Feeding for good hooves
 
 

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Feeding for good hooves

This is a discussion on Feeding for good hooves within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Management for poor hooves
  • Feed for horses with poor hooves

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    05-15-2014, 02:19 AM
  #1
Foal
Feeding for good hooves

My youngster is Arab x Warmblood, he's just 5 years old, i've been riding him barefoot and he's done really well, the only problem is he's had a few abscess's, the last one seems to have been very big and broken out in 3 places at the heal bulb and two around the cornet band. I'm wanting to try helping this by feeding the right thing.... has anyone had a similar problem, and been able to correct it with different supplements/feeding/treatment. Until now he's been very good barefoot, ideally I would make a pasture paradise but I don't have that option, or restrict the amount of grass he can access, thankfully he's competing with his companions and sheep so it's not so bad. Any suggestions would be great thanks
     
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    05-15-2014, 04:17 AM
  #2
Super Moderator
Low sugar and low starch and high fibre Some horses are sensitive to sugars in grass which is something to watch for. Ideally vits and minerals should be balanced to forage after analysis, but a good general one often is the next best thing. I also feed linseed (flax) which is excellent stuff for hooves and coat.

In the UK a lot of forage is high on iron and low in magnesium so many barefooters supplement magnesium and copper and zinc as iron prevents the uptake of those two.
     
    05-15-2014, 05:15 AM
  #3
Trained
Hi Kate & welcome,

Firstly, if he's suffering heel &/or sole abscesses, I suggest he may not be going so well barefoot as you think, as it could be due to stone bruising. Therefore, I'd be sticking to yielding footing or protecting his feet with boots or such in situations that are problematic for him, for the time being at least. Abscesses at the coronet band, if not from the odd injury there, can signify different things & it's possible, for eg, if he's worked on hard ground & hoof walls are bearing the whole/majority of the load, that it's concussion related.

So... diet & nutrition are indeed vital for health, including hoof health & strength. Low carb feed is important, so grain & other starchy ingredients should be avoided, and sugary, cattle fattening 'improved' pastures(such as ryegrass for eg) can also be a problem. Nutrition-wise, a basically well balanced diet is a good start. Extra Magnesium & omega 3s are a couple of specifics big on the normal balancing list. Gravelproofhoof.org is one source to learn more about nutrition as it relates to hooves.

If you would like a critique of your horse's feet, opinions on specifics, check out the link in my signature & post some pics of his feet, and info on current diet, environment, work, etc.
Slave2Ponies and KigerQueen like this.
     
    05-15-2014, 06:06 AM
  #4
Super Moderator
In the Uk with the terrible rain we have had there is a large number of abscesses occurring so the environment can also be causing this (summer before last when it rained all summer nearly every horse on my yard had one).
     
    05-15-2014, 07:20 AM
  #5
Banned
Am incline to agree with loosie here, stone bruiseing or gravle up in the white line.
The absesses need to be cleaned out and inpacked.
You may need boots as loosie says or shoeing.
Good feed is always important but do not be fooled into thinking the perfect diet is a cure all.
Biotine supplement can be of some improvment but the bottom line is if a horse has inherited bad feet then that is something you are going too have to live with.
Your vet and shoer are the best information source.
     
    05-15-2014, 07:51 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigoboy    
Am incline to agree with loosie here, stone bruiseing or gravle up in the white line.
The absesses need to be cleaned out and inpacked.
You may need boots as loosie says or shoeing.
Good feed is always important but do not be fooled into thinking the perfect diet is a cure all.
Biotine supplement can be of some improvment but the bottom line is if a horse has inherited bad feet then that is something you are going too have to live with.
Your vet and shoer are the best information source.
You sound like my old farrier, inherited bad feet are rare and a common excuse for putting shoes on, I have seen too many "bad" hooves written off by farriers be transformed into rock crunching ones with the correct diet, movement and environment.
loosie and Kate3 like this.
     
    05-15-2014, 08:36 AM
  #7
Trained
Yeah, 'inherited bad feet' does happen, but I believe the vast(vast) majority are made, not born. & either or, you can generally still improve on it greatly with good nutrition & management.
Clava, Rialto and Kate3 like this.
     
    05-15-2014, 11:38 AM
  #8
Banned
You girls may be too young too know, but I remember all the bad hooves and flat feet shoers had too deal with. Fjords had terrible feet but with an intensive good breeding program they got out of that mess so that the Fjords have good strong hoovs now.
Hireditary is a Big Factor.....ask any serious breeder.
     
    05-15-2014, 12:51 PM
  #9
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigoboy    
You girls may be too young too know, but I remember all the bad hooves and flat feet shoers had too deal with. Fjords had terrible feet but with an intensive good breeding program they got out of that mess so that the Fjords have good strong hoovs now.
Hireditary is a Big Factor.....ask any serious breeder.
Inherited conditions such as white line issues with the Connemaras are indeed an issue, but the majority of poor hooves are a product of poor diet, trimming, shoeing, environment or management. Only when you have seen hooves which professionals have labelled just naturally "bad hooves" recover and grow strong can you really understand the impact these things have.
loosie likes this.
     
    05-15-2014, 02:17 PM
  #10
Foal
Thanks so much for all these replies.... it really helps.... thankfully he's making a great recovery at the moment and i'm thinking that boots would be really good some of the time, would I be putting boots on all 4 feet, some people seem to go for just the front ones? I'll be looking into getting some kind of analyses of the pasture they're on to see if that helps.... he has been living out continuously since being with me, which due to this wet weather means his feet have never had a rest from it, so think this has had a pretty big impact as mention by Clava... so many horses seem to be getting them, even those that are shod.... thanks again everyone :)
     

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