Good Hoof Quality
© 2008 Richard Klimesh ©
quality hooves can cause all sorts of problems for you and for your horse. If
he's barefoot, the soles and frogs can bruise easily, the hooves can break out
in chunks and crack. If he's shod, a poor hoof will not hold nails well and lost
shoes can be a frequent occurance. Read on to learn how to improve your horse's
horse hooves are dry, hard and tough - not brittle, spongy or soft. Factors that
can affect hoof quality are:
cases where hoof quality suffers from poor nutrition it could be that the horse
is unable to synthesize essential nutrients, he's not getting the nutrients he
needs from his diet, or that he is unable to efficiently process the feed he's
build strong hooves, a horse's ration should provide adequate amounts of the essential
amino acid DL-methionine, biotin (a component of the vitamin B complex) and other
nutrients. Often it is necessary to feed a hoof
supplement to give the horse what is lacking in his hay or grain.
the hooves grow only about 1/4" per month it might take a while afer you
start feeding a balanced hoof supplement to notice any improvement in the feet.
However, there two other changes in your horse that you might notice sooner.
is that his coat might be shinier and less brittle. This is because hair is made
of the same materials as the hooves and nutrients that build strong hooves also
make a healthy coat.
other change is that your horse could fill out if he's thin or gain more weight
if he's heavy. This is because nutrients in the hoof supplement will often help
a horse utilize his regular feed more effectively. So you might need to adjust
his hay and grain to keep your horse at a healthy weight.
nutrition is adequate, poor quality hoofs might be due to the horse's genetic
makeup and/or poor management practices.
probelms are caused by feet being too wet than too dry. Many horses' feet are
so susceptible to excess environmental moisture that even daily rinsing or a brief
period in mud can cause the hoove to weaken, spread out and crack. Hooves need
to be dry, hard and tough to withstand stress and abrasion.
your horse's hooves are cracking and spreading because of mud, standing water,
or irrigated pasture, for examples, they will likely benefit from the regular
application of a hoof hardener or hoof sealer. Unlike traditional thick or creamy
hoof dressings, hoof hardeners soak into the hoof wall and actually change the
physical makeup of the hoof. They can help keep external moisture from weakening
the hoof and prevent internal moisture from evaporating. Hoof hardeners and sealers
are especially useful for hooves covered with tiny surface cracks, which are caused
by frequent moisture changes and for soft, tender soles.
is another vital ingredient in your horse's hoof building formula. Just like regular
weight-bearing exercise is recommended for humans to build and maintain strong
healthy bones, regular exercise is also necessary to build and maintain strong
hooves for your horse. This is especially true if the the hooves are barefoot
and not protected by shoes.