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: I know adequate amounts of drinking water are essential for horse health, but does water have an impact on hoof strength and function?
By David Hood and Connie Larson
A: Adequate water is essential for cellular functions and proliferation within the hoof in order to provide adequate tissue hydration. Adequate water intake is also needed to maintain dermal blood flow in the hoof, which delivers nutrients to the foot and subsequent movement across the basement membrane to the epidermal cells that are responsible for hoof growth.
In addition, adequate amounts of moisture must be maintained in the hoof to support the physical properties that are responsible for foot strength, elasticity and function.
A typical horse requires 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of water for each pound of hay that is consumed on a daily basis. This amount of water correlates to dry matter intake, losses due to sweating, exercise, lactation, health, diet changes or ambient temperatures.
David Hood is an international authority on equine podiatry and operates the Hoof Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Clinic in Bryan, Texas. Connie Larson is an equine nutritionist with Zinpro Corp. in Eden Prairie, Minn. This material first appeared in “Building the Equine Hoof,” a 48-page book authored by these two scientists and published by Zinpro.
Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is brought to you by W.F. Young Co. (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 January 15, 2016 installment: Do farriers recommend and sell hoof supplements?