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Hoof supplement

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Hoof supplement
  • I have a 1200 pound gelding who doesn't need to gain ANY weight.  However, his hooves are falling apart. Cracked, chunks falling off around the nail holes, splitting.  I had the vet out who suggested a supplement.  OK, this is probably a can of worms: but any suggestions?????  I have researched too many supplements.  I was told by my farrier- old timer- he has seen good results from a client that uses calf manna.  He is currently on calf manna and horseshoers secret.  I know results won't show for quite some time.  I am at a loss on ideas.  I haven't been on here in forever. I might have over looked a thread somewhere.  If so please point me in the right direction.........  At my witts end.  Thank you for any feedback.
  • I have used two suppliments with good results...though I did not get either one specifically for feet.  I have a 20-year-old TB that I keep barefoot, and she has lived in very dry and rocky/cindery areas for most of the last 10 years.  I've trail ridden and the works with never a hoof problem.  I used Dynamite Regular for years, which I thought was fantastic, and didn't make her hot or gain weight.  If I was in your shoes, I'd call my Dynamite rep and see what she recommended.  Every product I've used of theirs has worked a treat.  That said, my mare is at the moment on Source Original, because I happened to have a tub of it, and after being off any suppliments for a while, she looks fantastic...feet included...and is not hot.  She is gaining weight, but I do not believe that is from the Source.  We just moved to a warmer climate and I've been feeding her up trying to get weight back on her from a very hard winter last year in our former area. 

    I'm not a hoof expert, this is just my experience.  Good luck, I'm sorry you're having such trouble.  ':('

  • We have a gelding whose feet were so bad he was lucky to keep his shoes on for a month, so off the shoes came on what was then a 16 year old who had had shoes since he was 1. Best decision we could have made. However, it took a LONG LONG time for him to get over wearing shoes and going barefoot.

    Out vet recommended adding a flax seed meal to his diet. All our horses now get a scoop for dinner. It is also great for their skin and hair. Our farrier recommended getting plain ole pine tar for adding moisture to his feet. There is a horse product for hooves that is mostly pine tar that we use, can't recall the name.  Going barefoot also improves their circulation in their feet which also helps the hooves.  While he was in hist first year of barefootdom, he wore MACS G2 Boots for trail rides.

    I realize that you may not be able to let him go barefoot, but if you can, I would consider it.

    I get the flax seed meal from here http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/flaxseedmeal50lb.aspx

    It is a 50lb bag which needs to be stored in a cool place. While costly because of this amount, it will last a LONG LONG time. I have seen it in some speciality grocery stores and it would end up costing $500 for the same amount. I have also seen some tack stores carry it in little zip lock bags charging a crazy price for it, especially since they are probably buying the 50lb bag I get.

    Anyway, GOOD LUCK!
  • Thank you to you both.  Trail Broke- your horse is georgous.  My Danny- my hoof problem is a 1200 pound buckskin reg. quarter.  He is wonderful and so kind.  However, I would like to get something reliable and stick to it.  I will look into the web site.  Thank you again.  I am at a loss on what to do.
  • First.... HI!!! 
    Second - BOSS is a standby
    HOWEVER it is POSSIBLE there's something else going on... possibly...  Miles has had MAJOR hoof issues that spring up every winter.  A horizontal crack forms around his coronet band and, as it grows out, gets worse and sometime mid-hoof begins to seperate.  The effect is basically that his hoof is falling off.  The wall becomes nearly totally seperated.  The trimmer who has done him for YEARS keeps him flat on his soles to keep the pressure off the hoof wall.  It's obviously painful.  It happens in all 4 feet at once. (he's 17.2!)  I took him into the vet and she was so distressed by his poor body condition she couldn't really focus on his feet.  I'm not sure he's ever been correctly diagnosed but it's probably a laminitus thing.  He stayed in KY this past winter while I was deployed and had a very mild case.  I just think he does better every year. (I think it's been 4) BUT the vet gave me some stuff for fungus to put on him.  It was a concoction of anitbiotics, formaldahyde and who knows what else....  (I can find out if you want).  She told me thrush but NO he did NOT have thrush.  I ain't stoopid.  But I wasn't overly impressed with her, either.  His feet looked pitted before it began.  I've left him in KY for now with my Bullwinkle who went blind a while back.  I started using a senior feed (ADM Alliance/Forage First).  It has lots of great stuff in it. 
  • MistyRose, hi!
     My sister's horse, an arabian quarter, use to have the exact same thing that you are describing: when she got him 6 years ago he came from well, let's just say, a bad environment. She put him on the  H.B. 15, [color="#000000"]a hoof supplement from Farnum. It took a few months, but so long as you give Sonny his HB15 everyday, his hoofs don't crack. It is a pellet, so he takes it right out of my sisters hand, no need to give him extra feed [':)']  I hope this helps a little......good luck.......[/color]

  • I had similar problems and began using a hoof supplement and things started to turn around, what I learned through the ordeal was that horses hoof has need of certain nutrients and most of those are dependant on the feed provided to the horse. If you are having problems it would be best to began supplementing immediatly. I use enzion horse hoof supplement and it works great! 

