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 2 of the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.
Q: How are decisions made between feeding concentrates vs. feeding mainly straight grains?
By Danvers Child
Basically, the hoof that encapsulates the foot surrounds and supports bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, nerves and an intricate vascular network. These vascular pathways are comprised of arteries veins and capillaries, network through both bone and soft tissue and ultimately function as a key element in maintaining foot health.
The strength of the equine foot depends upon nourishment that begins with good circulation and vascularity.
When it comes to maintaining good circulation, exercise and activity along with regular hoof maintenance to promote balance are vital. In addition, a good nutritional program is essential, especially with older horses and horses with a history of foot-related problems.
While a biotin-based supplement provides a solid nutritional foundation for healthy hoof growth, horses with a history of hoof issues, such as heel discomfort, slow or retarded hoof growth and uneven hoof growth will often benefit as well from feeding a supplement designed to support healthy circulation.
Danvers Child is a farrier in Lafayette, Ind., and an equine hoof consultant with SmartPak in Plymouth, Mass.
Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is brought to you by W.F. Young Co. (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 1 of the March 1, 2019 installment: What nutritional concerns should I have if my horses develop hoof ring or hoof ridge concerns?