Taking Steps Towards Healthy Hooves: The Role of Hoof Supplements

When it comes to our horses' well-being, hoof health is often a critical but overlooked aspect. A horse's hooves are not just their means of getting around; they are crucial indicators of overall health and vitality. As equestrians, we understand the importance of maintaining strong, resilient hooves to ensure our horses' comfort and performance.

Understanding Hoof Health

The hoof is a complex structure, designed to support the horse's weight, absorb shock, and withstand varying terrains. Factors such as genetics, nutrition, environment, and management practices all play pivotal roles in determining hoof quality. Dry, cracked hooves, excessive hoof growth, or even conditions like laminitis can severely impact a horse's comfort and soundness.

The Role of Supplements

Hoof supplements can play an important role in supporting and enhancing hoof health. Hoof supplements typically contain a blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients specifically formulated to promote strong, resilient hooves. While a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients is fundamental, supplements can provide additional support, especially for horses with specific needs or deficiencies.

Biotin is one of the most researched vitamins for hoof growth and is thought to help with hoof integrity as well as coat, mane, and tail growth. Biotin is a member of the B vitamins family and helps aid in the growth of strong, healthy hooves due to its role in collagen formation. Independent university research has shown that long-term, daily supplementation of biotin daily may help improve growth rate and hardness of hooves, especially in horses with poor hoof quality despite a balanced diet and favorable environment.

Amino Acids such as Methionine and Lysine are considered essential amino acids that serve as a building block for proteins, including keratin. Lysine is the most limiting amino acid in the equine diet. Since hoof horn is made up of a number of keratinized structures, and keratin is a protein, if a diet does not provide adequate lysine then keratin generation might be negatively impacted. Methonine is a sulfur-containing amino acids that plays a crucial role in the formation of hoof tissues and enhances hoof strength and integrity, essential for the prevention of cracked, brittle hooves. Methionine also supports the production of cysteine, another amino acid important for hoof health.

Trace minerals including zinc, copper, and manganese, contribute to maintaining hoof growth and hardness, supporting strong hoof walls and foot structures, and reducing lameness risk.

Selecting a Hoof Supplement for your Horse

When selecting a hoof supplement for your horse, look for formulations that include these key ingredients in balanced amounts. Consider your horse's individual needs, existing diet, and any specific hoof concerns they may have. Keep in mind, dietary changes including supplementation, will only influence new growth. Growing a healthy hoof requires patience and perseverance.

MVP supplements offers a variety of targeted hoof support supplements including Biotin II-P™ and Biotin II 22x™ as well as multi-purpose supplements such as Exceed 6-Way™ and Amino 15X™.