Part 2 of 3 of the “Healthy Hooves” Series.

The array of hoof supplements on the market today can be overwhelming. There are so many choices available to equestrians – how can you pick the right choice for your horse?

Thankfully, you are not alone. Today, in part two of the three-part “Healthy Hooves” series, we hope to shed light on the different types of supplements available today and to help you find the best one for your horse.

What Do I Look for in a Hoof Supplement?

There are three main ingredients to look for when purchasing a hoof supplement: biotin, methionine, lysine.

  • Biotin – a coenzyme and B vitamin that helps to support the overall health of the skin, hair, nerves, digestive tract, and cells.
  • Methionine – an essential amino acid, meaning the body cannot manufacture it on its own so the body must take it in through food or supplements. The body can convert methionine into another amino acid called cysteine. Both amino acids are most highly concentrated in the hoof and hair.
  • Lysine – another essential amino acid, meaning the body cannot manufacture it on its own. Since it is also a limiting amino acid, it must be present in the body to create protein.

What Type of Hoof Supplement Do I Need?

Hoof supplements can be broken down into three categories: maintenance, support, and critical.

Maintenance is for the horse that already has a healthy hoof, and needs to stay that way! Maybe your horse is barefoot, and you are going into the fly-stomping summer months and want to protect your horse’s hoof health. When looking for a maintenance supplement, lower levels (less than 10 mg) of biotin are ideal.

Some of these supplements include:

Support is for the horse that might have shoes on and needs to grow hoof faster during shoeing rotations. If your horse chronically loses shoes, then a support supplement will help strengthen the hoof to keep the nails in place longer. When looking for a support supplement, look for products that contain both biotin and methionine.

Some of these supplements include:

Critical is for the horse that has extensive cracking, chipping, and either cannot hold shoes or does not have enough hoof to tack on a shoe. When looking for a critical supplement, it needs to contain high levels of biotin, methionine, and lysine.

Some of these supplements include:

Which Supplement Should I Buy?

Once you know which category your horse falls into, the choices have been narrowed down. But how do you know which one to choose? It all comes down to preference. If your horse is a picky eater, you might want to buy a pelleted or crumbled version instead of a powder. At the end of the day, you know your horse the best and can pick the supplement that your horse will have a better chance of eating.

If you still need help sorting through all the choices, email us at and we will be happy to walk you through the steps of finding the perfect hoof supplement for your horse.

Learn More

Want to discover more ways to improve your horse’s hooves? Read part 3 of our Healthy Hooves series to learn about hoof products.

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