Over the colder months, looking after your horse’s hooves is particularly important, as they have to deal with a lot of adverse conditions - standing for longer in stables, hard frozen ground, and wet, muddy fields. These can all be detrimental to hoof health, leading to shoe loss, cracks, and other issues. Hoof growth rate also decreases over the winter months, and so any problems in the hoof wall don’t grow out as quickly.
To help keep your horse’s hooves healthy over the winter:
- Make sure you pick out feet every day, and remove mud so you can check the hoof surface and the heels for any abrasions or issues.
- If your horse is standing in a lot, make sure that bedding is clean and has good absorbency, so the horse isn’t standing on straw or shavings soaked with urine.
- Shock absorption is also desirable, and rubber mats can really help with this.
- If the horse is living out, or turned out a lot, try to make an area where they can stand without their hooves being covered in mud or water - use of mats, gravel, or other dry and clean surfaces can help.
- If your horse’s hooves need extra support, specialised hoof supplements, such as Hardy Hoof, will provide the nutrients essential for healthy hoof growth.
Healthy hooves rely on a consistent supply of nutrients to grow healthy horn. By optimising your horses hoof horn quality, and maintaining growth rates you can reduce cracks and shoe loss for shod horses, and help keep bare feet healthy too. In general, a balanced diet should provide enough nutrients to allow the horse to grow a healthy hoof, but some horses have naturally poor hooves, and they will benefit from supplementation of Hardy Hoof.
Hardy Hoof is an advanced supplement that provides your horse with micronutrients targeted at optimum foot health, encouraging growth and pliability. High levels of well-known hoof-health nutrients such as Biotin, Copper, Calcium, Lysine, Methionine and Threonine are necessary for the growth of healthy, resilient hooves. In Hardy Hoof, these are combined with sulphur rich MSM and essential fatty acids that maintain moisture and flexibility within the hoof, helping it to withstand muddy, wet conditions and hard, frozen ground. Feeding a hoof supplement is a long-term investment to help your horse - it takes between 8 and 12 months for the hoof wall to grow down from the coronary band to the floor, so we recommend that you feed this supplement long term to optimise hoof health.