    Hope this helps, good luck and swift healing 
  • Hi Misty,

    Check out safergrass.org & hoofrehab.com for starters, and do all the research you can, to learn about the principles & factors that effect hooves.

    Yes, I think a good quality complete nutritional supp that fits your horse's situation is generally necessary. But depends on what's in the grass & what else your horse gets as to what he may need. Feedxl.com is one independant source of good nutritional info/analysis in that regard.

    I suspect that if your horse is quite overweight, the problem may be more to do with IR related issues from too much/too rich feed, more so than specific supps. What does he get fed? Is he on pasture? Do his hooves have regular horizontal rings or ridges at all? I'd be cutting back pasture intake & feeding him on mixed grass hay alone, aside from the supps.

    In addition to diet/feed related probs, if his walls are weak but bearing the load of the horse, this is not helpful IMO, neither is otherwise overlong/imbalanced hooves, so I'd be sure to *keep* his hooves in good shape with frequent good trims. Posting some good hoof pics would be helpful too, if you are wanting more info/critique.

    To Hunterseat, I'm sure we've been there before with your old thin guy, but has he been tested for IR or Cushings, because this prob can also cause weighloss.
  • We been using vitamins and supplements from a local company ka-hi.com in Pennsylvania when we first encountered hoof problems in our horse several years ago. We been using their hoof supplements for some time along with other supplements they provide. We purchased the hoof supplements from herehttp://ka-hi.com/equine-nutrition/product-type/hoof-supplements-for-horses.html
  • I'm with face on the flax addition although I feed whole seeds. I originally bought it to add Omega 3s to his diet but am delighted with what it's done for his feet and hair. You could actually see the grow-out from when I began feeding it for the first year. It was the only change I'd made at that time so I know that's what it was. I've fed BOSS and wasn't that impressed. Flax is 50% oil and basically no carbs. If you feed the meal, it needs to be kept cold because it will deteriorate. The seeds do not and they are still something the horse can 'use'. I've thought about taking a coffee grinder to the barn and seeing if I can grind it daily - just haven't done it yet. I'd be interested to see if grinding it made any further difference. Kabarr gets 1/2 cup once a day with his other stuff.
  • Calf Manna is good for horses underweight and doing poorly. I've heard it recommended by the higher ups and the nutritional punch that it provides is good. All the ingredients are in there that I would custom supplement. Thing is, is that your horse is not poorly and doesn't need the extra sugar, starch and iron that goes with it. Iron is a real baddie, plugs up the uptake valves and won't let copper and zinc be absorbed, so in the face of high iron, copper and zinc will be deficient. Copper is the star player for connective tissue and good hoof health, along with improved coat color. (sunbleaching is a copper deficiency, allowing the sun to do damage) Every time you get a bagged feed that does not tout low iron, or no iron value at all on the analysis, you will be adding high iron and deleting the others in its wake. Horseshoers Secret has a disgusting amount of iron in it. Calf Manna has no iron value (hidden), but I see it plenty in the ingredient list. It's about balancing the copper and zinc to the iron, that keeps it under control. Biotin is good, but just a B vitamin and takes up to 7 months to see a difference. Not many feeds even come close to adequate daily needs either. For a horse that doesn't need to gain weight, I would suggest California Trace Minerals, which has higher zinc and copper and no iron, which means the other traces will have a chance to do some good, without the things you don't need that would add more weight to him. (sugar/starch) Metabolically, these things, in excess will contribute to feet falling apart. The grass will be the main culprit in this. If you see a neck crest, added weight, dull eye expression, foot tenderness, bulges above the eyes, then pull him off the grass immediately, or muzzle him and keep him moving out there. This would be a horse going towards laminitis. The white line on the bottom of the hoof, is 1/8" wide, creamy yellow in color and runs around the hoof right next to the edge of the sole. If its dark or swollen or gone leaving a trench, wider than 1/8" all the way around, then you are seeing effects of the grass on his feet and he needs to be pulled off and fed hay instead. Here's what I would do: 1 cup of oats to carry the nutrition, no more. 6oz. of ground flax seed, 1/8th cup of diamond V yeast, 1tbn. iodized salt, (2tbns. for sweat loss)and California Trace minerals. Temper the grass, putting him out there for shorter stints or muzzling him. The cheapest way to get off the IR road is more movement...more riding etc., and lose the weight. Look into the barefoot trim and see if you can find a barefoot trimmer in your area...get balanced and stay on top of it. Growth is faster this time of year. Always fight thrush. Keep it simple, give him what he needs and not what he doesn't. If you don't want him to become IR, then treat him like he already is. Hope this helps...