Caring for horses can be a difficult and time-consuming process if you’re not familiar with all of the requirements to ensure a healthy and happy horse. This involves you making sure that your horses are receiving the right amount and proper type of supplements required in order to remain healthy.
More specifically, it’s important to that you make sure your horses have strong hoof structures, since this can drastic affect their health and well-being. But it can be difficult to keep your horse’s hooves strong and healthy, and that’s why you may want to consider utilizing hoof supplements for your horses.
Hoof supplements are classified as a type of nutritional supplement that’s able to provide your horse with the nutrients, vitamins and minerals in order to strengthen their hooves. That being said, you’ll want to make sure that you’re giving your horse the right kind of hoof supplements, so you should consider a few things before buying.
For instance, you’ll want to consider what types of ingredients the horse hoof supplement product contains. You’ll want ones that have at least one of the vitamins or minerals needed for hoof support, whether that’s biotin, zinc, methionine or calcium.
Overall, making sure that your horse is receiving the right amount of nutrients in order to support their hoof health is important, since they’re always on their hooves and having weak ones can lead to many problems. Not only that, but having weak hooves can cause your horse to be in a large amount of pain.
Whether the pain is from brittle hoof walls, hoof wall separate, toe cracks or from infections resulting from bacteria growth, not having healthy and strong hooves can eventually lead to many problems. Given that, consider purchasing horse hoof supplements (1).
Without knowing what kind of supplements to give your horse, it can be difficult to find the right kind of product to feed your horse. Because of that, here are five of the best horse hoof supplement products on the market for your convenience.
Top 5: Horse Hoof Supplement Reviews
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
You should consider purchasing this Horse Guard Biotin Hoof Supplement because it gives your horse’s hooves the ability to grow stronger and healthier simply be consuming this nutritional supplement. This supplement in particular is classified as the most highly concentrated product on the market.
That’s because it contains 100 mg of biotin in every two ounces. Not only that, but each two-ounces also contains some methionine, zinc and even MSM to provide extra support with proteins. Given that, this product is able to offer more effectiveness than other products on the market.
Furthermore, this product is easy to feed to your horses, since you can simply add some of it to their already-existing food. Given that, you don’t have to worry about them not liking the supplement, since it’s mixed in with the food that they already enjoy consuming.
Horse Guard is also classified as a highly beneficial brand to purchase horse hoof supplement product from, since the company only uses high quality grade ingredients that are specifically used according to their bio-availability.
You’re recommended to check out this Horse Hoof Supplement Product from Farnam because you have the ability to either choose between a 3.75 pound bucket of the supplement or a 11.25 pound bucket. Given that, you have more leniency to choose the product that works best for your needs.
Not only that, but this product is also recommended because it contains nutrients that work together in order to prevent cracking of hooves, since it supports strong hoof walls on your horse’s feet.
Moreover, this product specifically is the official product of the American Farrier’s Association, which is proof that the product is able to offer you a diverse array of benefits.
You may find this product from LIFE DATA LABS specifically beneficial for your horse’s hooves because it’s able to provide your horse with the nutrients that it needs in order to support and maintain hoof health. For instance, this product contains phospholipid, omega fatty acids, vitamins minerals and amino acids for protein building blocks.
In addition to that, this product is recommended because it’s classified as a pelleted food that can be mixed with the food that your horse is already benefiting from. This is beneficial because your horse is more likely to consume the food, since they aren’t aware that it’s being mixed with their actual food.
You also have the ability to use this bag for a long period of time, since it comes in an 11-pound bucket that’s capable of lasting anywhere from 60 to 120 days.
You’re highly advised to check out this Horse Guard Hoof Supplement product because you can choose between purchasing the five pound or the 10 pound bucket of the product for your convenience. This supplement includes 32 mg of biotin in two ounces as well as methionine, zinc, and MSM.
You can easily feed this product to your horses, since it can conveniently be mixed in with food that they’ve already been eating. Not only that, but this product is also able to provide more support for your horse’s health other than just their hooves.
For instance, this product can also offer hair support as well, since it contains large doses of biotin as well as soy oil to help your horse grow a strong main, tail and coat in general.
Lastly, this product offers not only hoof support, but also biotin hoof blast. Hoof support is able to assist in your horse having strong hooves, while the blast is able to ensure maximum growth of their hooves altogether.
