TIPS FOR FEEDING HORSES DURING WINTER

As you sit all cosy in front of your fireplace, you cant help but notice your horse huddled up under his tree or shelter with a miserable ‘I’m cold!’ look on his face. Apart from throwing on an extra rug, what can you do to help him feel better? Here are a few tips to make the winter blues easier for your horse.

A HEALTHY HORSE HAS HEALTHY HOOVES!

So, what can we feed our horses that’s good for their hooves?
This question should more accurately be, what can we feed our horses that’s good for THEM?

What’s good for the hoof is good for the whole horse. Feeding the hoof is no more or less complicated than simply feeding the horse well and providing all they need for optimal tissue growth and repair. If your horse is getting a quality balanced diet with adequate amounts of trace and major minerals, the right kind of fats and oils, good sources of antioxidants, vitamins and quality proteins with adequate amino acid profiles – then you will have a healthy horse and a healthy horse has healthy hooves.

IS THE VETERINARY PROGNOSIS FOR THE BAREFOOT HOOFCARE APPROACH CHANGING?

Recently I was called to a pony. The new owner wanted me to look at her feet and trim her. The pony – unbeknownst to the new owner – was laminitic and foundering. The former owner had reportedly said that the horse had gone laminitic some months ago, but was now well on the road to recovery. So the new owner thought things were hunky dory.

When I saw the pony I suggested that it might have rotated its pedal bones. “No,” the new owner told me. “I’ve got the X-Rays and they don’t show any rotation.” Great, I thought. “Can I have a look?” So the radiographs were produced and sure enough… rotation in all four feet. It didn’t take radiographs to show that. It was obvious just looking at the feet. But like so many owners, this lady didn’t know what she was looking at.

WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE MY HORSE TRIMMED AT FOUR WEEKLY INTERVALS?

We are often asked by new clients or potential clients why we recommend that they have their horse’s hooves trimmed every four weeks. Traditionally farriers have recommended every six to eight weeks.

And many horses, if you look casually at their feet at the four week mark – well, they look kinda OK. But its worth picking the hooves up and noting the changes. By week four if you look closely, most horses will have 4 to 6mm of hoof wall protruding below their sole.

BAREFOOT HOOF TRIMMING NEEDS TO LOOK TO EVOLUTION

For 55 million years horses – or their ancestors – have been running across this planet barefoot. In the process of wandering around foraging on the steppes or running from predators across the plains, they also abraded their hooves. It was a neat system. The lifestyle of the wild horse meant that generally the hoof growth equated to the wear. It was a natural balance. No trimmers. No farriers. Just a beautifully evolved system of natural hoof care.

SUNFLOWER SEEDS, NOT THE BEST CHOICE FOR YOUR HORSE.

Written by Zoe Messina of MyHealthyHorse and Missy’s Bucket Mineral mix

It’s common practice to feed horses Sunflower seeds, however on closer inspection, it may not always be such a good idea! So many of my clients routinely feed them every day, I though it about time I wrote an article on why they’re not the best choice for your horse…

LINSEEDS – THEIR USE AND SAFETY IN EQUINE NUTRITION

Written by Zoe Messina of MyHealthyHorse and Missy’s Bucket Mineral mix

Sound principles of Equine Nutrition can sometimes evade the average horse owner, there are so many Equine Nutrition myths out there and the feeding of linseeds is no exception!

First of all let’s get one thing straightened out… linseeds and flaxseeds and flax are all one and the same!

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up with to receive a free report on "6 steps to healthy hooves."