Entries by sabrina

FormaHoof vs Hoof boots vs traditional horseshoeing – pro’s and con’s

Shoes Speak Louder Than Words! FormaHoof v Hoof boots v traditional horseshoeing ... the pro's and con's

Embracing new technology isn’t easy. And in an industry like ours where tradition, experience and ‘feel’ have such a huge role to play in horse care and management, it can be all too easy to stay doing what has ‘always been done’, simply because that’s what we know and understand.

It is also important to stress that FormaHoof is not designed as a “forever” solution. We are firm believers that once a hoof has been successfully repaired (or grown out), horses should return to a natural barefoot state (always taking into consideration the work that is being performed).

The radical new technology of FormaHoof was launched little over a year ago and in this time we have been overwhelmed by the positive response and feedback from early adopters of FormaHoof. In this time FormaHoof has already helped countless horses around the world recover and rehabilitee from hoof injury and disease and helped improve the comfort and performance of countless others.

After a year of successful operation and upcoming expansion into new markets, we believe it is a good time to dispel some of the myths circulating around FormaHoof and its “space” in the hoof care market.

In Comparison


Firstly, if you are considering FormaHoof for your horse, you should be aware that it should not be compared with traditional or existing ‘alternative’ shoeing methods such as glue-on shoes, horse shoes, boots, casts etc.

This is because FormaHoof is something completely different.

FormaHoof LFM (Liquid Filed Moulding) technology has been created from the ground up to address many of the most common problems experienced with existing horse shoeing practices, techniques and products. FormaHoof offers a viable, non-invasive, and cost-effective alternative that allows equine professionals (vets & farriers) to offer highly effective hoof rehabilitation services, while providing immediate pain relief to the horse, without the use of drugs.   

FormaHoof Forever?

It is also important to stress that FormaHoof is not designed as a “forever” solution. We are firm believers that once a hoof has been successfully repaired (or grown out), horses should return to a natural barefoot state (always taking into consideration the work that is being performed).

Equine Footwear - Friend or Foe For A Big Trail Ride

It is also important to stress that FormaHoof is not designed as a “forever” solution. We are firm believers that once a hoof has been successfully repaired (or grown out), horses should return to a natural barefoot state (always taking into consideration the work that is being performed).

Hoof Damage Hero

In cases of extreme hoof damage, either through illness (Laminitis/Founder, White Line Disease) or injury (Hoof Cracks), FormaHoof really comes into its own.

We all know that good farriery is an extremely skilled profession. But when it comes to shoeing for extreme hoof damage, the skill required to successfully rehabilitate a horse using traditional treatment processes and methods reaches a whole new level. This means that there is great variability in the success of any treatment, which is hugely dependent on the treatment method chosen and on the skill of the farrier (or vet) applying the shoe, cast, glue-on, or any ‘alternative’ method selected. Unfortunately, this means that there can be great variability in the success of any ‘traditional’ treatments because the human skill element is notoriously unpredictable and variable.

The liquid-fit process of FormaHoof conforms to any hoof, regardless of damage levels, offering a consistent, conformationally correct and protective support base to the injured hoof, that is repeatable to the same exact standards, time and again. The need for complex fabrication is eliminated and the treatment process is simplified, with the human skill variability factor removed.

The application process for FormaHoof is quick and painless (non-invasive) and because an applicator follows the exact same steps on each application, regardless of the condition being addressed, it is highly repeatable.  Additionally, as FormaHoof is so quick and easy to deploy and the fabrication time required for custom shoes is removed, FormaHoof helps get horses on the road to recovery far sooner and prevents damage from worsening whilst waiting for a custom solution, which is unfortunately all too common an occurrence.

Shortening The Treatment Cycle And Saving You Money

Since FormaHoof applications grow out with the hoof, there is no uneven wear of the hoof capsule during the application’s lifecycle. Consequently, there is no need for an “in-between” correctional visit by the vet or farrier to adjust applications.

The FormaHoof treatment cycle varies between 2 – 4 applications (depending on the severity of the damage), with the application changed every 4 – 6 weeks. This means that for a theoretical maximum treatment cycle of 24 weeks, you can expect only 4 required farrier visits, with a reduction in unforeseen visits reducing the overall cost of treatment still further.

Some glue-on shoes may offer a similar support mechanism, however they lack the capability to support the entire hoof structure in 3D, as FormaHoof does. The 3D nature of a FormaHoof application balances the weight of the horse on the hoof, spreading it evenly over the application. This increases the surface area over which the horse’s weight is spread, drastically reducing the final force imposed on specific areas of the hoof.

To Boot Or Not To Boot?


In our opinion, Hoof Boots are not a viable mechanical aid to the hoof because they lack the ability to affix to it, so the support they offer is limited. They are best utilised to protect a healthy hoof over rough terrain.

Casts can often work as a remedial solution for extreme cases. However, they completely remove the ability of the owner to ride, train or exercise a horse, which may lead to further downstream problems.

The Hot Stuff


Recent thermography studies of FormaHoof on horses indicate that because the application correctly aligns the hoof based on the horse’s most comfortable, natural stance, the entire muscular-skeletal system is positively affected, with better limb alignment and fewer pressure points.

There is early evidence to suggest that using FormaHoof will build muscle in a much more sustainable way, much in the same way as a human athlete may have customised insoles in their performance shoes to offer similar orthopaedic advantages. None of the traditional shoeing methods can as easily offer these benefits, because they lack the ability and scope to precisely conform to the hoof in the way that FormaHoof’s liquid solution does.

