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

Q: How important is sulfur to hoof quality and growth?

By Gerald Schmoling

A: The hoof and surrounding structures consist of connective and supportive tissue. Historically and chemically, there’s a high sulfur requirement for the connective tissues cross linkages and bonds.

The sulfur is obtained from sulfur-containing compounds such as methionine, cystine and biotin. These sulfur-rich nutrients undergo metabolism to utilize the sulfur.

This may explain why supplementing the horse's diet with MSM often results in improved hoof strength and growth. MSM is a 34% bio-available sulfur source that can be readily utilized by the chondrocytes and supportive structures. In addition, MSM is a derivative of DMSO (dimethylsuloxide), which has a mild anti-inflammatory effect.

Gerald Schmoling is the owner of Schmoling & Associates in Lutz, Fla. and works in the equine nutrition field.

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 2 of the August 1, 2015 installment: What is recommended in terms of vitamins for hooves that are weak and crumbly?

Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.