Farrier says hoof supplements are a waste of money... - Page 2

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Farrier says hoof supplements are a waste of money...

This is a discussion on Farrier says hoof supplements are a waste of money... within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • My horse lost a piece of his hoof
  • Are horse supplements a waste of money

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    12-23-2011, 12:59 AM
My farrier has always trimed round and my friends farrier trimed hers all pointed and her horses seemed to walk (trot, canter) a little off then they did before their trim.

My friend has been using biotian and all their horses have wonderful hoofs after being on it for 2 months. And my horses hoofs are looking way better after a 2 and a half months of using it.
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    12-23-2011, 01:04 AM
I must say he is wrong My draft horse could not keep shoes on them I stated hoof master blend and now not a lost shoe to be found and the shoers said his feet look great so what is it????
    12-23-2011, 01:28 AM
It's common for those hind feet to be pointed like that. (Or triangular-shaped). I see it in all breeds, especially drafts.
    12-23-2011, 01:43 AM
Originally Posted by Beauseant    
whether it's biotin or a brand name supplement, our farrier says it doesn't work .....period.

He says good hooves are genetic and biotin and supplements are worthless....

Hoof growth, capsule conformation and general quality is a product of genetics, associated metabolism, physical mechanics, environment and husbandry. Do supplements work? Sometimes, sometimes not. Like most things equine, it depends. It's like asking "how high is up?".

Would I personally recommend a hoof supplement for a horse as presented in the photos. Nope.

And both Beau and Epona's back hooves are pointed..... Is this normal?
Generally, yes. The hoof capsule will reflect the shape of the coffin bone to which it is attached. On most horses, the hind distal phalanx (coffin bone) tends towards more pointed as compared to the fronts. You are also more likely to see flaring at the heel quarters of the hind feet while the fronts tend towards dorsal wall flaring (dishing).

The reason is function. The fronts provide support. The hinds are responsible for propulsion and as such, their form follows that function.

While I might be inclined to clean up the excess bar growth, the photos present feet in generally good condition. Whatever your farrier is doing, let him/her keep doing it.

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    12-23-2011, 01:48 AM
It would take at least 8 months before a hoof supplement could help keep a shoe on and almost a year for the "supplemented" hoof to reach the ground. Any thing less than that is a plecebo effect and is only helping the owner. I don't feed a hoof suplement and I don't have any problems with hoof quality. Most well fed healthy horses don't need it in my experience. It's not expensive so it might be worth the piece of mind.
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    12-23-2011, 01:52 AM
Thank you all.

Horseman, your reply was very concise.... and much appreciated.

Now I am wondering about the term "excess bar growth"....

Would you say, except for the above term, the farrier is trimming correctly? Their feet were done about two weeks ago.....

They have good, quality, hooves right now...I suppose I am just worried that stopping the supplement will cause them to deteriorate.... and my supplement is rather pricey....especially at our local feed store where they've jacked the price up quite a bit over online ordering. I use Platform Hoof ....
    12-23-2011, 04:08 AM
I started my mare on a hoof supplement as she had a large crack in her off fore hoof. Within 6 weeks you could see it starting to grow out, the new hoof was growing without the crack, unlike before.

So, I do think they can be helpful.
    12-23-2011, 04:16 AM
Super Moderator
If my farrier said that diet does not affect hooves (which supplements form part of) then I would get rid of him straight away as he doesn't even know the basics of hoof care. Hooves entirely reflect the horse's health and diet, "growth rings" suggest a poor diet with events occuring (usually sugar related) and when you get the diet right (balanced with what is provided in forage) then hooves which are unshod with a good level of work will grow strong and rock crunching, but if something is missing (magnesium often) then they will often be footy on stones. But obviously the same applies for shod hooves which can improve enormously with a balanced diet

With regard to biotin, it is often regarded as not that great on it's own, many barefooters in the UK use magnesium oxide (it is lacking in most our forage), brewers yeast, and linseed (flax) as basic supplements .

Have a look at this forum for the impact that supplements (mineral balancing) have had on barefoot hooves. uknhcp.myfastforum.org :: UKNHCP Barefoot Community
    12-23-2011, 08:42 AM
OP im not a farrier, but your horses feet look fine !

My farrier told me to only feet a hoof suppliment if they feet werent good. He also said that he sees a lot of cracked hooves in my area, because the hard rains deplete the grass of protein. I personally use a suppliment because my horse has cracks on both front feet.
    12-23-2011, 09:40 AM
Green Broke
Supplemnts in horses are similar to people. Let's look at Vitamin C, it is medically proven vitamin C prevents and cures scurvy. Many people take studies like that to run out and buy supplements. Even though it is perfectly possible that they get plenty of vitamin C in their regular diet. Most vitamin/minirals can be used but more generally doenst do anything. Biotin, magniesium, and pretty much every other vitamin and nutrient that horses need is naturally present in some grasses. Your grass may have none or more than enough. SO while owner A ( with nutrient deficient grass) swears by a hoof supplemnt, owner B (who's grass has it )feeds it and sees no difference.
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