You’re highly suggested to check out this Manna Pro Horse Hoof Supplement product because it contains 20 mg of biotin, which is the recommended dosage for daily nutrients that can help to support your horse’s hoof health. Not only that, but this product contains 8.500 mg of methionine as well as 187 mg of zinc that can also increase hair and hoof health.
Additionally, this supplement by Manna Pro contains anti-oxidants that help to support your horse’s immune system. Because of that, your horse can effectively fight off any diseases or infections that it comes into contact with.
Lastly, this horse hood supplement is highly palatable, since it’s produced with a formula that’s easy to feed your horses.
Overall, each of these products is able to offer you a wide variety of benefits, including the ability to provide your horses with an adequate amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed in order to have healthy hooves. Each of them is easy to feed to your horses, and your horses are guaranteed to like it.
Not only that, but some of these products is not only able to offer hoof supplement support, but also other healthy supportive elements as well, including digestive system support as well as a healthy coat.
Given the variety of ingredients in each product, it can be difficult to choose the best horse hoof supplement product for your specific needs. Consequently, you’re most recommended to purchase product #4: Horse Guard Equine Hoof Guard Concentrated Supplement.
This product is able to offer the most beneficial features while still remaining available at an affordable price.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Keep My Horse's Hooves Healthy?
There are a few things that can help you make sure that your horse’s hooves remain in a healthy condition always. For instance, you should make a schedule in which their hooves are being regularly trimmed and given shoes. This can prevent any problems from occurring in. The first place, let along any problems digressing into worse issues.
Additionally, you should make sure that your horse’s hooves are always balanced, since having imbalanced hooves can not only be uncomfortable for your horse, but it can also lead to more problems. Imbalanced hooves can lead to more weight being distributed to one shoe over the other, further increasing the likelihood of problems occurring.
You may also want to consider giving your horse different shoes for different weather conditions. This can help ensure that they have the right amount of support for their feet regardless of how soft or hard the ground may be.
Lastly, it’s important that you provide your horse with an adequate and healthy diet, since having a healthy diet is one of the most important things that can positively impact your horse overall. Regularly check your horse’s hooves to ensure that they’re maintaining their strength and health (2).
How Often Should You Clean a Horse's Hooves?
You should generally clean and trim your horse’s hooves every six to either weeks. You may be able to go longer without trimming or cleaning them in the winter time, but you should never go longer than 12 weeks without trimming and cleaning them.
How Do You Check a Horse's Hooves?
In order to check your horse’s hooves adequately, you should be checking for a certain number of factors to ensure that they’re healthy. More specifically, you should be checking the horse’s hoof-pattern axis, center of articulation, centering of the hoof, heel support and frog proportions (3).
Horse Care For Beginners
Planning of owning a horse or you already have one? Horse care involves a lot, and if you are planning to have one or you are planning to have one, be ready to dedicate your time and energy to ensure the horse remains active and healthy. If you are new to horse ownership, the best starting point is to seek help from people with more experience.
The most effective and simplest way to do this is to identify a nearby livery yard and stabilize your horse. This way, you'll befriend knowledgeable horse owners.
Another advantage of a livery yard is that they have experienced yard staff who will look after your horse, and you can also learn from them. Don't shy away from asking questions or asking for help.
Even if you stable at a livery yard, you still must learn the basic horse care practices, hence this beginners' guide. Read on to find out how you can take care of your horse on your own.
The Horse Care Basics
The horse care basics you need to learn touch on anything affecting the well-being and health of the horse. Some of these include:
● A good living condition: You have to ensure your horse lives in a conducive environment. The fields and the stable must be well maintained to ensure the horse is healthy, safe, and comfortable.
● The best routine for the horses: If the horses have to do some work, you must come up with a routine that ensures they are not much exhausted or misused. The routine should be favorable for their age and well-being.
● Suitable feed: The horses' digestive systems are very sensitive. So, you need to understand what type of food they need to keep them healthy.
● Grooming: Grooming is necessary to keep the horses clean and attractive. It is also an opportunity you can take to bond with your horses and check whether they have health issues.
● Equipment: There are many tools and equipment used to keep horses in good shape. Learn about these tools and make them available.
