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What is the most important factor to produce a healthy hoof?

The nutrition or the trim … which is the most important?

Farrier and minerals

There are two equally balanced essentials required to produce a healthy hoof – one is a quality trimmer or farrier and the other is nutrition.

Trimming the horses hoof correctly is critical for the hoof’s balance. The balance of the hoof directly affects the position of the limbs and can either help or hinder the horse’s movement and posture. Even the ability to stand squarely with a relaxed frame can be affected by the quality of the trim.


The goal of a good trim should be to help the hoof capsule conform to the interior structure of the foot. X-Rays can be a really important tool to assist a farrier to know exactly how the interior structures are positioned in relation to the outer structures – it is often recommended to get X-Rays done of all four feet once a year.

However, to be able to perform the best balanced and correct trim, your farrier needs the hoof to be of good quality. When connective tissue is weak there is a greater tendency for toe flaring and laminar damage. In addition to this, when horn quality is poor, heels will collapse forward more readily.

Nutrition is a key player in creating the quality horn required to create good hoof form.


The 4 main nutrients required are:
Zinc: Required with Copper in the correct ratios to be effective for strong connective tissue, horn strength, sole and wall thickness and good growth.

Copper: Required with Zinc in the correct ratios to be effective for hardness of horn, prevention of thrush, cracks, reducing bruised soles and abscesses.

Methionine: This amino acid is hugely important in creating di-sulphide bonds which gives the strength to connective tissue.

Biotin: Required for good growth rate and to reinforce bonds between in keratin to give hoof horn integrity.

These key elements are supplied in good hoof supplements such as The Aussie Farrier Hoof growth supplement and can correct deficiencies in the diet but a good diet will not remove the necessity for a quality trim. For top quality healthy hooves you will need both!