If you want to keep your horse strong and healthy, it is very important to pay attention to their hooves. A horse that has strong and healthy hooves will be a happy one that is able to get the exercise that they need to stay strong.
How and where you keep your horse are both important factors when it comes to hoof health. Ensuring that your horse sees a farrier on a regular basis is also important. However, in this article we are going to specifically consider the other important factor, which is nutrition.
Good Nutrition Leads to Strong and Healthy Hooves
When you horse is young it is extremely important to feed them a balanced diet. Doing so gives them the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals that they need to build a strong frame, including healthy hooves. As a horse gets older its activity levels change and it is important to change their diet to ensure that they continue to get the nutrients they need.
The Nutrients a Horse Needs for Healthy Hooves
For hoof growth and strength, horses need access to the very important amino acid, DL Methionine. Not only does this amino acid aid growth it also prevents infections and fights tumours. Another important amino acid, Biotin, also ensures that your horse will develop strong and healthy hooves.
As well as these two key amino acids, your horse also needs plenty of vitamin A, E, D, zinc, and calcium. Other trace elements such as lysine and selenium are also vital for hoof health.
Vitamin A promotes tissue growth and strong healthy hooves and bones. It also helps to build up resistance to disease. Be particularly careful to provide your horse with plenty of vitamin D, which will help its body to properly absorb and utilise vitamin A, phosphorus and calcium.
Surprisingly, it is not unusual to find horses eating a diet that is lacking in at least one of these nutrients. Therefore, it is wise to consider including a hoof supplement in your horse’s nutritional regime. There are several available, and your vet can advise you about which type is best for your particular horse. They will take into account your horse’s activity level, age and the current state of its hooves.
What to do if your Horses Hooves are not in Good Condition
If you are unfortunate enough to have a horse that has problems with its hooves’ it is very important to get the problem sorted out quickly. Doing so will ensure that your horse does not suffer. It will also stop a small infection developing into a serious long-term one. With hoof problems, it is always wise to seek the advice from a professional such as a vet or equine nutritionist.
You should also review where you are keeping your horse. Many hoof problems are caused by or aggravated by the damp. If the horse does not have enough access to dry standing its hoofs will stay wet for too long and it is far more likely to develop problems
Nancy Bowman recommends T.E.N. Supplements for those times when your horse needs extra nutritional support.