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  • Q:

    As the weather starts to warm up, is there anything that I can feed my horses to help them shed out quicker?

  • A:

    Years ago a wise horseperson told me that you can feed many things to horses to help the hair coat; all you have to do is brush them afterward. From a more scientific standpoint, several nutrients are involved in the synthesis of the protein found in skin and hair. Zinc, biotin, protein (and the specific amino acid methionine), and fatty acids from dietary fat (such as vegetable oil and rice bran) are all necessary for hair growth.

     

    Most of these substances are found in the leading commercial hoof supplements on the market. This is not by accident since horse hoof is a form of modified hair. In fact, most testimonials regarding hoof supplements state the appearance of a “glossier” or “healthier” hair coat prior to seeing any influence on hoof quality.

     

    A simple feeding program that includes a source of additional fat along with a fortified grain mix containing supplemental protein, vitamins and minerals should help horses slip their winter hair. If more speed is necessary in getting the horses to turn loose of their winter hair, provide a normal dose of a quality hoof supplement. With either approach, just remember to brush them afterwards.

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