● Health: Learn the usual symptoms of unhealthy horses. Learn how to administer first aid, and how when it is necessary to contact a vet.
Basic Rules For Horse Care
● Carry out regular farrier care and health checks
● Ensure they get vaccinated in time, and also worm them.
● Ensure all equipment used on the horses is safe and clean.
● Check your horses, at least two times every day.
● Ensure their grazing field is free from poisonous plants and any physical danger.
● Ensure the stables are clean, safe, and suitable.
● Provide appropriate feeds for their health and workload.
Caring For The Horses That Live Out
As a new horse owner, you might think keeping them out will make things easier, far from it. Even if your horses live out, you still must check on them at least two times every day.
The visits are necessary to maintain the grazing field and to check on the horses. Also, remember that in winter, the grass will not have high nutritional value. So you must supply them with hay as well.
Additionally, you have to choose the species of horses that can live out all year round, preferably the native/hardy breeds. If not, provide them with shelter and rugs.
Here are the five things you have to take care of for your horses to live out comfortably.
1. Preserving the grass
During the winter, the horse will greatly damage the grazing field, creating potholes because the field will be muddy. To prevent this, prepare well during summer.
You can create a sacrificial paddock to use in winter, or apply a rotational system.
This will give the damaged paddocks time to recover.
Fencing is to keep your horses safe. There are many options you can choose from, with the best being the use of rails and wooden posts, though it's expensive. You can as well use posts with electric tape.
You can use non-poisonous plants as a fence, in which case you should ensure the fence is high enough to prevent the horses from jumping over them. Avoid concrete posts or barbed wire fences as these can injure your horses.
3. Field Maintenance
You should maintain the grazing field by hand-pick all horse droppings and eliminating ragwort and other poisonous plants. You should also harrow, roll, and top the field as needed.
4. Limiting Grazing
It may be necessary to control how much your horses eat to control their weight. Controlled feeding also prevents laminitis in horses during summer.
To limit horse grazing, you can use 'starvation paddocks' or 'strip grazing'.
Even if you have the native/hardy breeds of horses, it will be necessary to have a shelter.
If you can build a field shelter, well and good. If not, you can provide them with tress/hedges to shield themselves from wind and cold weather.
A shelter is also necessary to shield them from the hot sun in summer.
Caring For Stabled Horses
Only a few horses can live in stables 24/7. So, when talking about stabled horses, we refer to ponies and horses that have stables at their disposal. Horses and ponies mainly use the stables at night and may use them at day time during winters.
They can also use the stables during summers when it is excessively hot outside. In this case, all the horse care practices discussed under the horses that live out also apply.
That includes things like field maintenance, limiting grazing, preserving the grass, and fencing, among others.
However, there are some extra considerations you need to take care of; these include:
1. The Stable
Apart from being safe, the stable need to be suitable and comfortable for your horses. Ponies need about 10x12 feet stables, while horses and cobs need 12x12 feet stables. For large horses, you'll need 12x14 feet stables.
Foaling stables need to be about 12x16 feet in size, or even bigger. The sizes mentioned should be taken as a minimum. This is because the bigger the stable is, the better.
Ensure the stables are free from protrusions or sharp objects that can hurt your horses. The stables should not be drafty but well ventilated with plenty of headspaces. Also, consider storage space for rugs, tack, bedding, feed, hay, etc.
2. Mucking Out
Mucking out is a task that you should give the attention that it deserves. It is only by doing it well that you'll keep your horses healthy and happy.
No matter the bedding you use, that task involves clearing wet patches and droppings, followed by making the bed.
When making the bed, supply enough padding and make it thick enough for their comfort.
3. Watering and Feeding
Supply your horses with plenty of freshwater in a large rubber/plastic bucket. If you can install automatic drinkers, the better.
4. Preventing Boredom
Stabled horses often suffer a lot from boredom. So you need to find ways to keep them busy. For example, you can feed them using haynets with smaller holes so they can take longer to eat.
You can also buy stable toys and provide them veggies and carrots hung somewhere in the stable to help break the boredom.
Stabled horses will need more time to stretch the muscles and prevent boredom and stiffness. You can use in-hand and ridden work, lunging horse walkers, or hand grazing to exercise.
