The hoof is put under a lot of different stresses and strains throughout a horse’s life. One major influencing factor on hoof health is the environment. Each year, as we swing between a warm, dry summer to a wet, cold winter, the hooves are likely to suffer.
Over winter, the cold, wet conditions are not the only thing putting strain on the hooves. During winter, the forage we give to our horses is a lot less nutritious than that given during summer and spring, because of this, horses can start to become deficient in key vitamins and minerals – especially if their feed is not balanced.
It is not just nutrition and environment that affect hoof health, other influencing factors include; poor conformation, horses being kept without shoes and horses with a predisposition to hoof problems. All these factors put extra stresses and strains on the hooves and can lead to cracks and damage.
Unfortunately, we can’t change the weather, or a horse’s genetics, but we can change their diet. This is why one of the best ways to deal with those troublesome crumbly hooves is to make sure your horse gets the nutritional essentials from their diet – if not, supplement! Continue reading