Healthy hooves are the foundation of a healthy horse. While several factors can influence hoof integrity, balanced nutrition is crucial for the development of strong hooves. The hoof consists of highly metabolically active tissue that remains in a constant state of growth, making it incredibly sensitive to any nutrient deficiencies.
Many horse owners may turn to biotin for horses with weak, brittle hooves. But healthy hooves also rely on other vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids that play critical roles in hoof growth.
If your horse struggles with hoof concerns, a comprehensive horse hoof supplement can help fill any nutritional gaps that may compromise hoof quality. Keep reading to learn more about the ingredients you should look for in any premium hoof supplement for horses.
Lysine and Methionine
Lysine and methionine are the two most important essential amino acids for hoof growth. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which makes up nearly 90% of the hoof wall on a dry matter basis. While most horses eat a diet with adequate amounts of protein, they may still lack sufficient amounts of certain essential amino acids.
Lysine is the most common limiting amino acid that horses must consume from their diet. Without an adequate amount of lysine, your horse may not be able to generate enough keratin, the complex protein found in the hoof horn.
Keratin primarily consists of methionine, a sulphur-containing amino acid. Methionine also helps stimulate robust hoof growth to help prevent brittle hooves.
Copper and Zinc
Copper and zinc are macrominerals that are vital for keratin synthesis. The disulphide bonds in keratin require copper, while zinc helps form lipoproteins that glue the epithelial cells of the hoof together.
Zinc deficiencies are often associated with incomplete keratinisation resulting in hoof horn defects. While this deficiency is common in horses without proper supplementation, some horse hoof supplements containing high zinc levels do not include additional copper. Inadequate copper can unbalance the dietary zinc to copper ratio, leading to weak or damaged hooves.
Calcium is one of the most critical minerals in the equine diet. This macromineral is also vital for hoof health since calcium supports the enzymatic reaction that produces the cross-linked bonds that hold keratin proteins together.
Although often used to promote calm behaviour in anxious horses, magnesium is also critical for protein synthesis during tissue growth and repair. Hoof supplements for horses that contain magnesium may also help support the blood circulation necessary to promote healthy hoof growth.
MSM is an organic molecule rich in sulphur, the most prevalent mineral in the equine hoof. Added MSM can help promote strong hooves by providing bioavailable sulphur to support connective tissues within the hoof wall.
Although a comprehensive horse hoof supplement should provide more nutrients than just biotin, this B-vitamin is still a valuable tool for horse owners who want to support their horse's hooves.
Biotin for horses is essential for collagen formation and helps bind hoof cells together, promoting robust hoof integrity. Added biotin may also support faster hoof growth.
Promote Healthy Hooves With HOOFblend
Healthy hooves are essential for optimal health and performance. If your horse's feet need extra support, don't settle for just another biotin supplement. Choose a comprehensive hoof supplement for horses that includes all of the essential nutrients your horse's hooves need to thrive.
HOOFblend is an all-inclusive horse hoof supplement scientifically formulated by equine nutritionists and herbalists to support healthy hoof growth processes. Add HOOFblend to your horses daily feed and discover the difference comprehensive nutrition from bioavailable ingredients can make.