Horse Feeding Guide
Horse feeding guide for beginners is just a scratch on the surface of horse nutrition. It's right for you to know the basics of horse feeding so you can be sure you are doing the right thing.
The Basic Rules of Horse Feeding
● Feed the horses according to the workload, weights, and sizes
● Always use the highest quality feed you can get
● All the horses access to fresh, clean water
● Don't give them concentrates after exercise or within an hour before exercise
● Provide them with a balanced diet
● If you have to make any feeding changes, do it gradually
● Don't change your feeding routine/times
● Feed often but little
● Feed depending on the work they have done, not what you expect them to do
● Measure all feeds accurately
The amount of food needed by horses and the type of feed depends on their weight/size, their metabolism/type, the work they do, etc.
As a rule of thumb, the amount of food they consume should be about 2.5% of their weight per day. A significant proportion of their feed should comprise grass, haylage, and hay.
The digestive system of horses is very sensitive, so you need to manage their feeding carefully. Be consistent and don't introduce abrupt changes. Here are the feeds we propose for your horses.
Roughage comprising haylage, hay, and grass should form the largest percentage of a horse's diet. Buy the highest quality haylage/hay/grass you can get. Cheap feeds may contain poisonous plants and are dusty because they aren't screened.
2. Concentrates/Hard Feed
Concentrates/hard feeds are cereals and grains that are sold as pony nuts and in other processed forms. Provide hard feeds only to horses that work hard.
Ponies and horses that hack out only once in a while don't need hard feeds. But you can provide them with some good supplements and access to mineral, vitamin, and salt licks, together with low-calorie chaff.
Nearly all horses require some basic supplements to provide the essential minerals and vitamins in their diets. Before you provide your horse with any supplements, talk to a vet or nutritionist for advice.
Buy supplements only from licensed and trusted suppliers. Some unscrupulous suppliers provide low-quality supplements with chemicals that can harm your horses.
Provide your horses with fresh vegetables and fruits such as apple and carrots daily. Don't give too much of these succulents, but just enough to boost their vitamin levels.
If you have to give your horses some treats, stick to the low sugar, organic ones. Do not give too many treats, as your horses may develop bad habits like knocking you over when looking for them.
The Basic Health Care for You Horses
The primary health care for your horses is perhaps the most important aspect of all horse care activities. You should be able to detect whenever your horse has health problems and also know what first aid measures you can take before calling a vet.
First, get to know the normal respiration, pulse, and temperature for horses.
● A normal pulse is 28 - 44 heartbeats/min.
● The normal respiration is 8 to 16 breaths/min.
● The normal temperature is 99.5–101.3 °F (or 37.5–38.5 °C)
Of course, these parameters depend on the age and size of a horse. You need to take the measurements regularly to ensure they fall within the normal range.
A vet should check anything you notice that's out of the ordinary.
Other things you should be on the lookout for include:
● Bumps and lumps: Bumps and lumps are signs of internal/external injury infection. Keep checking your horse's external appearance and take immediate action if you notice any bump or lump.
● General condition: You should be able to tell whether or not your horse is in good shape. For example, a healthy horse shouldn't have protruding ribs, and the rump should appear smooth.
● Demeanour and general attitude: Horses should always be alert and appear bright. If your horse is restless or dull, it should be a matter of concern.
Nostrils and ears: both the nostrils and ears should be clear with no discharge.
● Mucous membrane: The inner nostrils and the gums should be salmon pink. Anything other than that is a course for alarm.
● Droppings: a healthy horse poops about eight times/day. The droppings should break easily on impact and should be well-formed. They should also have uniform consistency with no huge bits of raw feed.
The horses also need to be well hydrated and should only have a low level of rumbles or gurgling in their guts.
You should be able to detect the health changes in your horses and how you can deal with horse injuries. It would help if you took some basic first aid classes. This can help you save the life of your horse.
Make sure your horses have healthy backs and that they have well-fitting saddles to prevent injuries. Poorly fitting saddles are also quite uncomfortable for the horses, something that can make them under-perform.
Horses change their shapes with time, and a saddle that's fitting today may not be fitting next year. Also, horses that compete or work hard can change their shapes between winter and summer.
For these reasons, have the saddles checked once or twice a year to make the necessary adjustments.