Ride-On


Another area of interest for horse owners is undoubtedly the “rideability” that a shoeing solution might offer. Hoof boots are a great solution for trail rides as they protect the bottom of the hoof. However, they may struggle with wet and sandy conditions as they tend to create an abrasive environment, allowing finer particles to get trapped in them. Boots are also notoriously difficult to  size for, as the fit has to be perfect or they do not stay in place.

Some barefoot enthusiasts saw boots as a good alternative to other non-invasive methods of shoeing, such as glue-on shoes. Even though glue-on’s have the benefit of being non-invasive, they come with their own set of challenges. Rideability is affected to a higher degree than boots, as they are prone to disconnecting from the hoof when a higher force is exerted during the riding process. Worse still, with glue-on shoes there is a definite risk of pulling off any of the hoof that has grown under the application, as very strong adhesives are required to keep the glue-on shoe fixed to the hoof. FormaHoof remains on the hoof primarily through the bell-shaped geometry of the application and this, together with the very mild adhesion, removes the risk of such an injury.

Traditional metal horseshoes offer decent protection and support to the hoof. However, this is limited to the outer rim of the hoof. If a horse should step on a sharp object or stone during a ride, the sole is fully exposed.

To Sum It All Up


The benefits of FormaHoof are summed up in the diagram below. By offering an effective solution to rehabilitate a wide range of hoof problems, combined with ease of application, a reduction in treatment costs, and the ability for most horses to remain in work through the rehabilitation process (or at the very least considerably reduce lay-off time), FormaHoof offers next generation hoof care, giving your horse the care it deserves.

FormaHoof vs traditional horseshow vs. hoof boot

Back To The Future


Future generations of FormaHoof products will seek to further differentiate the benefits that are currently offered, by enhancing existing capabilities and adding new ones. This is the first time that a product in the hoof care market has been able to combine all the benefits of existing product offerings, whilst removing any negative aspects. The FormaHoof system is highly functional, allowing for normal owner/horse interaction, and has incredible rehabilitation potential, allowing equine professionals to rehab even the most severe cases of damage to the hoof, all whilst maintaining a clean, safe and in some cases, medicated space to accelerate hoof growth.

If you are unsure as to how FormaHoof can help your horse and how to tackle your horse’s individual hoof and soundness challenges, we have recently launched our dedicated consultancy service. These one-to-one live sessions allow for online interaction between an expert FormaHoof certified applicator and your vet or farrier, to discuss dedicated treatment options for your horse. Our consultants have thousands of applications completed and are ready and willing to transfer the knowledge required and help devise a plan to get the best out of FormaHoof for your horse.  

Join our Facebook group

The FormaHoof – Ask an Expert Q&A group was setup to create an open experience exchange between horse owners and professionals. Get your questions answered and learn more about FormaHoof in a familiar environment whilst making new friends on the way to healthier hooves.

Learn FormaHoof insights here

The FCA course in the FormaHoof Academy is set to give equine podiatry professionals the option of adding certified high-quality FormaHoof services to their business. Nevertheless, the course is open to everyone and owners can gain helpful insights in the usage of FormaHoof and learn with their trusted farrier, trimmer or vet, how to get started.

Contact form

Would you like to discuss your horse’s case with us? We’d love to hear from you.


Our FormaHoof Expert team

Joel Brown

MSc Hon AG
Accredited Professional Farrier (APF-1)
FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Navicular Disease & NPA with FormaHoof

Languages: English

As a born and bred horseman, Joel’s approach to farrier science is based on a holistic viewpoint that addresses the anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics of the horse to enhance comfort and balance across all equine breeds, types and disciplines. A cowboy at heart, Joel holds a Masters in Equine Science and Business and is an experienced farrier, with more than 42 years in equine podiatry.

Aletia Reilingh

Staatlich gepr. Hufschmied

State Certified Farrier/Germany

FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Laminitis and White Line Disease with FormaHoof

Languages: English, German

A Canadian by birth, a farrier by trade and a rider by heart, Aletia made the move to Europe in 2014. Here she settled her farriery business in the Western part of Germany, an area with one of the highest density of horses in the country. Whilst she provides farrier services in the Northwest of Germany and parts of the Netherlands, Aletia is also a highly successful dressage rider and will soon move on to Grand Prix level.

FormaHoof supportive treatment for Laminittis n Horses, farrier Bart Lambert

Bart Lambert

Hoefsmid
State Certified Farrier/Belgium

FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Laminitis and White Line Disease with FormaHoof

Languages: Flämisch, Dutch, English, French

Bart is an experienced farrier with over a decade specialising in remedial shoeing and sport horse farriery. He provides a wide range of services throughout Belgium and is a multi-lingual super talent! Bart has a passion for PRE horses and dedicates his free time to their breeding and training.

Lisa Elliott

MSc Equine Science
Qualified in Equine Nutrition

Expert in Equine Nutrition

Languages: English, French

Horse lover and equine enthusiast, Lisa holds a Masters Degree in Equine Science and is a specialist in Equine Nutrition. She has played a key role in the development of our FormaHoof Nutritional Supplements and is available to discuss your horse’s diet in detail and the influence that diet may be having on their health and performance. Lisa can also provide support with a special diet plan tailored to your horse’s unique needs (additional cost for diet plans may apply).

