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MANY HORSE OWNERS look to you for information. And why not? You’re experienced and knowledgeable about hoof anatomy, physiology, mechanics and so many other things, plus horse owners probably see you more often than any other equine professional.
So you should expect that, sooner or later, their questions will go beyond these topics. One topic you’re likely to be asked about is nutraceuticals.
The term itself was coined a few years ago to describe a wide and diverse group of feed ingredients, components and mixtures that have some nutritional basis in composition and action and also are intended to have a therapeutic or preventive effect similar to pharmaceutical products (drugs).
Since they are not sold as livestock feeds, these products are not regulated or labeled as such. They are also not regulated or labeled like drugs. As long as the sellers are careful of written claims made, nutraceuticals are free to occupy an extensive no-man’s land between nutrition and therapy.
Nutraceuticals are among the products farriers have the opportunity to sell as a client service or revenue enhancement. An American Farriers Journal survey (November, 2000, pages 29 to 33) indicated that 25 percent of full-time farriers sell products and 78 percent recommend products to horse owners.
You may already be selling a supplement to remedy sore joints or crumbly hooves, or you may be considering selling one but wonder whether you need to know more about them first.
Further study is definitely in everybody’s best…