Keratin is responsible for the resilient structure of the hoof wall. This is a structural protein also found in hair, wool, skin and finger nails, and is made up of certain amino acids. Providing the amino acids Methionine, Threonine and Lysine, which are present in high levels in Hardy Hoof™, allows Keratin synthesis, with Methionine being of particular importance because the horse can convert this into Cysteine, the amino acid that gives Keratin it’s strength and structure. In order for this to happen, Vitamin B6 must also be present.
Calcium is a macro-mineral that plays an important role in the formation of bones, muscles, teeth, and virtually every other structure in the horse's body. Calcium is also crucial for good hoof growth. Calcium is necessary for the adhesion of one cell to the next, which is of particular importance in hooves, where cells are arranged tightly.
The trace mineral Zinc has many roles in the equine body, including some involvement with cell division and growth rates. It is thought to be necessary for the horse’s ability to utilise amino acids and Sulphur, and therefore production of Keratin. Absorption of Zinc is affected by Copper levels within the body, so these minerals should be supplemented in the correct ratio.
In addition to amino acids and these minerals, new Hardy Hoof™ contains Biotin, probably the best-known hoof health ingredient - only 1mg of Biotin is needed for all round health, however, those with poor hooves have been shown to greatly benefit from the addition of extra Biotin to the diet. Our Hoof supplement contains 35mg of Biotin to ensure optimum hoof growth and health. In addition to this, MSM is an excellent source of dietary Sulphur, a mineral necessary for the integrity of the hoof wall as it has a role in bonding protein strands in the hoof. Hardy Hoof™ also contains Iodine, which is essential for healthy thyroid function, which in turn is necessary for hoof and hair quality. Finally, Linseed is widely used to improve hoof quality, as it is rich in essential fatty acids, which help to seal moisture into the hoof. Combined with the phospholipid Lecithin (which is rich in Choline for cell flexibility) this aids pliability of the hooves, and helps to maintain the optimum moisture level, stopping the hooves from absorbing external moisture. Hay diets in particular may be low in fatty acids.