Hoof Nutrition Intelligence Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is a twice-a-month web segment that is designed to add to the education of footcare professionals when it comes to effectively feeding the hoof. The goal of this web-exclusive feature is to zero in on specific areas of hoof nutrition and avoid broad-based articles that simply look at the overall equine feeding situation.

Below you will find Part 1 of the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.

Q: What role does zinc play in hoof growth and quality?

By Connie Larson, PhD

Zinc is often present at a level that doesn’t meet the horse’s daily requirements, so dietary supplementation of this mineral is required.

Epithelial tissue, such as hoof wall epidermal cells, dermis and blood vessels, requires zinc for cell reproduction, maintenance and repair. The synthesis of collagen, keratins, keratin-associated proteins, cell envelope proteins and intercellular cementing substances (lipoproteins) relies on zinc for proper enzyme function. Adequate zinc is also necessary for maintaining proper immunity and antioxidant activity that protects cell membranes from damage.

Connie Larson is an equine nutritionist and researcher with Zinpro Corp. in Eden Prairie, Minn. She has been a frequent contributor to American Farriers Journal and a speaker at the International Hoof-Care Summit.

Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is brought to you by W.F. Young Co. (Absorbine). Absorbine

Like many significant achievements, Absorbine® grew out of humble beginnings—and through the tenacity of someone willing to question the status quo. In this case, it was a young woman in late 19th-century Massachusetts: Mary Ida Young. Her husband, Wilbur Fenelon Young, was an enterprising piano deliveryman who relied on the couple’s team of horses to make deliveries throughout the Northeast. Inspired by Mary Ida and Wilbur’s vision, Absorbine® has continued to add innovative products throughout the years — products used every day by horse owners around the world. Which is why, since 1892, we’ve been The Horse World’s Most Trusted Name®.

Click here to read Part 2 of the April 15, 2018 installment: If my horse founders, will it need special nutritional attention?

Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.