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Beyond Biotin: Optimising Horse Hoof Health

Every horse person knows the saying ‘no hoof, no horse’, yet so many horse owners, riders and managers struggle with achieving healthy hoof growth and hoof integrity in their equines.

The equine hoof constitutes a complex arrangement of connective tissues, nerves, cartilage, bone, and blood supply. It relies on important nutritional building blocks for strength and integrity.

When most people think of promoting hoof health they turn to biotin supplements. Whilst supplementing biotin can certainly be beneficial, having healthy, sound hooves in our horses is far more than complex than just adding this nutrient. The roles of vitamin A, zinc, selenium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, copper and essential fatty acids are often overlooked or forgotten. Add to this the fact that many of these nutrients compete with each other for absorption; some have critical levels at which they become toxic to the horse; and depending on the forms these nutrients are in, have varying levels of bioavailability.

In addition to the actual nutrients in the horse’s diet, the horse must have healthy GIT function to enable absorption, metabolism and utilisation of these critical nutrients. There is limited value in adding an expensive hoof supplement to the diet of a horse who is unable to properly absorb the nutrients contained in it.

As with all equine health issues, nutrition is just one key element. Excellent farriery and management practices are also important determinants of hoof health.

Take the guess work out of optimising your horse’s hoof and overall health. Let OPTIM EQUINE do the hard work for you- so you can reap the rewards (and take the credit!)