Poor feet and diet

lauren123

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Feb 3, 2007
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Sox has poor feet in general he gets fed biotin but I was wondering g if sox needs more then biotin alone? I know some horse feeds have zinc and all that malarka. Would that be better then just feeding the biotin?
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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Yes.

Biotin alone, while better than nothing, isn't really enough because it needs other things to be fully utilized. I'd look at either a specialist hoof supplement or a good balancer.
 

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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Dolly had dreadful feet when I got her nearly 4 years ago. I tried almost all of the usual hoof 'mixes' for about 2 years, plus other supplements for her sweet itch. Very little difference, if any at all frankly. Now with trial and error I have her sweet itch well under control and have gone from having to give her a steroid jab twice during the summer to just keeping rugged and her belly line covered, her feet hardly able to keep a shoe and very under run heels and cracked and flaky feet, too lovely hooves that keep a shoe very well and have to be really tugged off by my farrier at shoeing time.

My final choice of supplements were, Micronised linseed, brewers yeast, biotin plus from ebay, zinc, copper and magnesium. I have just recently changed from the biotin plus, zinc and copper, to an all in one Equimins Biotin 15......but her coat is looking rather flaky again so I will be changing to Equimins Biotin 25 to increase the zinc levels. I know Sox hasnt got sweet itch, but I can only say the combination I use, and it is for both the SI and her awful hoof condition.

My farrier cant believe how much her feet have changed in the lst year or so, but I have to say his input has also had a huge bearing on the overall improvement. A good farrier is to be hung on to at all costs, worth their weight in gold IMO.
 

squidsin

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Feb 16, 2013
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My Roxy has dreadful feet - really thin, weak hoof walls. I asked the farrier about supplements - the problem being Roxy is extremely fussy and won't eat anything with a bitter taste and he recommended farrier mix. Not sure she'll take it and don't want to spend money on another untouched supplement. He also said Thermatex boots at night as if her legs are kept warm, it will stimulate hoof growth, so that is what Father Xmas is bringing me in my stocking!
 

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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We have too much iron here in our water and grazing, so I believe you have to be careful with seaweed in those circumstances. I have only been told this though, so not entirely sure how true it is.
 

squidsin

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Feb 16, 2013
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Rosehips and seaweed are a good natural supplement for feet, and they taste great!
I might try the rosehips next year as we have tons of wild roses in our garden and the hedgerows and it would be a good use for them - and I wouldn't be wasting more money on yet another supplement Roxy won't touch! I keep having to give them away to people on the yard. Can you dry then feed rosehips?
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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Belle won't touch rosehips.... although she goes mad for nettles.
Sorry Lauren for a bit of a mini hijack.
 

Jayne

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Oct 12, 2014
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Beccas feet have always been awful,flaky, cracked, shoes falling off, u name it. 18 months, biotin, formula for feet, seaweed, zinc suppliments, all to no avail. Her feet always get better in the winter,even though she's stood in mud !! I stopped using all suppliments except her calmer and joint ones, changed to a balancer, once/twice a week I use kevin bacon hoof moisturiser and once a week keratex hoof hardener. I thought the more stuff I gave her the better her feet were gonna get (didn't realise she's only been peeing it away !!! ) She's only been on this new regime 6 wks so we'll see. But I sympathise with anyone who's horses feet are bad, " No foot no horse " its true. Planned for a good ride, "soz can't come she's thrown a shoe again " lots of times.
Trial and error to see what your horse needs. [emoji33]
 

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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Ale is on formula for feet and has been for about 6months and his feet look better already.
 

Jayne

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Oct 12, 2014
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Ale is on formula for feet and has been for about 6months and his feet look better already.
Yeah bexs feet improved at first , even farrier commented then a few months later hes saying what's happened? It had loads of great reviews, Hope it works for you.
 

MrC

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Cut out starch and cereals, hi fibre and oil. For the horse needing energy and weight ERS pellets are great :)

Some form of hoof supplement would be good but I have Kia on none and his feet are like rocks. He does have done hoof friendly ingredients in the veteran vitality but I wouldn't say it was supplement levels.

He has been barefoot now for over three years and we have never needed boots over any ground.

Many people with horses in shoes but who are losing them or have poor feet find a great fifference by changing the diet to that of a barefoot horse. However be aware it will take nearly a year for you to see any difference in the feet.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Yes, pick dog rose hips when ripe and dry them in the airing cupboard,they will keep all winter. Horses love them fresh though! Well ...most horses...
 

sjp1

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Sep 14, 2009
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I agree something like Pro Hoof as a balancer. Don't forget that anything like mixes, or most cubes will have a fair amount of sugar/starch in them which is not good for hooves.

The barefoot diet is a good starting place - very low sugar/starch combination - under 10% combined. Unshod horses will always show diet issues before shod horses, so if I had a horse with bad feet I would go onto the Phoenix horse website, or the others to see what they recommend.

Unmollassed beet is a good start, a good balancer with no added iron, and micronised linseed if you need weight gain.
 

carthorse

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Not diet related, but the other thing to look at is how good his foot balance is & if he's being shod regularly enough. If weak feet are allowed to get out of balance, either through poor trimming/shoeing or too long between shoeing, then the strain on them is greater & that will weaken them even more. I've heard so many people say that their horse doesn't need shoeing because the ones they've got on aren't loose or they've hardly been ridden since they were last shod! Standing back & looking at the feet & legs tells a very different story & the best farrier in the world can't do much if he's constantly presented with an overgrown weak foot because to take off too much in one go would cause unacceptable strains & stresses due to altered angles. Not saying this is the issue in your case Lauren, but it's something to consider when dealing with poor feet.
 

squidsin

Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2013
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Cut out starch and cereals, hi fibre and oil. For the horse needing energy and weight ERS pellets are great :)

Some form of hoof supplement would be good but I have Kia on none and his feet are like rocks. He does have done hoof friendly ingredients in the veteran vitality but I wouldn't say it was supplement levels.

He has been barefoot now for over three years and we have never needed boots over any ground.

Many people with horses in shoes but who are losing them or have poor feet find a great fifference by changing the diet to that of a barefoot horse. However be aware it will take nearly a year for you to see any difference in the feet.

Mine is just on grass (when there is any!), hay and a handful of speedibeet/chaff for her supplements and always has been, from what I've been told. I am happy with that and I am not sure if I could change it to improve her feet?
 

squidsin

Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2013
5,149
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Not diet related, but the other thing to look at is how good his foot balance is & if he's being shod regularly enough. If weak feet are allowed to get out of balance, either through poor trimming/shoeing or too long between shoeing, then the strain on them is greater & that will weaken them even more. I've heard so many people say that their horse doesn't need shoeing because the ones they've got on aren't loose or they've hardly been ridden since they were last shod! Standing back & looking at the feet & legs tells a very different story & the best farrier in the world can't do much if he's constantly presented with an overgrown weak foot because to take off too much in one go would cause unacceptable strains & stresses due to altered angles. Not saying this is the issue in your case Lauren, but it's something to consider when dealing with poor feet.

I've changed farriers and my new one says Roxy has uneven feet so that's something I am keeping an eye on now too.
 

sjp1

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Sep 14, 2009
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Mine is just on grass (when there is any!), hay and a handful of speedibeet/chaff for her supplements and always has been, from what I've been told. I am happy with that and I am not sure if I could change it to improve her feet?

I suppose it depends on what supplements, and some horses just have uneven feet. I understand that it is not good to try to get feet to match. If they need to grow a flare on one foot, thats what they need to stay sound.
 
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