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 long will it take to improve the poor quality hooves on my 3-year-old mare?

By Kentucky Equine Research staff

A: A horse with poor quality hooves can be a concern. Horses may have hoof horn that is dull, brittle and easily chipped or split, particularly in areas with a hot and dry climate. If hoof problems become severe, the horse is at increased risk for lameness, which can impact its comfort and usefulness.

While owners can’t change the climate where their horses live, they also can’t expect to get hoof quality results. Building strong hooves takes at least 6-12 months and nothing can speed up this process.

Hoof growth is influenced by factors such as age, breed, genetics, metabolic rate, exercise, external temperature, environmental moisture, illness, trimming and shoeing.

Important nutritional influences include energy intake, protein and amino acid intake and metabolism. Minerals such as zinc and calcium and vitamins such as biotin and vitamin A are also important.

When evaluating a feeding program with poor quality hooves, the first thing to consider is total energy intake.

Kentucky Equine Research is a nutrition consulting company located in Versailles, Ky.

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Click here to read part 1 of the Aug. 15, 2020 installment of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence: Is my insulin resistant horse more susceptible to laminitis during the fall months?

Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.