Celebrate National Farriers Week with FormaHoof

HAPPY NATIONAL FARRIERS WEEK – FORMAHOOF SPECIAL

Celebrate ‘National Farriers Week’ with us and say a big THANK YOU to your farrier! To offer our thanks, we are extending the FormaHoof Summer Sale and giving away FREE FCA courses.

Celebrate ‘National Farriers Week’ with us and say a big THANK YOU to your farrier! To offer our thanks, we are extending the FormaHoof Summer Sale and giving away FREE FCA courses…ALL WEEK LONG!

From July 5-11, National Farriers Week is the week to celebrate the fantastic work provided by equine podiatry specialists around the globe.

It’s a great opportunity for horse owners to give thanks to these dedicated specialists and we would love to hear your FormaHoof stories with a big shout out and thank you to your hoof care provider, whether this is your farrier, trimmer, or vet.

At FormaHoof, we are thankful for the open-minded professionals and owners that place their trust in our product and that have taken the leap forward into modern equine foot care. To you all, we want to say a massive THANK YOU for the fantastic work you do and your desire to learn new ways to help tackle hoof lameness and to help keep horses sound and performing to their best.

20% OFF ALL REUSABLE FORMAHOOF MOULDS


We are delighted to extend our Summer Sale for National Farriers Week. All Moulds (including moulds in kits) are reduced by 20% and no code is needed!

And there’s more…

GET OUR FCA COURSE FOR FREE!


Using the promo code HAPPYFARRIER you will receive free access to our FCA course (English & German), allowing you to learn all you need to know to work with FormaHoof products successfully. The course is open to everyone, and we would also like to invite owners who want to learn more about the new FormaHoof technology to take advantage of this offer. Once enrolled, your course materials are accessible for 2,000 days, so there’s plenty of time to learn and explore modern hoof care developments!

Please note, certification includes a theoretical and practical exam for professionals only.

All offers end July 11, 23.59 GMT. Mould discounts are not combinable with other product discounts.

About National Farriers Week


Founded by the American Farriers Journal in 1998, National Farriers Week draws attention to the great value that farriers and their expert trade bring to the equine world.

In announcing the first National Farriers Week in 1998, the purpose stated: “to honor farriers who pay attention to detail, approach their work in a professional manner, seek to improve their skills, are thoughtful toward clients and take great pride in doing what’s in the best interest of the horse.”

What Does A Farrier Do?


Providing highly skilled and essential services to the equine industry, a farrier works to keep horses’ feet sound and healthy, with regular trimming and individual shoeing programs where required. Farriers can also work with a variety of other animals, such as cattle, goats, donkeys, and others.

Why Is Horse Hoof Care Important?


There is no better answer to this question than the statement ‘No Hoof, No Horse!
Hoof care plays one of the most crucial parts in the overall health and well-being of a horse. Various factors can affect your horse’s hooves, from poor nutrition and age to the amount of exercise they undertake or injuries and accidents they have incurred. To help keep your horse fit and maintain overall health, it is vitally important to pay close attention to their hooves.

Thick, dense hooves are ideal. Thin or brittle hooves can be difficult to keep healthy. Among the many disorders that can affect the foot of a horse are laminitis, navicular disease, sole punctures, infections, keratoma, pedal osteitis, hoof cracks, seedy toe, sheered heels, sidebone, thrush, bone cysts, bruises, cankers, and many other hoof related disorders, all of which require good care and individual treatment.

Exercise and nutrition have a huge impact on equine hoof health. Regular exercise keeps the hoof strong and encourages blood flow which, in turn, helps a horse’s body fight disease.

What Is The Difference Between A Farrier And A Trimmer?


This is not as easy to answer as you may think! Put simply, a hoof trimmer or barefoot trimmer (as the name itself suggests) dedicates their work to trimming and alternative methods of hoof care but doesn’t work with a traditionally manufactured and nailed shoe. While a farrier also trims and maintains horses’ hooves, they also work with a variety of traditional and modern materials that offer further protection to the horse’s feet from the stresses imposed by modern management and competition training. Depending on the country, the length of apprenticeship and qualification process can differ significant between trimmer and farrier, as can the liability for work carried out.

While in the majority of countries barefoot trimmers can work with alternative horseshoeing techniques, some countries such as the UK may regulate this service and limit it to state-certified farriers only. These techniques can include glue-on shoes and liquid moulding techniques, such as FormaHoof. Neither trades are veterinarians, but have developed expert skills and knowledge around their trade to include diseased or injured hooves.

Being a farrier or trimmer is not an easy job and is not usually the first career choice for anyone not “infected with the horse virus”! Emergencies at odd hours, being stepped on, bitten, or nibbled are only some of the downsides that can come with the job. BUT as Farrier and FCA Aletia Reilingh told us, “Being a farrier is an extremely rewarding job, and being able to help horses get back on their feet or maintain a horse’s soundness is what we do the job for.” 

Why Have We Decided To Worship All Equine Podiatry Workers This Week?


We believe in skills and diversity and believe everyone deserves recognition in their job. We’ve seen lame horses come sound. We’ve seen happy horses and ecstatic owners. And we know all this is possible thanks to the expert farriers, barefoot trimmers, and vets that have chosen FormaHoof to help them provide superb hoof care for horses across the globe. And to them all, we proudly pay tribute.

