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Most horse owners focus much of their attention on maintaining a shiny hair coat, mane and flowing tail. However, many of these seemingly model horses also have problem feet.
“What’s missing?” Mike Barker, sales representative at the Cherokee, Ala.-based Life Data Labs rhetorically asks attendees at the 2018 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. “Is there something missing in that horse?”
It’s a question that equine veterinarian and Life Data Labs founder Frank Gravlee has been asking for more than 40 years. The International Equine Veterinarian Hall Of Fame member has found that hoof growth and quality are closely linked to and affected by the level of exercise, health, age, genetics, mechanics, farrier work and nutrition of a particular horse. Environment — wet/dry conditions and bacteria/fungal issues — are also factors that play a crucial role in overall hoof health.