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Horse care is complicated, right? There’s always something to think about, and just when you think things are going pretty smoothly, something else crops up! Hoof problems are pretty common, but they can get expensive pretty quickly.
I’d like to recommend some of the best horse hoof supplements you can get. Yes, they’re an investment, but I think they’re necessary for healthy, happy horses.
I’ve personally seen a huge difference in the strength of my horses’ hooves since I started to supplement.
However, how can you figure out which supplements suit your particular horse?
What do the ingredients do, and which ones do you need?
And are horse supplements good for picky eaters?
We’ll look at all that in more detail. You can read the next section to check out my opinion on which horse supplements are the best in general.
The Bottom Line Up Front
My absolute favorites for my horses are the Farm & Stable Hoofmaker Original hoof supplements: they have incredible ingredients, they’re ideal for both healing and maintenance, and they’re well worth the investment.
However, if you’re on a tighter budget and want an excellent maintenance supplement, check out SmartHoof Pellets. They’re decently priced and have a good money-back guarantee if you don’t see results within two months.
Best Horse Hoof Supplements at a Glance
- Dark Horse Nu-Image Hoof & Coat Supports for Horses – a good choice for darker coats, this promotes healthy, strong hooves
- Farm & Stable Hoofmaker Original– an excellent all-rounder and particularly good for brittle hooves
- Farrier’s Formula – a good choice for ultra-strong hooves with a decent price point
- SmartHoof Pellets – suitable for maintenance at a lower price point
- Platinum Hoof Support – fast-acting results with high-quality ingredients
What to Look for in Horse Hoof Supplements
There are a few key things to look for in hoof supplements:
The key thing to look for in horse hoof supplements are the vitamins included. Here’s a quick rundown of each ingredient and how it can benefit your horse:
Biotin is a vital ingredient in terms of hoof health. It’s a B vitamin that works in two important ways:
- Firstly, it’s needed for cell growth and division.
- Secondly, it strengthens the bonds between collagen fibers found in horses’ hooves and coats.
Horses cannot synthesize biotin. This means you need to ensure they’re getting it in their diet, and supplements are the best way to do this. They need around 20mg of biotin daily to stay healthy.
Calcium encourages hooves to be healthy and whole, preventing cracks from emerging (and, therefore, bacteria getting in).
Zinc helps to strengthen hooves by reinforcing keratin. You may know keratin from hair conditioner – a helpful protein that can enhance human skin, hair, and nails. It does the same job for horses’ hooves, hair, and skin.
This is similar to biotin. Horses can’t produce it independently, so you need to ensure they have it in their diet. It’s good for general hoof maintenance.
Iodine is needed to keep both horses’ hooves and coats healthy.
Protein and Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for humans and horses alike! Soybeans and lecithin are common ingredients in hoof supplements as they are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. For glossier coats, skin elasticity, and hoof health, you must ensure your horse has plenty of these fatty acids in their diet.
These fatty acids are perfect for hoof health, as they encourage hooves to repel excess water – this stops hooves from getting too wet, which can lead to thrush and abscesses.
Horse hoof supplements come in various quantities. The most commonly found quantity is 5kg. When you start feeding your horse supplements, you should use a ‘loading rate,’ which means you’re giving them a little more to start with.
5kg will last around 31 days at the loading rate and then 62 days at the maintenance rate for an adult horse.
Of course, you should always speak to a vet before changing your horses’ supplements. You may need a different amount if you have a pony, too – supplements packaging should clarify this.
It can take 6-8 months to see any tangible difference. So it’s essential to make the best decision right away.
It can cost a lot of money to invest for something that may not work, especially when you’re a beginner and you’re just building up your horse gear and equipment.
If you have a fussy eater like me, introducing supplements can be a pain. However, some supplements just taste a bit weird to horses for some reason. If you have a horse with a sensitive palette, you may find it takes a little longer to find one that suits them!
Top 5 Best Horse Hoof Supplements in Detail
Here are five horse hoof supplements I would recommend for happy, healthy horses.
Of course, seeing a noticeable difference usually takes some time, so whichever you choose may not give immediate results – this doesn’t mean it’s not working. It’s just that they might be taking a while to get into your horses’ system.
You should notice a difference by 8 or 9 months, and you may be able to spot some slight signs of improvement after a month or two.
1. Dark Horse Nu-Image Hoof & Coat Support for Horses
The Dark Horse Nu-Image Hoof & Coat Supports for Horses is a good multitasker. It focuses on fatty acids, which are integral for strong, healthy hooves and a glossy coat. This version is aimed at darker coats, manes, and tails: it includes paprika and kelp, which is particularly good for getting that rich, glossy shine on darker horses.
It also includes a balanced mix of Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9; this should help prevent your horse from having a ‘washed out’ look, bringing out its natural coloring. It does say that you may see a difference in their coat in as little as 10 days: this may be the case for coats, but hoof repair will probably take a while longer to show up.
These supplements also contain:
- Vitamin B6
This should ensure strong, healthy hooves for your horse. I particularly like the inclusion of high Biotin, as this strengthens bonds in hoof proteins and should help to prevent cracks. If your horse is recovering from cracked hooves, it might make an excellent supplement to add to their food.
The downside is that I’ve heard of some horses just not liking the taste of this one. Getting your horse to eat it may take a little more effort!
It comes in an 80-day supply for maintenance, and at just under $50, this is not too bad in terms of costs.
- Fairly low cost
- Great for darker coats
- Has a high amount of biotin
- Some horses may be put off by the taste
2. Farm & Stable Hoofmaker Original
A good all-rounder, Farm & Stable Hoofmaker Original is designed to promote strong, healthy hooves and contains many incredible ingredients. I find myself coming back to this one, as it just has the best quality ingredients.
