11-20-2013, 01:16 PM
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I feed alfalfa hay and my horses have always had tough feet that I have to trim pretty regularly. Other people's horses hooves break off in chunks (theirs and mine are all barefoot) and I never get that chunky, self trimming going on the way other people do. (Sometimes I wish I would because it would save me work). It could also be because my horses get a fair amount of exercise and that also toughens up their feet (barefoot, and boot only as needed).
I use no supplements at all, unless you consider a 1-3 lbs of something like SafeChoice or Strategy a supplement. I feed it as a treat with their evening meal.
Anyway, I think if you feed high quality hay (maybe it's the protein in the alfalfa?) supplements are not needed. Maybe we just have good soil for growing hay down in the deserts, I don't know. I bet those whose horses have trouble growing strong hooves either have a deficiency in their hay due to the soil or whatever or the horse isn't getting enough protein. That's just my non-scientific theory though! But I do nothing special and all my horses have great hoof wall. So it's either something in the hay that that we have here that other parts of the country is lacking, or the protein.
PS. I do regular hoof maintenance, but I'm not obsessive about it. Most people would probably say my horse's feet are out of balance, but I believe nature knows the best way to balance the feet to the horse's conformation. So I don't really try to change things too much, just keep the toe trimmed back and trim the wall to the sole plane. But I don't try to correct imbalances in the traditional sense.