Why Can FormaHoof Play A Big Part In Horses’ Hoof Health?


FormaHoof addresses many of the limitations of existing products on the market, such as traditional metal shoes or hoof boots. By allowing any hoof imbalances, structural weaknesses, or conformation challenges to be quickly and effectively corrected, FormaHoof gives the best chance possible for a lame horse to return to full soundness and for sound horses to stay that way. The unique, patented, liquid fit FormaHoof moulding process creates a non-invasive, three-dimensional, protective, and supportive overlay on the horse’s hoof, for enhanced comfort and rehabilitation.

Spread The Joy And Make It Last!


Join the celebration and add your memories and ways you commemorate this special day on social media by using the hashtags #FormaHoof#NationalFarriersWeek! But remember that your farrier or trimmer will appreciate a shout-out on any other day in the year, so do keep thanking them for the tireless work they do to keep your horse’s hooves healthy.

Join our Facebook group

The FormaHoof – Ask an Expert Q&A group was setup to create an open experience exchange between horse owners and professionals. Get your questions answered and learn more about FormaHoof in a familiar environment whilst making new friends on the way to healthier hooves.

Contact form

Would you like to discuss your horse’s case with us? We’d love to hear from you.


Our FormaHoof Expert team

Joel Brown

MSc Hon AG
Accredited Professional Farrier (APF-1)
FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Navicular Disease & NPA with FormaHoof

Languages: English

As a born and bred horseman, Joel’s approach to farrier science is based on a holistic viewpoint that addresses the anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics of the horse to enhance comfort and balance across all equine breeds, types and disciplines. A cowboy at heart, Joel holds a Masters in Equine Science and Business and is an experienced farrier, with more than 42 years in equine podiatry.

Aletia Reilingh

Staatlich gepr. Hufschmied

State Certified Farrier/Germany

FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Laminitis and White Line Disease with FormaHoof

Languages: English, German

A Canadian by birth, a farrier by trade and a rider by heart, Aletia made the move to Europe in 2014. Here she settled her farriery business in the Western part of Germany, an area with one of the highest density of horses in the country. Whilst she provides farrier services in the Northwest of Germany and parts of the Netherlands, Aletia is also a highly successful dressage rider and will soon move on to Grand Prix level.

FormaHoof supportive treatment for Laminittis n Horses, farrier Bart Lambert

Bart Lambert

Hoefsmid
State Certified Farrier/Belgium

FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Laminitis and White Line Disease with FormaHoof

Languages: Flämisch, Dutch, English, French

Bart is an experienced farrier with over a decade specialising in remedial shoeing and sport horse farriery. He provides a wide range of services throughout Belgium and is a multi-lingual super talent! Bart has a passion for PRE horses and dedicates his free time to their breeding and training.

Lisa Elliott

MSc Equine Science
Qualified in Equine Nutrition

Expert in Equine Nutrition

Languages: English, French

Horse lover and equine enthusiast, Lisa holds a Masters Degree in Equine Science and is a specialist in Equine Nutrition. She has played a key role in the development of our FormaHoof Nutritional Supplements and is available to discuss your horse’s diet in detail and the influence that diet may be having on their health and performance. Lisa can also provide support with a special diet plan tailored to your horse’s unique needs (additional cost for diet plans may apply).

Summer Hoof Care For Horses

Summer Hoof Care For Horses

The changing seasons can have a significant impact on your horse’s hooves and summer is no exception. Dry, hot weather can cause the equine foot to dry out all too quickly, making them brittle and prone to cracking, so it’s important to ensure you maintain hoof health and integrity with the right diet and management through the summer months.

A Healthy Equine Foot in Summer


Hot, dry weather and the resulting hard ground can inflict quite a lot of damage on your horse’s feet and cause many horse hoof problems. And we all know that the old saying ‘NO HOOF, NO HORSE’ is 100% true.

Horse’s hooves need to be flexible and not too dry, facilitating hoof expansion and contraction on movement – an essential part of the healthy hoof mechanism, which helps to absorb some of the concussion that might otherwise be transmitted up the leg. Dry feet also become brittle and crack more easily, which can make it harder to keep a shoe on and lead to a vicious cycle of cracked hooves, lost shoes and lameness due to short feet and hard ground.

Belgian farrier and FormaHoof Expert, Bart Lambert, offers this advice:

“I advise regular moisturising of the feet through the summer months, which you can do with water. Many people believe that hoof oil is the best option. However, just imagine yourself fully covered with oil before going into the shower – the water would just run off you and not enter the body. The principal is just the same with your horse’s hooves. So I recommend that people first wet their horse’s hooves and then treat them with hoof oil, balsam or another hoof care product, which then keeps the moisture in. A healthy, supple hoof is your horse’s first line of defence against hard ground.”

 

Nutrition For Healthy Hooves with Nutritional Expert Lisa Elliott


Nowadays we regularly hear the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ in relation to our own diet and its health implications, and it’s no different for our horses. In equines, a healthy foot starts with a healthy diet and there are several factors that come into play when providing the best diet to support your horse’s hooves and to help avoid diseases such as laminitis.

Fats and oils

Summer weather brings its own challenges with the hot and dry days promoting dry and brittle hooves which will crack and chip, especially when working on hard surfacesIn addition, summer can also bring bursts of wetter weather alongside the dry heat.  Going through wet-dry-wet-dry-wet-dry conditions can further promote cracking, chipping and peeling of the hooves.

