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: Can dietary excesses be bad for a horse’s hooves?

By Susan Kempson

A: In our natural desire to feed horses the best possible diet for health and performance, owners must be careful not to create toxic effects by overfeeding certain ingredients.

The equine hoof horn is an extraordinary structure, which bears all the weight of the horse and rider during locomotion and, at times, jumping. In fact, the foot is frequently functioning at the limits of its mechanical tolerance.

Consequently, only slight imbalances in nutrition and structure can cause a breakdown in horn function. For example, a small excess in dietary selenium, will not adversely affect the hair coat, but will inhibit growth at the coronary band and lead to a weak brittle horn.

Overfeeding methionine and phosphorus in bran and grains can also lead to major nutrition concerns. The same is true of overfeeding certain

In the foot, a small imbalance can create a big problem.

Susan Kempson is a researcher in the Department of Preclinical Veterinary sciences, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary studies at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is brought to you by W.F. Young Co. (Absorbine). 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 July 1, 2015 installment: Are hoof nutrition needs different during the winter months?

Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.