that horses cannot synthesise themselves (intestinal microbes can produce some biotin but absorption is often limited), so this important nutrient must be included in their diet. Biotin has been shown in studies to be essential for hoof growth and strength in horses.1
  • Methionine is an essential amino acid that is required to produce keratin, an insoluble protein that makes up most of the hoof wall. Methionine is also involved in the creation of the material that cements keratin together, resulting in a strong hoof wall.
  • Zinc is a trace mineral which is also involved in keratin production. Reduced zinc in the diet can lead to a slower rate of hoof growth and brittle or crumbling hoof walls.
  • Calcium is a mineral well documented as being useful in bone development and this mineral also plays an important role in maintaining the healthy cross-links that hold the hoof together.

If you’re looking for any more advice on hoof supplements for horses or equine nutrition in general, why not get in touch with one of our equine nutrition experts?

References:

1:Zainal Abidin, et al., Incidence of equine hoof derangements in Malaysian horse population. IOSR Journal of Agriculture and Veterinary Science, 2013.


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