Hooves contain phospholipids, which have segments that can both attract and repel water to help maintain correct moisture balance in the face of changing summer conditions.  Fats provide key phospholipids, alongside Omega 3 fatty acids which have an important role in hoof structure and integrity.  Both of these are essential when combating both wet and dry conditions in a typical summer, to build healthy, resilient hooves which are less likely to become damaged or cracked.  Alongside fresh grass, linseed meal is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids and provides good levels of phospholipids, which is particularly beneficial if your horse has restricted access to fresh grass.

Vitamins and Minerals

A healthy, strong hoof is less prone to cracking and chipping, so providing a balanced diet which supplies a range of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals for strong, healthy hooves, is essential throughout the summer season.  Key nutrients for health and strength in hooves include zinc, copper, biotin, and a good supply of essential amino acids such as Lysine and Methionine.

Providing a targeted hoof supplement, which both supply optimal levels of key nutrients alongside all-round hoof benefiting nutrition, will help maintain strength and soundness throughout the summer and help to avoid common hoof problems. 

Weight Management

Summer is a time when horses can be prone to gaining a few extra lbs, which can have a knock-on impact on hoof health.  Excess weight can put a strain on joints and ligaments, whilst also predisposing horses to equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), which can result in hoof-related problems such as laminitis.

Maintaining your horse at a healthy weight and the optimal condition is essential for overall health and well-being and to help prevent disease.  Regular use of a weight tape coupled with a Body Condition Score Chart (BCS) will help you to monitor weight and condition. You can then adjust your horse or pony’s diet, management, and exercise as necessary to help maintain an ideal BCS of 5 on a nine-point scale. 

Exercise helps burns calories, increases fitness and improves insulin sensitivity in horses with EMS.  Regular exercise, ensuring your horse is always engaging in an active walk and trot, is great for burning fat and reducing those lbs to help maintain a healthy weight.  Additionally, exercise has great benefits for hoof health and integrity because movement promotes blood circulation, pumping blood through the hooves to provide critical nourishment. 

Other Factors In Seasonal Hoof Care


In reality, our horse’s environment is rarely, if ever constant. We take them from grassy paddocks to dry, sandy arenas, to hard tarmac roads, to stables with often too-damp bedding. And it can be hard for our horse’s feet to keep up.

Your first port of call should be to talk to your farrier about how you might improve your management practices and daily hoof care to enhance your horse’s hoof health. Factors such as the moisture content of bedding, the surfaces you ride on, and the care of your horse’s hooves pre- and post- exercise can all have a significant influence on the health of your horse’s feet and your farrier is best placed to advise.

A horse’s hoof may also change in size from winter to summer, as feet expand in warmer conditions and contract in colder ones. Consequently, you may find that your horse may need a slightly different sized shoe in summer versus winter, depending on how much the temperature changes through the seasons where you are. Again, your farrier is the expert and will know what is best for your horse throughout the shoeing cycles in the year, whether yours is a barefoot horse or is shod.

The length of your shoeing cycle is also an important factor in the health of your horse’s feet, which can have a knock-on influence on your horse’s performance. Hooves tend to grow faster with increasing daylight and getting your horse’s feet done every 4-6 weeks vs every 10 weeks will make a big difference to hoof health. German Farrier and FormaHoof Expert, Aletia Reilingh, comments:

“I like to have sport horses on a shorter cycle, making sure the hooves are kept balanced and the toe is not getting too long to avoid stress on the horses limbs. Using x-rays to evaluate the feet for a shoeing plan is also hugely beneficial”.

How FormaHoof Can Help With Summer Hoof Health


Traditional nailed-on horseshoes help to protect the equine feet from wear and tear on hard ground. But if the horse’s feet have become dry and brittle, nails can cause further breakage, lost shoes and lameness. FormaHoof is a liquid fit, reusable mould process that offers 3D hoof protection and support, without glue or nails. It’s particularly useful in summer as it helps to retain moisture within the hoof, while the AP resin flexes as healthy hoof does, helping to absorb impact and concussion. With FormaHoof, it’s also extremely easy to add extra cushioning by applying dental impression material to the sole before the FormaHoof is applied, providing added support and impact cushioning. 

If you have any questions on how best to care for your horse’s hoof care this summer, or how FormaHoof may help your horse, please do get in touch or book an in-depth consultation with one of the FormaHoof’s Experts. We’re here to help.

Equine Hoof Care with FormaHoof


Regardless of the season, if your are supporting horses, donkeys or maybe even zebras, FormaHoof is a fantastic solution for horses recovering from hoof related disease such as laminitis, white line disease, navicular disease, hoof cracks or many other of the most common hoof pathologies. No matter if you want to give your horse comfort during a laminitis treatment, provide support for low heels or help your horse to solid feet on the way to a barefoot transition if you wish to support your horse’s hoof disease treatment with FormaHoof, we highly recommend discussing your horse’s case with your farrier, trimmer, veterinarian or one of the FormaHoof Experts in detail.

Join our Facebook group

The FormaHoof – Ask an Expert Q&A group was setup to create an open experience exchange between horse owners and professionals. Get your questions answered and learn more about FormaHoof in a familiar environment whilst making new friends on the way to healthier hooves.

Learn FormaHoof insights here

The FCA course in the FormaHoof Academy is set to give equine podiatry professionals the option of adding certified high-quality FormaHoof services to their business. Nevertheless, the course is open to everyone and owners can gain helpful insights in the usage of FormaHoof and learn with their trusted farrier, trimmer or vet, how to get started.

