So, dude’s feet need some TLC. They’re not bad,but they’ve definitely been let go in the past, and moving from soft, wet east Texas grass to our sandy, rocky, DRY New Mexico caliche is going to be kind of a learning curve.
I’m not making any decisions about shoes or boots or barefoot or whatever until he’s settled in and farrier’s taken a look at him. I really don’t have any idealogical attachment to any particular hoofcare philosophy, I just want him to be comfortable and sound, with whatever footwear makes that the most possible.
So in the short term,I want to make sure he’s got the best nutrition possible to support good growth. I’ve never really supplemented much before (my previous horses that were just mine got BOSS on top of their ration balancer but that was it) but I know I can do better.
My super helpful FB community unanimously suggested adding an omega oils supplement and slightly less unanimously suggested biotin. So that was where I started my research.
SmartPak’s SmartHoof supplement was highly recommended, and I may give it a try in the future. It’s pelleted and contains biotin and also flaxseed oil, which is a source of omega oils. This is on my list to try in the future, but I was’t making a Smartpak order this week. (We’re also unfortunately in the slowest possible shipping area for SmatPak- I absolutely trust them to be timely on stuff like subscription shipping, but I didn’t plan ahead well enough to use them this time- and I’m not really sold on the idea of pre-measured and pre-packaged supplements as cost effective.)
SeaPet, a cold-processed fish oil supplement that my dogs get also comes in an equine formula, which is just fish oil plus peppermint oil. I really like the results in my dogs on this, but I *hate* how gross it is to give- the bottle always seems to get coated in fish oil and be greasy when you pick it up, and it smells horrific if you don’t like the smell of fish. (Jack once stole and chewed open one of the bottles ON MY BED and I had to burn that comforter. It smelled like fishy death.) And I suspect a vegetable-based source is probably more digestable for horses.
I ended up going with Uckele’s CoMega supplement- it’s flaxseed and coconut oil based (with some fish oil).
I also picked up a straight biotin supplement- AniMed Biotin 100. It’s fairly inexpensive but seemed like a reasonable place to start. Biotin is good for hoof growth (and hair growth too, but that’s a bonus) and is pretty straightfoward as far as supplements go. The AniMed got good reviews, had a simple ingredient list,and was fairly inexpensive as a place to get started.
So – a starting place. And we’ll go from there. 🙂