Quote 4the day: Watch, listen, learn, understand and move on with them as one..
Fact 4the day: Equine nutritionists are frequently asked questions about dietary influences on hoof health. Questions have been posed by farriers, veterinarians, trainers, and owners. In recent years, more horsepeople have expressed an interest in the affects of poor nutritional status or malnutrition on hoof health.
Aside from energy, a well-balanced diet will provide nutrients the horse requires... for overall health and well-being, and these in turn will help fuel sound hoof growth.
Without question, malnourishment negatively impacts hoof growth. Inadequate dietary energy, especially to the point of emaciation, hinders normal hoof development just as radically as it impedes other body processes. While hoof growth may continue at a relatively constant rate through downturns in nutrition, the quality of hoof that erupts during these periods may be severely diminished.
Like other tissues, the hooves will likely improve as a horse moves from negative energy balance (too few calories in the diet to sustain body weight) to positive energy balance (calories exceed those required for maintenance of body weight). A malnourished horse in negative energy balance will use whatever nutrition it consumes or whatever it can leech from its internal stores to fuel survival. Hence, energy is the nutrient of primary importance. Meeting energy requirements with a well-balanced diet that contains high-quality forage and concentrates is the single most important factor when considering hoof growth and integrity of an emaciated horse. As the horse progresses in its recovery, alternative energy sources such as fermentable fiber and fat may be added to the diet. Though fat is a valuable feedstuff used to increase energy density of rations and to add shine to the coat, it does not seem to have a measurable effect on hoof growth or strength.
Aside from energy, a well-balanced diet will provide nutrients the horse requires for overall health and well-being, and these in turn will help fuel sound hoof growth. High-quality protein will supply the horse with the amino acids researchers have theorized are essential for hoof growth. Over the years, scientists have studied certain amino acids more than others, namely methionine and cystine, believing that supplementation of these will benefit hoof quality. Deficiency of one or both of these amino acids may contribute to poor hoof quality, but so may the deficiency of other amino acids or the interaction of amino acids when certain ones are missing.
Researchers have examined the amino acid content of average and poor-quality hooves. They found a correlation between cystine content and hardness in normal hooves but not in poor-quality hooves. The protein of normal hooves contained higher levels of threonine, phenylalanine, and proline. Certain of these amino acids are considered essential, which means they cannot be synthesized in the body in sufficient quantities to meet the body's demand for them. Thus the need for high-quality protein in all diets is critical but perhaps doubly so in extreme weight-gaining situations. Protein sources composed of a high proportion of essential amino acids are classified as high quality. Soybean meal is the most common high-quality protein used in feed manufacture.
In addition to energy and protein, a nutritionally sound ration features a full complement of vitamins and minerals. Premium feeds will contain chelated forms of minerals. Chelation, a process that binds a mineral to an amino acid, enhances absorption of the mineral.
Thought 4the day: In all the years we have had horses and ponies come in i have seen many that are a little over weight from alot of love as not all horses come from homes that are abusive. Some come from loving homes but things have just gone wrong in the owners life. Off the top of my head i know of three that were very over weight. You could literally see rolls of fat and indents where there sh...ould of been parts of their body! Yesterday i met the biggest as in widest pony i have seen for a very long time. I know people love them i can understand this but then loving them with food can be very bad. The mare in question has red rings in all 4 white hooves and is bruised on the soul of her feet which means lami. Shes being seen by the vet/farrier today and now in the starvation paddock (a field we use that has no grass). Sometimes too much food which is being seen as loving can cause damage...