Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
I'd like to try a supplement/s on Rafi to see whether it improves his slight footiness on stoney ground, but I am really confused and worried that I might not get it right.

According to my book 'Feet First' a 'bio-available, broad-spectrum mineral supplement' is recommended for general conditioning/behaviour and magnesium oxide (or a more bio-available source of magnesium) and calcium in a ratio of 2:1 for improving the condition of the feet.

Raf is in a fairly small paddock with not very much grazing, has ad-lib hay and a twice daily feed of nuts and chop. I only hack him lightly and do a bit of schooling, we have the odd canter/gallop but no regular hard work as he's only 4.

Is there a supplement I can give him with his feed or is it not that simple? Can anyone recommend anything/give me any advice? I'd be most grateful!


Well-Known Member
May 19, 2005
new forest
I am no expert but after a lot of research and advice from NR we are currently trying Formula 4 Feet which is a supplement and also the hoof dressing of the same brand which is called Solution 4 Feet. Both are pricey but you don't use much.

Comes well recommended as does small does of Mag Ox and am soaking his feet in water during this v dry weather.


Learning all the time
Jul 18, 2005
North west
It really depends on whether you can establish the cause of the footiness.

In some it is directly sugar related - in which case I would actually avoid top spec and review his chop and nuts - cutting out mollases may help.

If its a mineral deficiency then mag ox with another balancer such as slim line (basically rosehip, seaweed and something else sorry!!!), although slim line actually contains mag ox as it helps to reduce fat deposits.

Its useful to know if its sugar related - ours is - so staying away from sugars is the best bet - but supplementing mag ox and general vit and min wont hurt :)

Dodson and horrel do a mollases free pellet, there are lucie stalks from simple system or something like fibre beet which is filling, but mollasses free :)


Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
My trimmer took into account everything, workload, turnout, feet , diet etct then suggested Magnesium Oxide. He's on half the ration at the moment, feet are ok. i'm hacking out 5/6 days per week min 2 miles per ride.

I do also have pair of boots in my saddle bag as emergency. When i didn't own he was footy, now i do he's ok:)


Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
Thanks everyone for your replies. It's really very confusing isn't it? I had a look at his feed (Rafi is on livery and is fed what YO supplies) but couldn't seen any molasses in the ingredients.

I think I'll start with the mag ox and not worry too much about how much calcium he's getting as that seems very complicated to work out. If that doesn't work I'll move on to one of the other supplements recommended - no point trying everything at once as I won't know what's doing what!

Thanks again.


Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
Are you happy to him fed on what YO gets in? That wouldn't be ideal for me as i've got pony who has different needs to the yard.


Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
Well at least for now I am - it's basically what he was on in his previous home and I didn't want to change everything all at once for him (or for me either - I've got so much to learn). Plus if I feed him something different I have to buy it myself on top of what I pay for livery so it would work out quite expensive. I won't rule out changing his feed in the future though, maybe when I'm a bit more confident in what I'm doing and know whether or not it would really be beneficial.

Do you mind me asking whether you buy your magnesium oxide locally or whether you get it online? And how does it come - is it like a powder that you mix in with the food?

Thanks x


I usually get mine via my old trimmer, but online is no problem. It's a white powder, and you mix it in to their feed. It isn't very palatable, so start off with a small amount and let them get used to it.

Does depend what the problem is as to what may or may not help, just try one thing at a time and see what helps. Balancing the ratios in the diet is only really possible if you know what's in everything they're getting, pasture, hay and feed, so it's normally more a case of trial and error. Calcium is usually plentiful in the diet, it's the magnesium that can be on the low side, especially if there's lots of alfalfa being consumed for example. And the uptake is affected by other minerals too:rolleyes: I personally didn't see any firm improvements with my horses whatever I fed, the only thing that makes any real difference with them is the state of the grass.
I have always found that restricting grazing, as much exercise as possible on a variety of surfaces and ensuring that non-molassed feed is used are the most important things.

However, I do give Frayne the following in a small feed of Speedibeet - magnesium, cinnamon, yea-sacc, seaweed/rosehip. These ensure that she gets all the nutrients she needs (which may otherwise be missing from her forage diet), and also help her to control her weight/metabolism.

Ali xx
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