Contact form

Would you like to discuss your horse’s case with us? We’d love to hear from you.


Our FormaHoof Expert team

Joel Brown

MSc Hon AG
Accredited Professional Farrier (APF-1)
FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Navicular Disease & NPA with FormaHoof

Languages: English

As a born and bred horseman, Joel’s approach to farrier science is based on a holistic viewpoint that addresses the anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics of the horse to enhance comfort and balance across all equine breeds, types and disciplines. A cowboy at heart, Joel holds a Masters in Equine Science and Business and is an experienced farrier, with more than 42 years in equine podiatry.

Aletia Reilingh

Staatlich gepr. Hufschmied

State Certified Farrier/Germany

FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Laminitis and White Line Disease with FormaHoof

Languages: English, German

A Canadian by birth, a farrier by trade and a rider by heart, Aletia made the move to Europe in 2014. Here she settled her farriery business in the Western part of Germany, an area with one of the highest density of horses in the country. Whilst she provides farrier services in the Northwest of Germany and parts of the Netherlands, Aletia is also a highly successful dressage rider and will soon move on to Grand Prix level.

FormaHoof supportive treatment for Laminittis n Horses, farrier Bart Lambert

Bart Lambert

Hoefsmid
State Certified Farrier/Belgium

FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Laminitis and White Line Disease with FormaHoof

Languages: Flämisch, Dutch, English, French

Bart is an experienced farrier with over a decade specialising in remedial shoeing and sport horse farriery. He provides a wide range of services throughout Belgium and is a multi-lingual super talent! Bart has a passion for PRE horses and dedicates his free time to their breeding and training.

Lisa Elliott

MSc Equine Science
Qualified in Equine Nutrition

Expert in Equine Nutrition

Languages: English, French

Horse lover and equine enthusiast, Lisa holds a Masters Degree in Equine Science and is a specialist in Equine Nutrition. She has played a key role in the development of our FormaHoof Nutritional Supplements and is available to discuss your horse’s diet in detail and the influence that diet may be having on their health and performance. Lisa can also provide support with a special diet plan tailored to your horse’s unique needs (additional cost for diet plans may apply).

Using FormaHoof as a supportive treatment for horses with laminitis

Using FormaHoof as a supportive treatment for horses with laminitis

By FCA & Barefoot Trimmer Jackie Bowler, USA

FormaHoof supportive treatment for Laminittis n Horses, Jackie Bowler, Hoof Trimmer

Jackie Bowler

JB HoofCare
815-482-2835

Hi everyone,

I am Jackie, a barefoot trimmer, certified through Ida Hammer’s Whole Horse Hoof Care program.

I service Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin providing the following services; glue on shoes, casting, boot fitting, FormaHoof, rehab trims, and maintenance trims. I strive to take each horses  individual needs into account while forming the best plan of action for a happy horse and owner.

My experience with FormaHoof began in 2019 when a client researched the product as an alternative tool to help her thin soled horse transition from shod to barefoot.

 

Alaskas Laminitis Journey with FormaHoof


I first met Alaska in November of 2019 when her owner Rachel Kane, D.V.M. reached out with interest in trying FormaHoof. Alaska has suffered from laminitis for quite some time and her initial radiographs showed a long toe, rotation, gas tracks within the lamina, and loss of sole depth. She was in Soft Ride boots for hoof protection at the time and while they are a great product, she was still very uncomfortable in them despite being on medications for pain and inflammation management. We initially applied an Easycare Performance glue on shoe with soft dental impression packing and casting material over the shoe while an appropriate sized FormaHoof Mould was ordered. Although the performance shoes did lend some comfort, Alaska was still uncomfortable and unable to go outside very much.

The First FormaHoof Application


By February we were able to apply the first set of FormaHoof. Instantly Alaska was very comfortable and confident in her stride. Dr. Kane was able to document progress with radiographs every step of the way and the improvements with FormaHoof are evident.

Changing a horses posture during laminitis rehab with FormaHoof


We were able to see a notable increase in sole depth, no further gas tracks within the lamina, a better hoof to pastern angle, and a better break over. Dr. Kane was able to decrease the amount of pain medication since Alaska has been in FormaHoof and she has since foaled a healthy baby that she is able to go out and move around with. I couldn’t be happier with the amount of progress in such a short amount of time.

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The FormaHoof – Ask an Expert Q&A group was setup to create an open experience exchange between horse owners and professionals. Get your questions answered and learn more about FormaHoof in a familiar environment whilst making new friends on the way to healthier hooves.

Learn FormaHoof insights here

The FCA course in the FormaHoof Academy is set to give equine podiatry professionals the option of adding certified high-quality FormaHoof services to their business. Nevertheless, the course is open to everyone and owners can gain helpful insights in the usage of FormaHoof and learn with their trusted farrier, trimmer or vet, how to get started.

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Nutrition For Healthy Hooves

Nutrition For Healthy Hooves

by Lisa Elliott

Whatever your horse does – from piaffing to hacking – healthy hooves are pivotal to their health and performance and the old saying ‘no hoof, no horse’ is 100% true.  Hoof health and quality is dependent on balanced nutrition, so providing your horse’s hooves with the right nutrients is essential to maintain optimum health, strength, and performance, alongside the right care and protection.   

