So, recently, my QH's hooves have started looking dry to me and I decided to look into getting him some hoof supplements. Knowing nothing about such things, I did some research and I came across a website that asked a lot of questions about him, and then recommended supplements they thought he could benefit from. There were many besides a hoof supplement on the list.
Now, I understand that they are a company and they need to make money so they could perhaps recommend more than what he actually needs. However, I do not want my skepticism to prevent my horse from getting the nutrients he needs.
He is a 10 year old gelding, barefoot, kept on pasture 24/7 and fed high quality grass hay, he gets no grain currently. He gets worked about 4-6 hours a week (just w/t/c in an arena or trails in good weather), and is sound. I was just curious to hear about what you knowledgeable horse people think. Does he need additional supplements?
Maybe try hoof oil or conditioner before investing a suppliment?
You could get some use it daily or every other day after you ride try it for a month and see how that works. Do you live in a dry area? That could be why. Just an idea
Another is contact your farrier and see what he has to say about it, could be something he could fix with a trim or something
I wouldn't jump straight into a suppliment :)
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A hoof supplement isn't going to take effect in a short period of time. It would be months if not close to a year before you see an entire hoof that was affected by the supplement. However, some supplements will make hooves grow faster. For instance, my mare is on SmartCalm and UGard. With it, her feet usually grow 1/4"-1/2" every 6 weeks. This summer, she wasn't on it and it took 3 months for her hooves to grow that much.
I would talk to your farrier about using a conditioner or something similar if you are concerned.
For dry hooves I'm assuming your probably looking at some of the topical conditioners etc that you can apply to hooves. Check the ingredients a lot of them are very similar. I would just get something that isn't too messy to apply. In the past I've used rain maker hoof dressing.
Ask a Farrier or a vet if you're looking at dietary supplements. My horse is on HorseShoer's Secret. I haven't noticed any changes, but he hasn't been on it for very long.
Ok guys! Thanks so much. I will look into some hoof oil, and talk to my farrier.
I've been reading a lot about barefoot horses lately since I've recently made the switch. I've seen a lot of articles suggesting actually soaking the feet every so often claiming the feet need moisture and unlike a shod horse, the expanding wet feet will not loosen nail holes. Don't know how much there is to that, but just throwing it out there.
I'm not a big fan of hoof oils for the walls. It just seems to make the soft and less strong. The only thing I've seen work really well on outer walls is this goopy stuff called Hoof Alive. It's like a thick vasoline. When I used it, my horse's superficial cracks went away.
Feeding a supplement containing biotin will benefit the hooves. However as someone has already said, the current hoof will not benefit, any damage needs to grow out and will be replaced by new healthy hoof over time. Just like our finger nails, if you chip one, no amount of polishing will unchip it, until it grows out and is replaced by new nail.
Thanks for the info Puck, and thanks for the clarification Kayty.
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