Farrier says hoof supplements are a waste of money... - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 50 Old 12-28-2011, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Agree that nutrition is important...BUT, when we first got our OTTB, he was starved to a body score two and his previous owner had his shoes pulled in the dead of winter, and he was footsore when we got him. So we called our farrier in...

He said Beau looked like a neglect case and was obviously emaciated.....and yet, when he picked up his hoof, he was stunned!!! Beau had amazingly healthy and strong hooves....despite how awful his body looked.....

So, even starved down to a body score two...his hooves were the picture of perfection.....

So maybe genetics play an important role after all.....dunno

At that time in Beau's life, his hoof health wasn't due to nutrition...because he wasn't getting any food ....and yet, his hooves were still exemplary.


Our farrier was shocked, he did not expect a horse that looked that bad to have feet that good.....

Last edited by Beauseant; 12-28-2011 at 12:53 AM.
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post #42 of 50 Old 12-28-2011, 01:30 AM
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Often horses that are fed too much have worse hooves than those who aren't being fed enough. Foraging is what a horses digestion system is designed for. That means lots of days with little food. When we feed 'meals' of high starch grains, the laminae break down.

Genetics do play a role but good genetics can be ruined quickly with bad food.
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post #43 of 50 Old 12-28-2011, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Sharpie View Post
It's a little more tricky than that. There are some vitamins and minerals that the body DOES only absorb to need, and others that are absorbed regardless. It also depends on what else is in the feed in terms of other vitamins, minerals, and fats, what is not, and even the animal. One non-horse example is dogs: in puppies, up to 10 month or a year, they absorb ALL the calcium in their diets. That's why feeding large breed puppies an unbalanced diet can completely mess up their skeleton. After 10-12 months though, they only absorb what is needed.

True metals (lead, nickle, iron, etc) can definitely linger for a long time in the body since the body's methods of getting rid of them are very, very slow. Other minerals including the light metals (calcium, magnesium, etc) the body can get rid of nearly as fast as water soluble vitamins like the B vits and vitamin C. Vitamin A and D are fat soluble, meaning that an animal can be overdosed on them since the body cannot get rid of them through urine and they tend to build up to very high levels.
Yes ma'am that is correct, I was a little to generic in my explanation, yours was much more precise :) However I did not know that about puppies and calcium absorbtion, learn something new everyday!
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post #44 of 50 Old 12-28-2011, 09:55 AM
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Agreed! I also have the Principles of Horseshoeing book. It's the farrier's bible in my opinion. If you live by that book, you won't be far wrong. When I first started shoeing with my dad, he gave his book to me and I'd read it when he was driving us between shoeing appointments. Then he'd quiz me, and when he was satisfied, he let me work on customer's horses.
Same with my husband! He learned from his dad who was a corrective shoer and he sent him to Bob Smiths shoeing school in CA when he was fifteen who also teaches using Doug Butlers methods. However come to find out my husband has a low tolerance of bullsh*t and that doesn't mix well with shoeing horses for a living....tee he

I got a hold of that book when I took a course at the community college from a corrective shoer, not that I wanted to be a shoer, I just wanted to have better understand it and be able to tell the difference between a good job and a bad one. Our final was to shoe a horse all the round, I came away with the thought, "I will never bitch about the price of shoes again!" Ever since I make sure the shoer has shade in the summer, cover if the weather is bad, make sure my horses are caught before hand and give a generous tip!
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post #45 of 50 Old 12-28-2011, 06:43 PM
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As far as foods go, I do know that clover, alfalfa and sugar/starch foods are no-nos when trying to improve hoof condition. They do tend to inflame things in there.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #46 of 50 Old 12-28-2011, 06:58 PM
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It is typical for a horse's front hooves to be round, and the back hooves to come to a more pronounced point. This is natural and discussed in many hoof care manuals.

As for supplementing, we do use a biotin product. Our horses have great hooves, but they also get lots of turnout and a low grain diet. We kind of view it as it can only help, and we don't mind the extra money.

Your guys look awesome! Nice frogs!!
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post #47 of 50 Old 12-28-2011, 11:58 PM
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supplements work I have see the proof in my draft horses feet

ride a draft and see the world differently
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post #48 of 50 Old 12-29-2011, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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that's what a boarder at our ex barn said too.

She had a percheron cross and he had awful feet....serious cracks....she put him on a supplement and he is doing great now.

Dunno why the farrier keeps saying we are wasting our money as hoof supplements don't work. Maybe he is just trying to save us a few bucks by saying that because he doesn't think Beau and Epona need a supplement.
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post #49 of 50 Old 12-29-2011, 04:26 AM
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I feed my horse supplements because I want to be sure... I don't find it to be a waste of money if it provides me with peace of mind. Paints are known for crappy feet... I found that one out after a bought a paint lol. So I actually use a lot of stuff to assure that his feet stay as healthy as possible. It is probably just me I am trying to assure but oh well. I use tuff stuff on the hoof wall since it is so wet and muddy here I want to keep the moisture levels in the wall as normal as possible ( not sure if that last line made sense of not... kinda tired) Also I use Koppertox at least once a month, even if he doesn;t have trush I just do it. I'm the kind of person that likes to take action just in case. So, once a day for one week out of the month during the rainy season ( which is about 9 to 10 months here lol) I use Koppertox.

So I guess my point is; even if my horse doesn;t have to have the supplements, mine is getting them anyway... if it isn't doing anything for him it is at least making me feel better about it. And to me, that is worth it.
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post #50 of 50 Old 12-29-2011, 07:48 AM
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Supplements are sort of like vitamins in people. If the system needs the added help it will use it, if not, it washes it out of the body. I had an Appy a while back who had 4 white feet..it was nearly impossible to keep shoes on him without pads all around and three clips (both sides and toe). If a shoe came off, a small portion of the hoof would come off with it. I started him on supplements almost immediately (after the first shoe pull) and even though it took about 4 months, his hooves hardened and the farrier was able to remove the front pads and front clips all around. If a shoe pulled, it just pulled; it didn't tear up the hoof.

A by-product of the hoof supplement is also coat condition as the nutrients are
About the same. I use hoof supplements whether I think the horse needs them or not. This is due to the fact I have seen coat conditions change for the better and I like that really shiny look I get :)

Before hoof supplements were used extensively, a friend of mine did something very simple. She bought unflavored gelatin found in any grocery store and added it to her horse's feed. Remember, gelatin, which also contains Biotin or a similar nutrient, is great for hair and nails, or hair and hoof as the case may be :)
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