Lisa Elliott, MSc

E-Learning and Community Coordinator at FormaHoof – explains what your horse’s hooves need to be healthy, what helps to keep them healthy, and how FormaHoof’s newly formulated HoofRehab and SportHoof Nutritional Supplements can help provide the best nutrition to support strong, well-functioning and healthier hooves throughout their life.

Which nutrients support healthy hooves?


Healthy hooves need an optimal blend of the right nutrients at the right levels to make a difference to hoof health within their diet. The key nutrients for hoof health are:

  • Energy
  • Protein
  • Biotin
  • Key vitamins and minerals
  • Omega fatty acids

How can a supplement help with hoof health?


A diet including ad-lib forage and appropriate energy levels can provide many of these essential nutrients.   However, factors such as forage quality, forage type, soil type, season, age, lifestyle, and that all horses are individuals may mean that certain micronutrients can fall short of the levels needed for optimum hoof health.

Lysine, for example, is a key component of a healthy hoof structure but can often be lacking in forage, along with vital micronutrients for hooves such as copper and zinc. If a horse or pony has restricted access to grass for any reason, this can also reduce their intake of such minerals.  Intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, also important for hoof health and structure and present in fresh grass, would also be reduced.   Additionally, horses or ponies with a compromised microbiome may not receive effective levels of biotin for strong, healthy hoof horn.  Furthermore, hardworking and performance horses will have an increased need for micronutrients and for additional antioxidants such as Vitamin E, to help protect and maintain healthy hooves.

By addressing these shortfalls and supplying essential nutrients at optimum levels, a targeted, high specification hoof supplement can help support improved growth, structure, integrity, and overall health.   A healthier hoof supports optimal performance, mobility and reduces the chance of hoof pathologies and disease, for all round health and well-being.

 

Supplying targeted hoof nutrition with FormaHoof


To provide your horse’s hooves with targeted nutritional support, FormaHoof have developed two brand new Nutritional Supplements – FormaHoof HoofRehab, created for leisure horses at maintenance to light work, and FormaHoof SportHoof, created for harder working performance and sport horses.  Both supplements are designed to work synergistically and holistically with FormaHoof to provide a truly beneficial, healthier, all round approach to hoof health.

These multi-action hoof supplements help promote optimum hoof health and integrity, through the inclusion of key nutrients at levels scientifically proven to promote hoof growth, quality, and health:

Essential Amino Acids – Lysine and Methionine


Hooves are made of protein, in particular a type of protein called Keratin.   Amino acids provide the building blocks for proteins and the hooves need key amino acids to build keratin.  Lysine is known as the first limiting amino acid, is an integral part of building proteins and is found within a variety of tissues, hormones, and cells throughout the body.   Lysine can often be deficient in equine diets and its presence is vital for keratin production in hooves.  Lysine is included in FormaHoof HoofRehab and FormaHoof SportHoof at optimal levels, reflective of the needs of leisure and performance horses.

Methionine is unique in that it contains the mineral sulphur, a key component of keratin, used for forming sulphur bonds within keratin responsible for healthy, strong hoof structure.  As a sulphur giving amino acid, Methionine helps to promote optimal hoof strength and flexibility. Methionine can also be used to produce the sulphur rich amino acid cysteine, which is vital in hoof horn formation. We understand how important Methionine is to hoof health so FormaHoof HoofRehab and SportHoof Nutritional supplements have been formulated to provide effective levels of methionine to support stronger, healthier hooves.

Biotin


Biotin is probably the most important B vitamin for healthy hooves. It is essential for Keratin formation, cell to cell adhesion in the hoof wall, and cell proliferation, making it pivotal for hoof horn growth and integrity.  Research has shown that providing around 20mg of Biotin daily can help hooves to strengthen and grow, but to be fully effective it needs to be provided with other nutrients such as methionine and zinc.  Ideally, at least 25 to 30mg of biotin should be fed daily for full effect, so we have ensured that both FormaHoof HoofRehab and FormaHoof SportHoof deliver a very high specification, to help promote strong, healthy hooves with continuous growth.

Copper


Copper is needed for the synthesis and maintenance of connective tissues such as ligaments, tendons, bone framework and cartilage, all of which are present within hooves.  It is also vital for the structural integrity of collagen and elastin found in bone and blood vessel, and the formation of sulphur bonds in keratin.   

Additionally, copper has immunity and antioxidant activity which helps to protect cell membranes. Copper helps promote hoof strength and structure, both inside and out, with deficiency being linked to several hoof pathologies.  Copper is essential for hoof function and performance and is included in both FormaHoof Nutritional Supplements at an optimal rate to support and promote all round hoof health and integrity. 

Zinc


Like copper, Zinc has many important roles in hoof strength and function. This essential mineral is involved in the synthesis of collagen, keratins, keratin-associated proteins, cell-envelope proteins, and the intercellular cementing substance lipoprotein, all of which are integral to optimum hoof structure   Zinc is also needed for cell reproduction, maintenance, and repair within external and internal layers of hoof walls, as well as blood vessels, making it vital for a fully functioning, strong and healthy hoof.   FormaHoof HoofRehab and FormaHoof SportHoof Nutritional supplements deliver easily absorbed chelated Zinc at optimal levels which reflect the needs of leisure and sport horses.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids


An important part of hoof structure and integrity, Omega 3 Fatty acids also support immunity, helping to prevent disease, protect joints and ligaments and support overall hoof quality.  Omega 3 fatty acids help promote a healthy moisture balance within the hoof and help prevent troublesome microbes from getting in through the hoof wall.   Additionally, Omega 3 fatty acids have potent anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial for supporting conditions like laminitis and arthritis. FormaHoof HoofRehab and FormaHoof SportHoof Nutritional supplements contain a linseed meal base rich in Omega 3 fatty acids to promote improved hoof strength, growth, and flexibility.

