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: How critical are amino acids in horse health and having quality hooves?

By Don Kapper

A: During the process of conditioning horses, muscles are torn down during exercise and need additional branch-chain amino acids. Here are five guidelines to follow:

  1. A horse can benefit greatly from having 4 to 10 ounces of branch-chain amino acids replaced within 45 minutes of a workout.
  2. Research has shown a lack of amino acids in the diet can affect the utilization of minerals in the diet, potentially causing skeletal and soft tissue problems.
  3. All 10 essential amino acids need to be provided to horses on a daily basis: arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine (involved in growth and development), methionine (for hoof and hair quality), phenylalanine, threonine (involved in tissue repair), tryptophan and valine.
  4. If one amino acid runs out, it “limits” protein synthesis for the rest of the amino acids.
  5. For grass hay, your first limiting amino acid is going to be lysine. For alfalfa, it could be threonine or tryptophan. Knowing what “type of forage” you are feeding is critical in knowing what supplements you need to choose to complement your horse’s diet.

Don Kapper was an equine nutritionist on the Cargill equine enterprise team and worked closely with the University of Guelph equine team in Ontario.

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 15, 2016 installment: Do I need to pay extra attention to salt intake by my horses during the hot summer months?

Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.