The Original Hoof Supplement
The importance of nutrition to the growth and quality of a healthy hoof was unheard of in 1979 when Farrier's Formula® (formerly named Hoof and Hair) was developed and introduced by J. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS. The concept of "feeding the hoof" was born and a new segment of the equine industry was created.
Farrier's Formula® was developed to provide the nutrients needed to enable horses to build strong structural and connective tissue proteins (tendon, ligaments, bones, joints). Developed almost thirty years ago, it has always contained nutrients such as phospholipids, omega fatty acids, etc. that have only recently been recognized as important "players" to help produce healthy dermal tissues.
It has been the #1 recommended product by farriers in the U.S. for twelve consecutive years and is the "gold standard" by which imitation products are compared. Rival manufacturers' unsupported claims for products directly imitating Farrier's Formula® should be treated with suspicion. Farrier's Formula® is the first product of its kind based on conclusive scientific research and published in referred journals.
How Farrier's Formula® was Developed
Farrier's Formula® is the first supplement of its kind to be scientifically based on the laboratory testing of blood collected from hundreds of horses. Each blood sample was tested for more than 175 different factors. By entering this data into a computerized database, Dr. Gravlee was able to determine through statistical analysis which nutrients were lacking in the horses with poor-quality hooves. Once the deficient nutrients were identified, Dr. Gravlee then produced Farrier's Formula® nutritional hoof supplement. In every scoop of Farrier's Formula® there is thirty years of experience and research with numerous clinical studies and field trials.
In 1988, Dr. Gravlee subjected Farrier's Formula® to independent university research to again prove its efficacy. The research was done at the University of Edinburgh by Dr. Susan Kempson and is available upon request.
How it Works
Farrier's Formula® provides the nutrient support that horses need to build strong connective tissue proteins. Connective tissue proteins are the microscopic framework of the mammalian body, giving form and strength to all major organs and tissues. Of all the protein in the body over 40% is connective tissue protein, making it by far the most abundant.
Connective tissue proteins combine to form fibers which may crosslink with adjacent fibers. The joined fibers' strength is dependent on the number of crosslinks. These crosslinks are chemically expensive for the body to produce. If the right chemicals in the form of nutrients from the diet are not present, fewer crosslinks can be made; the tissue being constructed or repaired will be weaker.
The hoof is connective tissue that depends on its many crosslinks for strength and resiliency. Thus, a strong healthy hoof can only be built through proper nutrition.
Positive Results of Feeding Farrier's Formula®
Within as little as two weeks of feeding Farrier's Formula® one should see a glossy, more deeply colored coat. By nine to ten weeks a new band of strong, healthy growth will be clearly visible at the coronary band, and the difference in the structure of the horn in the periople can be seen with the naked eye. Internal benefits, while more difficult to see, are just as dramatic.
The length of time Farrier's Formula® should be given at the replenishment level is determined by the initial problem to be solved. If the goal is to improve health and appearance of the skin and hair, replenishment level should be continued for approximately one to two months. If the goal is to grow a long and flowing healthy mane and tail, the replenishment level should be fed until the mane and tail reach the desired length. The time required to completely remodel the wall, sole, and frog of the foot is approximately 9-12 months. Therefore, it is best to continue at the replenishment level until the foot is completely remodeled even though one will begin to see some difference in the hoof within two months.
In the above cases, once desired results are obtained, usually the feeding amount can be reduced by one half in order to maintain the desired condition. Each horse will be somewhat different. For example, some thoroughbreds and warm bloods may require the replenishment level continuously. Arabians and Arabian crosses may sometimes be maintained on 1/2 cup per day. It is important to keep all horses on a maintenance level to maintain good hoof health. Usually the same thing (genetic, environmental, and management factors) that caused the problem in the beginning will be present throughout the horse's life.
If one does not see the beginning of the expected results after feeding Farrier's Formula® for a period of eight to ten weeks, the indication is that other factors can be involved in addition to nutrition. The additional problems could include genetics, environmental, and management. In the interest of solving the problems in a timely manner, Life Data Labs should be contacted immediately to speak with our nutrition consultants in order to determine a course of action.
Satisfied customers worldwide report up to a 25% improvement in feed efficiency after feeding Farrier's Formula®. This is likely due to better digestion and utilization of the feedstuff resulting from the nutrients in Farrier's Formula®.
Farrier's Formula® and the Older Horse
Feeding Farrier's Formula® to an older horse even though he does not have hoof problems has many benefits. One of the problems in feeding the aging horse is that mastication (chewing) of feed becomes less efficient and after the feed reaches the digestive tract nutrient absorption is diminished. Also, the connective tissue including skin, hoof, bone, tendons, and muscle is not as strong and healthy as in younger horses. Another geriatric problem is that many times the metabolism, therefore activity, is usually slowed because of decreased levels of thyroid hormone (thyroxin).
Farrier's Formula® addresses the above problems because it helps feed efficiency by improving digestion and by improving quality of the existing feed given to horses. It also improves the aging and weakened connective tissues by furnishing the nutrients necessary for building strong and healthy collagen. For many aging horses that are less active due to decreased amounts of thyroxin, Farrier's Formula® has iodine and the essential amino acid tyrosine, which are the necessary building blocks for the thyroid gland to manufacture thyroxin.
Supplementation and Genetics
Genetics determine the physical and chemical characteristics of the horse and affects the hoof in two ways: physically and nutritionally. Proper nutrition and management will enable the genetics to express themselves to the fullest extent and allow the horse to build the best hoof the genes will allow. The horse inherits the maximum size, strength and thickness of the hoof wall and soles. He also inherits the manner in which nutrients consumed are absorbed and utilized. This explains why different horses under the same feeding and management program have varying hoof health. It also explains why the horse who demonstrates structural and nutrient deficiencies will likely require supplementation to replenish these nutrients for his entire lifetime.
Horses can safely be fed Farrier's Formula® for as long as needed.
Life Data Labs recommends Life Data Hoof DisinfectantTM and The Right Step® in combination with Farrier's Formula® to provide complete hoof care and help reduce hoof infections such as Thrush and White Line problems.