1. Feet care
Let a farrier trim your horses' feet every six to eight weeks. This is to prevent their feet from overgrowing and chipping, which can make the horses feel uncomfortable. If you have to ride your horses on rocky or hard ground, ensure they have shoes on.
2. Teeth care
You need a competent and trained equine dentist to check your horses' teeth at least once every year. Unchecked teeth will become sharp, and this can cause mouth injuries and pain. Young horses, under five years, need checkups about 2 - 4 times per year.
It is recommended that you worm your horses once every two months to prevent worms from building up in their intestines and stomachs. Each worming paste comes with instructions that you need to follow to the letter.
To ensure your horses are not affected much by worms, clean their droppings and the grazing field.
4. Horse vaccinations
Vaccinations are necessary for your horses. Let your vet advise on what vaccines to use and how often. Vaccinations will protect your horses against tetanus and viral strangles and diseases.
Grooming skills are essential for both experienced and new horse owners. Grooming is something you need to do daily to maintain the general health and cleanliness of your horses.
Here are some things you should do daily:
● Use a hoof pick to pick out their feet, removing stones and dirt. Be careful by avoiding the frogs of their feet.
● When brushing, move the brush in the coats' direction. Be careful with the sensitive areas, and keep the brush in contact with the horses' bodies much as possible.
● Brush the face area using a soft brush and be careful around the nose and eyes.
● Use dandy brushes, curry combs, and coarse brushes to remove the body's toughest dirt and be careful with sensitive areas like the clipped parts and joints.
● Use a brush (not a comb) to brush the tail and main.
● Once you've removed the dirt and mud, it's time to make your horses shine. Use a body brush to clean the whole body of the horses. Give them a finishing touch by wiping their bodies using a tea towel.
● You can use specialist wipes for nostrils, ears, and eyes of the horses. You can as well use damp clean sponges for cleaning each of these sensitive areas.
● After exercise, pick out their feet again to remove any stones and dirt, then wash the sweaty areas.
The equipment and Tools You Need For Horse Care
For you to provide excellent care for your horses, you'll need some tools and equipment. Apart from the obvious rugs and tack, you'll also need tack cleaning equipment, bathing stuff, grooming kit, water, and feeding buckets, mucking out tools, and protective clothing/gear for yourself.
Let's have a look at some of these tools.
Check the clips, buckles, and straps regularly, and keep the rugs clean. If possible, have a machine dedicated to washing the rugs. If not, you can use smaller numnahs/rugs that are easier to clean. Turnout rugs and large rugs may require specialist cleaning each season.
The tack must always be kept clean. Use balm and soap to clean its leather supple to prevent weakening or cracking. Check the stitches regularly to ensure it's always in good condition.
You should also wash the fabric girths, boots, and numnahs to prevent them from rubbing. The bridles and the saddles must be stored on suitable racks. Let a saddler check your saddles at least once every year to ensure they are in good condition.
Use only safe buckets for hay and feeding. We highly recommend flexible rubber buckets with no metallic handles. You also need a first aid kit stocked up with creams, medications, etc.
Regularly, check the expiry dates and safely discard the expired ones.
Grooming is necessary to protect your horses against infections. Ensure your grooming kit has all the brushes that you need. If possible, don't share brushes between horses as this can lead to the transfer of infections from one horse to another.
Your safety is also important as you take care of the horses. Ensure you have a body protector, a helmet, and safe riding boots. Also, get appropriate clothing for the weather you are planning to ride in. Remember to wear hand gloves whenever you are cleaning the horses to ensure you are safe from infections.
Horses are good companions that are necessary to have around. Not only that. They can also provide cart and pack services in industries like transport of goods, construction, garbage management, general transport, tourism, and agriculture.
You can make them do these works or use them for sporting competitions. No matter the use you put your horses into, they will not perform well if you don't take good care of them.
So, because they serve you, you also need to sacrifice to keep them healthy. When you no longer need your horses, you can have them euthanized or sell them to a friend. It is better to destroy them humanely than to let them suffer from neglect.
This product from Horse Guard in particular contains the right amount of ingredients needed in order to provide your horses with the nutrients that they need to remain healthy and happy. Because of that, you’re most recommended to purchase Horse Guard Equine Hoof Guard Concentrated Supplement on the market.