Supplements are One Piece of the Quality Hoof Puzzle

Seven out of 10 horses do not get a full serving of a fortified grain or complete feed, which may mean inadequate levels of key vitamins and minerals needed for hoof health

When recommending hoof supplements to clients, Jessica Normand says it’s critical for farriers to stress the proper expectations for these products. The SmartPak staffer told attendees at a How-To Clinic during the 2014 International Hoof-Care Summit that horse owners have to recognize that healthy hooves require regular, professional maintenance along with plenty of exercise and activity.

No One-Time Fixes

In addition, horse owners need to realize that while feeding supplements can be very beneficial, it is simply one piece of the overall horse management puzzle. Other essential parts include veterinary care, professional hoof care, dental care and managing the other ingredients in their daily rations. And then owners need to understand why new hoof growth takes plenty of time and patience.

“Many factors affect hoof health,” she says. The most important factor is regular professional hoof maintenance. Climate and environment are very important as well as exercise and activity. So are things like the need for proper hoof management under wet and dry conditions.

“And if owners stop properly managing the diet or do not keep up with regular professional hoof maintenance, hoof health may go downhill again,” says Normand. “Make sure your clients understand that this is a continual management process and not a one-time fix.”




Full Servings Essential


Before and 9 months after starting a hoof supplement and getting a new farrier.

While many horses are fed commercially available feeds fortified with vitamins, minerals and protein, Normand says these horses often aren’t getting enough of the grain for…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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