Hoof & Hair Nutritionist Q&A

Customer: “I have a horse that a week ago got stuck in a fence and tore off half of his hoof from heel bulb to toe and coronet band to sole. The entire hoof wall and laminae are gone exposing his coffin bone. He did not break any bones or appear to have damaged the coffin joint. (I can supply pictures if you are interested). I have been using Super Weight Gain on another horse and been so thrilled with the results in just one bag that I wanted to look into your hoof supplements. My question is which of your hoof supplements would be most appropriate for such a large scale injury? I am in Colorado and I am concerned with the selenium content as according to my vet the area we live in is high in selenium. Obviously this horse will not be grazing but he will be eating local hay. Any information and guidance on this traumatic experience would be greatly appreciated.”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Sorry to hear about your horse. The hoof supplement that I would recommend is Biotin Hoof Blast. It contains zinc, methionine, MSM, and 100 mg of biotin (the highest of any hoof supplement on the market). These ingredients will help to build structural protein and rebuild his hoof. I think you will be very happy with the results. So glad to hear that you have had great success with super weight gain.
Customer: “I am very interested in your hoof products. However, do you have any hoof supplements that aren’t extruded as my horse doesn’t find them to be very palatable? Thank you.”<
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Our products that are exclusively hoof supplements are only sold in the extruded form. However, Trifecta, which contains a full dose of Hoof Guard, a vitamin-mineral supplement, gut supplement, and powerful joint supplement is a pelleted product. When talking about hoof supplements we have a few different options. The first is Hoof Guard, which contains 32 mg of biotin, zinc, methionine, and MSM. This product is great for horses that have dry, shelly hooves that have a tendency to crack. The second is Biotin Hoof Blast, which contains 100 mg of biotin, zinc, methionine, and MSM. This product is designed for horses with really bad cracked hooves or horses that have had a resection or part of a hoof wall removed. As I said before, Trifecta is a 4-1 product that contains a hoof supplement, and is in the pelleted form.
Customer: “I have a 16-year-old Appendix Gelding, He is an OHSET/Barrel horse, a big boy, I feed him Grass Hay and Haystack a pelleted timothy, alfalfa. He gets no sweet feeds and I keep him low carb. I have fed Horse guard for 2 years now, and he also gets tight joints plus. Last year in April he started being off, showed signs of lameness off and on until September, then fine until February of this year and then blew a huge abscess in March in one hoof then another in April, was fine in May and now is showing signs of wanting to abscess again. He is barefoot and has been for over 3 years. He has had the same trimmer all 3 years, He has hard growing hooves and basically healthy except this. He does ware his heals down for some reason and I think he is bruising easy, ouchy on rocks. My question is Do you think his Iron consumption is not allowing him to absorb the copper and Zinc he needs? Would His Glucosamine consumption affect his hooves?”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Sorry to hear about your horse. Abscesses can be caused by many things, and some horses are more susceptible for some reason or another. The most common time for abscesses is when the weather is fluctuating back and forth between wet to dry. Also, bruising causes trauma to the hoof and therefore can lead to abscessing. Usually, once a horse has abscessed, they are more prone to abscess again. When considering his iron consumption, a total feed analysis would need to be done in order to have a definitive answer. However, in my opinion, I don’t think this would be an issue. A common problem in hay is too much iron combined with low zinc and copper levels. The iron in your horse’s ration should be no more than 8 times more than the total zinc in the diet. When supplementing with Horse Guard, however, we try to offset this common imbalance with 4 times as much zinc than iron. Glucosamine will not negatively affect his hooves. I would considering adding to Hoof Guard to his feeding program, or switching from Horse Guard and Tight Joints Plus to Trifecta. Either of these products will provide your horse with 32 mg of biotin, in addition to zinc, methionine, and MSM which are crucial for hoof health. By building a stronger, more supple hoof your horse will be able to protect himself from bruising as easily. In addition to the hoof supplement, Trifecta contains a full dose of Horse Guard, a gut supplement, and powerful joint supplement (5000 mg of glucosamine and MSM, and 100 mg of hyaluronic acid). We have 15 head of horses that all receive Trifecta. My good head horse is 19 years old this year and has been roped off of competitively all around the United States since she was 4 years old. This year is first time she has needed any joint injections. I truly believe that all the components of Trifecta are what have allowed her to stay at the top of her game as long as she has with very few trips to the veterinarian.
Customer: “I have had my older gelding on Horse Guard, a joint supplement, and Sand Clear for years. Recently his hooves don’t seem to be in very good shape, so I think I should add a hoof supplement, but I want to keep it as simple as possible. What would you recommend?”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Sorry to hear about your horse’s hooves. Sounds like you take great care of him. I think Trifecta would be a great change for him. It will be able to replace all of your current supplements and also provide him with a hoof supplement as well. You will want to do your monthly Sand Clear still however. Trifecta is absolutely amazing. It is what we feed all 15 of our horses, and really helps out my 25 year old mare.
