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Laminitis – Feed Advice for Farriers from HorseHage

HoofKind Range

As a farrier, you will very likely be the professional that sees a horse most regularly and will notice any changes in the horse’s condition, temperament and soundness. Therefore it stands to reason that your opinion and expertise is very valuable to a horse owner.

One condition that you will have come across regularly, which greatly affects a horse’s feet is laminitis. This very painful and complex disease needs careful treatment and good teamwork between owner, veterinarian and farrier in order to manage the problem.

The owner must manage the day-to-day care, the vet must provide medical treatment and the farrier should understand the mechanical aspects that this condition can cause and provide support to the bone column whilst the new hoof grows.

One of the most important aspects for a horse or pony prone to laminitis is diet. This is where your knowledge may provide extra help to an owner managing an equine with this condition, as being highly qualified to look after their horse’s feet, your recommendations will be taken on board.

Many owners have the misconception that horses and ponies suffering from laminitis should be fed poor quality hay alone or, worse still, starved of food for long periods of time. Either of these management styles can easily lead to many other serious health issues on top of the existing laminitis. The digestive system of the horse is designed to process small amounts of feed at very regular intervals, and this does not change when a horse is diagnosed as suffering from laminitis.

Laminitic horses, or those who have been identified as being at risk, require carefully controlled diets that are low in starch and sugar but contain a high level of fibre. They require a balanced diet that reduces their calorific intake whilst continuing to meet all their daily nutritional requirements. This can often be problematic for horse owners when faced with choosing a suitable diet that meets both of these requirements.

The Mollichaff HoofKind Diet has been specially devised by HorseHage to supply all the nutrient and fibre requirements of laminitics, without the need to feed lots of different products which can be expensive and confusing. The diet also allows sufficient quantities to be fed, ensuring that the horse is not left for extensive periods of time without food.

It consists of Mollichaff HoofKind, a complete feed designed to provide the nutritional support of equines prone to laminitis, to be fed alongside High Fibre HorseHage or Timothy HorseHage, which are bagged forages.

Mollichaff HoofKind (A complete feed specially formulated for laminitics)

High in fibre

Low in protein, starch and sugar

No cereals

Highly palatable

Contains broad spectrum vitamins and minerals

Contains therapeutic levels of biotin for hoof health

Contains added magnesium to support metabolic processes and help prevent glucose intolerance and insulin resistance

Contains selected plant-based antioxidants to support nutritional maintenance of respiratory and circulatory systems, hooves and laminae

High Fibre and Timothy HorseHage (Bagged forage)

Dust-free

Contain no chemical additives, mould inhibitors or inoculants

High in fibre

Low in starch and sugar

Highly palatable

Highly digestible

Suitable for laminitics

Both these types of HorseHage are suitable for laminitics. These products are all high in fibre and essential nutrients, but are very low in starch and sugar and carry the HoofKind symbol on the bag to indicate their suitability. They contain a typical sugar level of around 5%, which is considerably lower than a typical hay sample which can contain as much as 10%.

It is essential that Mollichaff HoofKind is fed at the recommended levels to ensure that the vitamin and mineral requirements are being met and that the biotin level is sufficient.