How to increase hoof growth, part 2

Hoof growth supplement

It’s winter time and hooves are growing slowly. How can you get hooves to grow faster?

Part 1 Recap:

In Part 1, we covered the ways in which nutritional supplementation could help spur increased hoof growth. Those strategies included adding items like jiaogulan, biotin, methionine, amongst other supplements. You can read that entire post HERE.

Part 2: Other strategies for increased hoof growth:

Warmth: Hooves grow slower when they are cold. In the middle of winter, this can be a challenge. It’s also important to remember that hoof pain can be caused by the cold. This is NOT laminitis. Cold-induced hoof pain can occur when the temperature drops into the low 50s (F) and below.

To help protect your horse in the cold, you can wrap the horse’s legs (or use shipping boots), and be sure to add socks or slippers to help keep the heat in.

» For horses with small hooves, I’ve used hunting socks, along with boots to keep the hooves dry.

» For large horses, I’ve custom‐made socks out of an old quilt that I bought at the 2nd hand store. For those, I cut the material and added heavy‐duty Velcro for the closures. That way, I could just have my old boy stand on the fabric and close it up with the Velcro, adding extra security with a bit of masking tape. That way, I wasn’t struggling with how to get it on, when he didn’t want to keep his foot up.

Movement: Although movement can be a challenge in the winter, or with a laminitic horse, hoof growth is encouraged with movement. It doesn’t have to be intense, or a lot. It can be easy and gentle ambling around and still help with hoof growth.

Trim: While you’re encouraging the horse’s hooves to grow, it’s important to have an appropriate trim. Parts of the hoof may grow faster than others. For instance, in a laminitic horse, it is common for the heels to grow at a faster rate than the toe. Being able to keep the hoof in balance is critical to achieving more normal hoof growth.

Hoof protection: One problem that may be encountered, is that the ground or paddock material can be abrasive. It’s not uncommon for the hooves to wear down in this scenario. By having hoof protection, you are better able to preserve the hoof growth that is occurring.

Benefits of hoof protection:

» Preserves the hooves from being worn down

» May help prevent chipping and cracking

» May increase comfort level for short or compromised hooves

» May help retain heat in cold weather, especially when paired with socks.

» May help prevent bruising from hard, rocky, or frozen surfaces.

No matter how you slice it, hooves take a long time to grow. But there are strategies that you can implement to help it along.


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