It’s a slow burn: you’ll need to commit to feeding this to your horse for around 180 days to see the full impact, although you may start to see small improvements after a month or so.
It includes plenty of zinc, which promotes hoof healing. This is an excellent choice if your horse is currently suffering from a hoof condition. It can really help with connective tissue disorders, healing cracks and encouraging new growth.
Biotin is another ingredient on the list. It contains a concentrated amount, maximizing absorption in the small intestine. This can help to both repair hoof defects and encourage hooves to stay healthy in the future. If your horse has brittle hooves, this is a really good choice to go for.
It also includes:
- Amino acids
- Amino acids
You should notice that your horses’ hooves are thicker, stronger, and tougher. In the treatment period, there should be a noticeable, and fairly quick, difference in terms of healing cracks and making brittle hooves stronger.
The downside of this supplement is the price. This is a pricer choice at just under $100 for a 2-month pack. It could save you money on vets’ bills in the long run, but it’s still a hefty price compared to others on this list.
- Has a huge number of benefits for hooves
- Good for certain conditions like cracks, brittleness, etc.
- You may notice healing in cracks fairly quickly
- Pricier than some of the others on this list
3. Farrier’s Formula
Many people believe that Farrier’s Formula is the best hoof supplement out there, and I get why they feel that way!
Farrier’s Formula includes methionine and lysine, two amino acids that can strengthen proteins in your horses’ hooves, allowing for stronger, tougher hooves overall. In terms of maintenance, this is excellent.
It also has keratin, crucial for new growth, and other collagen-encouraging ingredients to keep hooves nice and strong.
Other ingredients include:
- Linolenic acid
It can take a little while for these to work. You won’t notice results within a month or so (or at least, this is usually the case). It can take longer to see the difference, so it may take some time and patience.
It’s popular for different horse breeds, and it can be given to horses of different sizes. A 60-day supply at the loading level or 120 days at the maintenance level comes in at around $80, which is pretty good, given the quality.
- Contains tons of excellent ingredients
- Great for strong hooves
- Decent price point given the quality of the ingredients
- It may take a long time to see the results
4. SmartHoof Pellets
Available in a range of quantities, SmartHoof Pellets have everything you need for hoof maintenance. While it may not be as good for severe hoof problems, it’s still a good-quality supplement for overall hoof care.
SmartHoof pellets contain a lot of good ingredients, including 25mg of biotin, which is crucial for building strong proteins in hooves. While they may not have some of the intensive repair ingredients needed for issues like deep hoof cracks, they still have amino acids and key minerals to encourage new growth.
- Crude fat
- Vitamin B6
These are tested for taste, which means that horses should, in theory, enjoy eating them. However, some users have found that their horses just won’t touch food with these mixed in. I have a fussy eater, and I can tell you this does put me off! If your horse happily eats anything, you should be good to go.
I like that you can order these in SmartPaks. These are a 28-day supply; if you order these and you don’t see results in two months, they’ll refund you. So you should expect to see stronger hooves within a couple of months. You can also contact them if your horse refuses to eat them, and they seem helpful.
The pricing is pretty decent at around $45 for a 56-day supply. I’d say this is a good option if some of the others on this list (like Farm & Stable Hoofmaker or Farrier’s Formula), but you still want decent ingredients.
- Good ingredients for strong hooves
- Great for maintenance
- Decent returns policy
- Some horses may not enjoy the taste
5. Platinum Hoof Support
Platinum Hoof Support is a great option if you want super-strong, healthy hooves for your horse. It has highly concentrated levels of Biotin, giving hoof proteins an extra boost for strength.
I like that you can see real results from real owners – Platinum Hoof Support works well for show horses and regular pets, and it can make a huge difference to more severe cracks and hoof problems. You can see some improvements within a month or two, which is pretty impressive.
It comes in a range of sizes. ¼ lb – which gives around 46 servings – comes in at $55, which is on the pricier side, but well worth it if you want to see fast results.
They have a good customer support team, and they offer 50% off auto-shipping if you sign up for a subscription, which is a nice touch.
- Excellent ingredients
- Good for super-strong hooves
- Will see fast results
- Good customer support team
- Pricier than some of the others on this list
Answer: First of all, I feel your pain. One of my horses is incredibly picky and treats all new food with intense suspicion. This means sneaking supplements into her is a difficult task for me. Something that has worked well for me is introducing new supplements in tiny, barely detectable amounts, gradually increasing as time goes on. This way, my horse gets used to the new taste without being overwhelmed.
It may not work for you, but it’s worth a shot!
Answer: I’d say for milder cracks, a farrier should be able to help. They’ll also be able to determine whether a vet is needed. If you spot deep cracks, if your horse seems distressed or in pain, or if they seem to be unable to put weight on the hoof with the crack, just go direct to your vet.
If you’re a beginner horse owner and a little unsure, it’s best to call your vet for advice, even if just for a little reassurance. You can also check out our guide to hoof care and common ailments for more advice.
Answer: Not necessarily. You may find that if you have a healthy horse and they have a good diet, their hooves are just fine without supplements. However, in my experience, most horses could use a little boost when it comes to hoof health, so I always feed them supplements to ensure their hooves stay strong.
I really like the Farm & Stable Hoofmaker Original hoof supplements. They’re packed with ingredients for strong, healthy hooves and coats; over time, you can see the difference.
However, I’d also like to highlight SmartHoof Pellets as an option if you’re on a tighter budget. They have great ingredients, and I like that they offer you money back if you don’t see results within two months.