Ok so, my OTTB has alright feet but this winter has taken a tole on his hooves. They are now very dry and cracked and it concerns me. He lost a shoe Sunday and the farrier wasnt able to come out till Wednesday so now he has an inch or so chunk missing out of his hoof. I'm defiantly going to start him on a hoof supplement. What had worked for your horses hooves? I'm thinking of trying Farrier's Formula Double Strength.
Also, he's been in Omega Horseshine for two months and besides less dandruff I haven't noticed a huge difference. I noticed that the Farrier Formula DS has most of the same ingredients but less Omega. Did anyone have good results with the OH or has anyone seen better coats with their horses on FF DS?
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Omega Horseshine has done wonders for my boy. He no longer gets rain rot and hives and it helps him keep his weight without making him hot and his feet are in the best shape they've ever been. I've tried cheaper alternatives (like Dumor Ultrashine) and taking him off of it to save money and I've always gone back to it. It's going to take longer than two months to really see any results. You will notice more of a difference after he sheds out his winter coat.
Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
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My old horse had a lot of skin issues (I attract them, apparently), but also came with some pretty crappy feet. Farrier's Formula was GREAT for his feet but never did anything for his skin. I never used OH (which I believe is mostly flax?), but did have him on ground flax for quite awhile. The help was noticeable but not knock your socks off. I got the best bang for my buck with SmartShine Ultra (he was actually SP's cover boy for that product for awhile!), and also had he and Toby on The SmartOmega with equal benefits. Like both those products, a lot, but the one that blows them both away is Cocosoya oil. Hands down.
I have been VERY happy with SmartHoof. My mare's crappy feet have improved, both of their coats looked fantastic last summer, and the probiotic cleared up a long-standing problem my gelding had with watery manure.
It's also very economical considering the good results I have had. Both horses have been on it for about a year now. I'm down to just SmartHoof and MSM now for their supplements.
Hooves need proper amounts of the B vitamin called BIOTIN, as well as calcium, protein, copper, selenium, and zinc. Research has shown that 20 mg of biotin per day is a good place to start, but you have to be committed to this for the rest of the horse's life and it takes a year to grow out the hoof to truly see the results of your Biotin supplement.
If the diet has adequate vitamins and minerals including sufficient amounts of these, the hooves should grow well and strong. Some horses need more vitamin/mineral supplementation than others as some horses don't absorb the nutrients as well for one reason or another. Older horses are especially in this category. Even though my old 24-year-old mare gets senior kibble, I still supplement her with full spectrum vitamin/mineral supplement. Our soil is 100% deficient in selenium, so I do not have to worry about selenium toxicity. If you live in an area, however, where your soil and grass uptake selenium, then only use a supplement sans selenium if you're feeding kibble that has selenium in it.
Too much selenium causes mane/tail hair loss and crappy feet. Too little selenium also can cause crappy coat and feet. The trick is to know where your horse is in that department.
As all B vitamins are water soluble, you do not get into toxicities so additional Biotin B vitamin is safe. Excesses make expensive pee, but don't cause the horse any damage.
If his skin, hair coat, and feet are all lousy, it sounds like something is off in his diet. Probably worth running levels to see what that is before you spend money on supplements. If you don't address the root nutritional cause, it's a waste of your money and time.
That said, for horses with a bad case of the lousy feet not accompanied by any other physical sign of deficiency, my former farrier (may he rest in peace- a brilliant shoer and horseman) recommended Farrier's Formula.
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