Answering Clients’ Supplement Questions

Optimal nutrition can support hoof health and make your job easier

Pictured Above: A ration balancer can help close nutritional gaps for horses that don’t need the calories of fortified grain, according to Jessica Normand of SmartPak.

The following article is based on Danvers Child and Jessica Normand's presentation at the 2018 International Hoof-Care Summit. To watch the presentation, click here.

The modern horse’s diet is often lacking in core nutritional factors. Jessica Normand, senior director of product research and development at SmartPak, shared those concerns — and how to help address them through supplements — at the 15th annual International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dietary Considerations

“A lot of horse owners rely on fortified commercial feeds, which certainly play an important role in many horses’ diets,” Normand explains.

“‘Fortified’ means that the feed company has formulated a product with added vitamins, minerals and sources of protein.”

Farrier Takeaways

  • The four major areas that affect hoof quality are: professional
    maintenance, exercise/activity, environment/climate and nutrition.
  • Many horses are not getting what they need nutritionally from their diet, so a thoughtful supplement program, together with good management, may support healthier feet.
  • Clients should be patient when evaluating a hoof supplement’s
    effectiveness: it generally takes at least 3-6 months of consistent daily supplementation to see new, healthy hoof growth.

These products are intended to meet all the horse’s nutritional needs — but the whole serving size must be fed for that feed product to provide adequate levels of vitamins and minerals. However, many horses — especially those in little to no work…

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Linda braus

Linda Braus

Linda Braus is the editorial intern for American Farriers Journal. For the love of stories, she plans to continue writing and editing after graduating with a degree in English and communication in May 2018.

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