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.

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: Can the quality of a hoof tell me anything about the general health of my horses?

By Jim Ward

The hoof is one thing you can use as an index to good health. Good quality hooves and good quality hair coats kind of go together. The hoof is actually an extension of the skin. Healthy skin goes along with a healthy hoof.

The hoof is also a product of the environment. Horses that are kept in conditions where their feet stay wet and then go to a period of dry weather can experience profound changes.

Regular hoof care is vital. Be consistent, whether your horse has shoes on or is only trimmed.

If you feed a balanced diet, other factors might be causing your horse’s chips, cracks or other concerns.

This item is condensed from an article on hoof nutrition in the American Quarter Horse Journal. Dr. Jim Ward, a 1965 graduate of Texas A&M University, is an equine management consultant for Cargill Inc. He is a member of the Cargill product development team and the Cargill equine enterprise team. He serves in a consultative and management role at Center Ranch, a cutting horse and cattle ranch located in Centerville, Texas.

Click here to read Part 2 of the October 1, 2017 installment: I have several horses on bute for pain control. Are their any side effects I need to be aware of in regard to other health issues?

Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.