Customer: “Hi there, two 900lb. horses – one with great feet, but will soon be turned out into a rocky paddock area daily, other horse has thin walled hooves / sensitivity (might not put her in paddock due to this). Both have been on Horse Guard w/ grass hay min. 5 years. Friend says give Hoof & Hair also. Seems like too much biotin & other things. Can you advise?”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: You have a couple of options. Hoof & Hair Guard is a great product to pair with Horse Guard, and you don’t need to worry about too much biotin and other nutrients. It will help your horse’s hooves and hair grow and look amazing. However, I would recommend Horse Guard and Hoof Guard. It has 32 mg of biotin, zinc, methionine, and MSM (important to help build structural protein in the hoof). Hoof Guard will help strengthen your horses’ feet, especially the one with thin walls. Horse Guard and Hoof Guard are a perfect combination, and should really help your horses’ feet, and prevent cracks from traveling up into the new hoof growth. Which would be good for your horse that you will be turning out. It is important to remember that feeding a hoof supplement won’t change the hoof that already exists, but it will build stronger new hoof. So, as your horses’ feet grow the new material will be more resistance to cracks. The complete replacement of the hoof will take around 9-12 months.
Customer: “Can an additional hoof supplement be combined with Trifecta?”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Although Trifecta already contained a hoof supplement, you can add an extra hoof supplement, such as Hoof Guard or Biotin Hoof Blast, to increase the amount of biotin, zinc, methionine, and MSM to help with hoof growth and strength for horses with really bad hooves. If you are considering another hoof supplement other than our two hoof supplements make sure that they don’t contain a lot of different trace minerals in order to ensure levels aren’t too high.
Customer: “My gelding has been very tender footed for the past couple months. We have had a very rainy season and I know all the rain has softened his hooves. Is there a supplement you recommend? I have been applying turpentine for the past few weeks, but it doesn’t seem to be helping.”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Sorry to hear about your gelding. I would recommend Hoof Guard, which will provide your horse with 32 mg of biotin, zinc, methionine, and MSM. This will help him to start building a stronger hoof. It is important to note that the supplement won’t change the existing hoof, but rather will help build new, stronger hoof. You will begin to see the outgrow from the coronet band. Complete replacement of the hoof can take 8-12 months.
Customer: “As I am just beginning to better understand the needs and issues of selenium, I have a question about inorganic selenium in small (1 mg/day) quantities. I have athletic American Saddlebreds that I use as endurance horses. Currently, they are fed HorseGuard in addition to 60/40 grass/alfalfa here in the eastern parts of the Pacific Northwest. My 4-year old could benefit from the addition of Biotin and I mistakenly ordered one that contains an addition of 1mg of sodium selenite per day. Is this dangerous or, based on the info on this website, will the body largely waste this?”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: The biotin product with 1 mg of selenium will put your horse at 4 mgs total. Research studies have been done with this amount and found no problems when supplemented at this level for six months. So your 4-year-old will be ok with that supplementation. In your next purchase of a biotin supplement you should consider our hoof supplement, Hoof Guard. It has no selenium and contains 32 mg of biotin, zinc, methionine, and MSM. We also have a product called Mega Dose that contains a full dose of Horse Guard and 32 mg of biotin in a single dose for ease in feeding.
Customer: “Hello, I have a question about your feed. I actually just ordered a bag yesterday of the standard horse guard to try on my horse. My horse is a little thin right now with a little hay belly. He needs help filling out his top line though. He gets a grass alfalfa mix and has a mineral lick available 24/7. Is this a situation where this feed would help him with his coat condition as well as body condition? Like I said, I already purchased, so this will be the first route we take, just wanted to get general feedback based on the specific situation.”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Feeding Horse Guard is a great step in the right direction. It will take care of any deficiencies he may have and help his coat condition. However, if you are not satisfied with his body condition you have a couple of options. Since you have already purchased the Horse Guard you could also purchase Glow, which is extruded soybeans. It would provide your horse with extra energy from fat and protein to help you build his topline. The second option is to put him on Super Weight Gain. A ten pound bag of Super Weight Gain will last 20 days. In a dose of Super Weight Gain he will not only get a full dose of Horse Guard, he will also get fat and protein, as well as powerful prebiotics and probiotics, which will help him with any digestion issues he might have. Once he is in the condition that you would like you could put him back on Horse Guard to maintain his nutritional plane. Since you already have the Horse Guard, no worries, the shelf life on Horse Guard is two years. This would allow you to feed Super Weight Gain until you are satisfied with his condition, and then put him on Horse Guard.
Customer: “I live in Prescott, AZ. Where can I find your hoof guard, and how good is it for my horse’s hooves?”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: You can get Equine Hoof Guard at your local Cal-Ranch store. If they don’t have it in stock they can order it for you or you can order online and we will ship it directly to you. Equine Hoof Guard would be great your horse’s hooves. It has 32 mg of biotin per 2 oz dose, which is more one of the most powerful doses on the market. In addition, the product has Zinc, methionine, and MSM. It is the only hoof supplement that contains MSM which is important for building structural proteins.
Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

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