The Natural Guide to Hoof Care
The team at Global Herbs talks us through the importance of good hoof care and offers their top five tips for feeding healthy hooves…
Why hoof care?
With so many other parts of a horse to care for, hooves often get overlooked. But, just as with any other area of the body, the impact of good hoof care can help maintain great all-round health. The hoof bears the full weight of a horse (and with the average racehorse weighing in around 500kg, that’s no mean feat!), and stress to this vital body part can lead to long term health issues such as swollen frogs, cracks, chipped and bruised soles.
A healthy hoof should be smooth and straight without any curving around the hoof.
If you’re a horse owner, you’ll know that to be comfortable, happy, sound and move well, horses need great feet. Great hoof quality helps with sensitive laminae too. Ultimately happy hooves make for a happy horse.
The link between nutrition and hooves
Nutrition is fundamentally linked to a horse’s health; the ability to provide all the necessary vitamins and minerals a horse needs all year round is unlikely to be absorbed from one source. Regular hard feed may be inadequate or provide limited nutritional properties for your horse. Therefore, these nutrients must be found elsewhere in the horse’s diet, as domestic horses tend to lack the opportunity and pasture to seek them out themselves. This lack of essential nutrition can limit the body’s ability to repair and protect itself.
An effective supplement will provide all the extra nutrients that are missing in your horse's diet and make up for any difficulty your horse may have in absorbing the nutrients in his feed. Access to these additional nutrients leads to numerous benefits including horn growth, strong hooves, a smooth and shiny appearance, and healthy frogs, which will help reduce injuries or other laminae sensitivities.
What does healthy hoof growth look like? You should start to see a very clear new line of horn growing down from the coronary band, with any cracking disappeared.
Our top 5 natural feeding tips
- Feed bioavailable biotin. This means biotin which is already present in plants, as ordinary biotin will not be absorbed. You'll find this type of absorbable biotin in Global Herbs HOOF (biotin is a type of B vitamin).
- Feed super, bioavailable complex chelated minerals, such as our special form of zinc in HOOF. Zinc helps with hoof growth as well as helping protect against viruses.
- Increase the absorption of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in your horse’s diet. (You’ll find ingredients to help with this in HOOF!)
- Try to avoid grains as they tend to block mineral uptake, which interferes with hoof growth.
- Use Global Herbs GlobalVite which optimises nutrient absorption and includes all essential vitamins and minerals.
For more natural supplements for your horses and pets, check out the full range from Global Herbs.
If you have questions, or concerns, about your horse’s hooves, you can contact our Supplement Specialists.