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 2 of the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.

Q: How do I Determine the Cause of the Poor Quality Hooves with my 4-Year-Old Quarter Horse Gelding?

By J. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS, and Scott Gravlee, DVM, CNS, Life Data Labs

A: Nutritional problem-solving can be especially tough, as many essential nutrients are required for healthy connective tissue. When horses have poor hooves due to dietary failures, it can be hard to determine the exact cause.

However, you can assume a horse with poor quality hooves is suffering from one of the following:

  1. Not receiving the correct nutrients.
  2. Not absorbing nutrients sufficiently.
  3. Some other dietary factor is interfering with nutrient utilization.

If your horse is in the first category, make sure he’s receiving a high quality, well-balanced diet that consists of forage, grain if needed to maintain body condition, hay and a hoof supplement that contains all the nutrients known to be deficient in a horse with poor hooves.

If your horse is not absorbing nutrients or suffering from dietary interference, then other measures need to be considered.

Frank Gravlee and Scott Gravlee are veterinarians and equine nutrition consultants at Life Data Labs, Inc. in Cherokee, Ala.

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Click here to read part 1 of the June 15, 2020 installment of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence: Is it Okay to Feed Alfalfa to an Insulin-Resistant Horse?

Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.