Farrier says hoof supplements are a waste of money... - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 50 Old 12-23-2011, 08:58 AM
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You know, I just spoke with my new farrier about this last night. He said supplements can be good for horses who have a reason to use them - cracked hooves, weak walls, poor hoof quality due to genetics, etc. He told me that horses with strong, healthy hooves don't really need them, though they wouldn't cause harm. When I had asked him about giving my horse supplements because his front left hoof kept chipping this past summer, he said that was due to the form of the foot and how it was being trimmed. Improper trimming, not lack of nutrients, caused the excessive chipping I saw. He said that, for me, since my horse has strong, healthy feet with a healthy frog that giving a specific hoof supplement would be a waste of money. If I wanted to give him a general multi-vitamin type of supplement that includes biotin, I can just for overall health of the horse and fill in the holes from his diet.

Just my 2 cents.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #22 of 50 Old 12-23-2011, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
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.

Totally agree which is why without forage analysis you just don't know, but things like brewers yeast (for gut digestion of fibre) and linseed seem to benefit many horses hooves. In the Uk it seems that grazing which provides all the correct nutrients is very rare indeed.
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post #23 of 50 Old 12-23-2011, 09:24 AM
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I have a part tb that gets cracks up the entire hoof. I can grow the hoof out intact when I feed him biotin for 6 months. This has happend twice now so I just feed it all the time.
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post #24 of 50 Old 12-23-2011, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Beauseant View Post
Beau is a TB and we ALL know how bad their hooves can be, so he could use all the help he can get....
This is a very big generalization. Yes, SOME Thoroughbreds have bad feet, but not ALL of them.

If your farrier says he has good feet, and you have no reason to doubt it, then why are you?

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #25 of 50 Old 12-23-2011, 11:51 AM
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Beausant-I also AM NOT A FARRIER, but your horses feet look great. If the farrier says the horse needs no supplement, then personally, I wouldn't do it. I have 2 without shoes (other than sliding plates as needed), both with great feet, but I have had one that was IMPOSSIBLE to deal with, foot-wise. I am convinced that most of his issues were hereditary, and, I personally would never have another TB with Northern Dancer in the line for that reason. JMHO. So, I am of the thought that, yes, some of it IS hereditary. I also think some of it has to do with ground conditions the horse is kept in. If a horse is standing wallowing in mud or standing on rock hard ground I would not expect either one to look like one on good soft dirt. My opinions are solely based on MY personal experience, nothing else, so take it for what it is worth. Your horses feet look great. It looks like your farrier is doing right by you. As the saying goes-"if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

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post #26 of 50 Old 12-23-2011, 12:11 PM
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All I have to say is my horse had cracked hooves like no other. His past owner put him on Pure Methionine powder and vowed to shoot me if I took him off of it because apparently his feet would go bad.

I had him 2 months and with good 4-5 week trims and a better diet, he hasn't cracked since. And he's off of that stuff.

I think it boils down to diet and partly genetics. Hoof supplements are supplementing.. things that are lacking. That was worded very awkwardly.. but think about when you were little and had those wooden shapes that would fit into holes. Yes you could fit the triangle in the square hole, but there were gaps. Same thing.. An example: If we don't soak up enough vitamin d, there is a supplement we can take (a vitamin pill) to help with the lack of it. Yeah it's easier to go out and stand in the sun for 10 minutes, but some rather take the vitamins maybe due to their lifestyle or maybe they have a condition where they can't be in the sun or perhaps they burn easily.

Same thing with a horse, if he's lacking SOMETHING in his diet, which is apparent by the condition of his feet and perhaps his coat and eyes too, then you could supplement.. but I'd focus on trying to fix the gap in his nutrition.

Honestly, Beauseant, I asked about my horse's hooves being different because nothing is 100% equal on each side or each hoof. But I know you trim each hoof not based on a cookie cutter shape. You can modify the shape to alter the balance.. which may alter the way the hoof wears, but they all shouldn't be EXACTLY the same. It should be trimmed according to the horse.

And I'm not an expert farrier or whatnot, but I do love to learn and ask a ton of questions (my poor farrier :P) so I can know how things work and why he's doing X to my horse.
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post #27 of 50 Old 12-23-2011, 02:48 PM
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Nothing wrong with those feet. Draft feed are a bit more rounded and wide. Not a lot more height, mostly wider. The rears are less rounded.

She getting close to another trim? Looks like there is some bar material (green) that is grown into the sole and the is a lot of dead sole yet to be removed.
Could be an illusion of the photograph. Looks to me like you have somebody doing a nice job. Little flaring at the quarters from the overgrown bars on the rears but the foot is so darn big it isn't easy to do.

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post #28 of 50 Old 12-23-2011, 02:50 PM
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got side tracked... I love looking at feet.

I don't use supplements. Good diet and movement usually makes for rock hard feet.
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post #29 of 50 Old 12-23-2011, 02:58 PM
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Just my Opinion here. Hoof supplements can help if the horse is missing something in their diet. That being said if a decent feed is being fed and they have good forage. ie. grass and hay, they are probably getting what the need. I am no nutritionist of scientist but I do kow that vitaminsc or b 12 are good for people, but the body can only absorb so muuch. after that your body will just expell it. that is why when you take a multy- vitamin your urine changes color. Your body is just kicking the extra out. A horses body does the same thing. So basically if the horse doesn't need it , it just pees your hard earned cash out. Like I said that is just my two cents and worth ever penny.

As for the front vs. the hind feet. As a general rule the hind feet usually has a more pointer or triangular shape. if you ask your farrier to show a front shoe vs. a hind shoe in almost any brand of pre made you will see the difference in the two.
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post #30 of 50 Old 12-23-2011, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, SueNH for the diagram thingy!!!. She actually just had a trim 2 weeks ago, but she grows SOOOO much hoof, the farrier says he could see her every 4 weeks instead of 6 and STILL have alot to trim.

She absolutely cannot go past 6 weeks though or all heck breaks loose.... our ex farrier wanted to trim her every 8 weeks, and she had some awful chunks come off.... to the non hoof savvy, like us, it looked horrifying.... but when we called our original farrier back to take a look, he said it was certainly nasty looking, but most of it was excess hoof and she could spare it, hence the reason she didn't go lame during this uncotrolled disintegration of her once fantastic hooves.

So, what you could be seeing maybe isn't a incomplete farrier job, but rather a horse with prolific hoof growth.

Joe, thanks for the informative post.

VelvetABs, uh...you totally misread the thread. I wasn't questioning if the horses had good feet, I was questioning the statement made by our farrier that hoof supplements are a waste of money. AND was asking about the back hooves being more pointed and if that was due to weight or was normal.....never asked if my horses had bad feet.... Don't know how you got confused about that.
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