Helping to grow better hooves has been on my mind a lot lately! I came across this article today, Feeding the Hoof, by Pete Ramey. Certainly, this provides a lot of food for thought.
Briefly, the article discusses 1) the impact of carbohydrate overload on the quality of hoof growth and 2) the importance of testing your hay and grass to determine whether there are any gaps in your horse’s nutritional scoresheet.
To me, it is pretty clear that meeting your horse’s nutritional needs is key. What makes it difficult is that the hay I buy is not always from the same location and since I buy — at most — 100 bales at a time, testing each batch is somewhat futile. By the time I have the results, the hay has been consumed.
The other difficulty is that since equine supplements are not generally regulated, it’s very hard to ensure that the ingredients that are listed on the container are actually what the supplement contains. It also explains to me why one horse will respond terrifically to the same supplement that does nothing for another horse — if the supplement doesn’t fix a nutritional deficiency, it won’t help.
This article does give me more insight into what I should be looking for from the perspective of different ingredients. That and a call to my nutritionist should at least let me know if I’m on the right track.