Brewer's Yeast


A healthy microbiome is essential to healthy hooves because beneficial microbes in your horse’s hindgut produce Biotin and other key B vitamins for hoof health like Niacin through fibre fermentation and help support immunity.   

Formahoof’s HoofRehab and SportHoof Nutritional Supplements supply Brewer’s yeast containing yea-sacc (saccharomyces cerevisae) at scientifically proven levels (15g).  Yea-sacc has well-researched benefits for equine microbial and digestive health, from improved fibre digestibility to stimulation of beneficial hindgut microbes and  maintaining healthy pH levels within the hindgut. We believe the addition of yea-sacc to stimulate, support and nurture healthy hindgut microbes, is vital because healthy microbes are intrinsically linked to healthier hooves.    

Additionally, Brewer’s yeast contains amino acids, B vitamins and has a prebiotic effect on beneficial gut microbes. This helps further maintain a healthy microbiome and further boost immunity, which is important for overall health and to support recovery from conditions like laminitis.

Manganese


Manganese plays a larger role in the internal structure of the foot, rather than the hoof wall, which means it helps build healthy hooves from within for optimal structure.  Manganese is important in the formation, maintenance, and repair of hoof cartilage and skeletal bones within the hoof.  Additionally, Manganese works as a superoxide antioxidant, helping to decrease free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage.  We have included manganese within the FormaHoof SportHoof nutritional supplement to address the increased nutrient needs of performance horses and help protect their hooves against oxidative damage from harder work.  

 

MSM


Methyl Sulphonyl Methane provides a bioavailable source of organic sulphur needed for the formation of sulphur containing compounds such as biotin. Sulphur is also needed for the formation of disulphide cross linkages that strengthen keratin, the main part of hoof horn structure. The inclusion of MSM in FormaHoof SportHoof helps meet the increased demands of harder work to support optimal hoof strength, health, and integrity in performance horses.

Vitamin E


Vitamin E is a potent anti-oxidant which helps to scavenge free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage. Horses and ponies in higher levels of work have an increased need for Vitamin E to help protect and maintain healthy cells and tissues, including those within the hoof, including cell membranes within the hoof capsule itself.  Generous levels of Vitamin E are included within FormaHoof SportHoof Nutritional Supplement, to help strengthen and protect hard working hooves for optimal health and performance.

Healthy Hooves
From The Inside Out.


FormaHoof HoofRehab and FormaHoof SportHoof Nutritional supplements have a specification similar to a Balancer. However, unlike a balancer which provides a broader spectrum of nutrients, FormaHoof HoofRehab, and FormaHoof SportHoof supply key micronutrients which are uniquely targeted to support and nurture healthier hooves. Due to a shared requirement for key micronutrients and the omega 3 included, both supplements will also help promote good coat and skin health for overall bloom.

 

We believe supplying balanced, targeted nutrition through FormaHoof HoofRehab or FormaHoof SportHoof, together with the care and support of FormaHoof itself, is the perfect combination to build the healthiest hooves for optimum, strength, function, and performance – whatever your horse turns them to.  

Book a consultation or shop for FormaHoof's Nutritional Supplements now.


Join our Facebook group

The FormaHoof – Ask an Expert Q&A group was setup to create an open experience exchange between horse owners and professionals. Get your questions answered and learn more about FormaHoof in a familiar environment whilst making new friends on the way to healthier hooves.

Learn FormaHoof insights here

The FCA course in the FormaHoof Academy is set to give equine podiatry professionals the option of adding certified high-quality FormaHoof services to their business. Nevertheless, the course is open to everyone and owners can gain helpful insights in the usage of FormaHoof and learn with their trusted farrier, trimmer or vet, how to get started.

Contact form

Would you like to discuss your horse’s case with us? We’d love to hear from you.


The essential role of the blacksmith

The essential role of the blacksmith

By FCA & Farrier Bart Lambert, Belgium & Ekico, France

Bart Lambert

Hoefsmid & FCA,
Belgium
+32 477320168
bartlambert@hotmail.com

Bart is an experienced farrier and FormaHoof Certified Applicator based in Belgium. He is specialised in remedial shoeing and sport horse farrierey.

 

Bart has recently been interviewed by Ekico and we are excited to share this interesting laminitis case and farriery background in our blog.

Ekico gives professionals such as vets and farriers and horse owners the guarantee of ultra-precise orthopaedic monitoring of horses. More information https://ekico.fr

Discover unbeatable technology to track and trace hoof pathologies with Ekico and FormaHoof in the article below (Repost of the original article in French and English – Ekico Blog).

The Interview - Ekico & Bart Lambert, Farrier and FormaHoof Certified Applicator from Belgium


Ekico: Hello Bart, thank you again for this interview on a particularly sensitive subject. You are a farrier and have been practising for about ten years now. During our discussions for the drafting of this article, you gave the title of this document: “The essential role of a farrier”. Can you explain to me why?