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.
This edition is sponsored by the W.F. Young Co. (Absorbine) of East Longmeadow, Mass.
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: There are a few key items to watch when grazing horses on pasture. And it’s not just during the rapid growth phase with grasses that takes place in the spring.
Horses should be well fed each day before you turn them out on pasture in order to reduce the rapid ingestion of large volumes of new grass. A technique I like to use is to turn them out on pasture early in the morning and then return them to their stalls or paddocks by mid-morning. This short grazing period lets the horses avoid hot spring and summer temperatures, which can be an additional stress, as well as a way to avoid several insect concerns.
The same worries horse owners have in the spring with fresh grasses that may also occur later in the growing season. This can be a major concern when grass growth slows dramatically due to periods of reduced rainfall followed by rain that leads to rapid grass growth.
When there is an inability to limit pasture access, place a grazing muzzle on your horses. This will reduce the horse’s ability to eat large volumes of grass in a short period of time.
Dallas Goble is the retired director of equine clinics at the University of Tennessee and a member of the International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame.
Click here to read Part 2 of the August 15, 2015 installment: I know there are a number of different factors affect hoof growth, but does someone have a list of all of them?