Best Hoof Supplement to add to SmartPak

My appy/TB cross’s hooves are brittle as all get out. A crack that my farrier was managing in left front lateral wall just travelled over towards the toe. I think it’s time to get on a hoof supplement, but wanted to ask: Is there a max amount of biotin that a horse can absorb in a day? How important is methionine? What about the other ingredients? I’d like to get it from SmartPak as his electrolytes come from there.

What’s her diet?

Biotin - 20-25mg a day

Methionine is the 2nd limiting amino acid, behind lysine. Bitoin required adequate methionine to be used. Methionine requires adequate lysine.

Copper and zinc are just as important, if not moreso than biotin. Most horses make enough biotin on their own. But they require enough copper and zinc for hoof quality and growth, and it’s not that hard to have insufficient amounts of each if the forage is sky high in iron (which is fairly common in the US)

Can you post pictures of the feet? IME, most hoof issues are trim-related. Then most of the rest are diet, then genetics.


Biotine, Copper, and Zinc are your friends.

A skilled farrier is necessary, but everybody’s a critic over feet pictures so that’s a slippery slope.

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Best hoof supplement? A good farrier.

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I have an amazing farrier but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at my TB. My other horses look perfect. It’s not always about the farrier. Sometimes it’s about nutrition or plain bad genetics.

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Of the available options, I think SmartHoof Ultra OR Glazen3C. This based on no other information about the diet. Both supps have lysine, methionine, biotin, copper and zinc in quantities that seem “enough to be useful”.

I didn’t study the offerings too studiously, just breezed through the comparison tool.

Just my 2 cents…FWIW… but Smartpak doesn’t carry anything with enough of anything to be useful.
I personally use Nu Hoof Accelerator, I buy from Valley Vet or Stateline, wherever I can get best pricing and shipping. It has very good amounts of copper, zinc, methionine.

Anyways…when people talk about hooves being brittle and cracking one thing I’ve always wondered about is the role of “fats” in the diet to help with this. So that said OP, do you add any flax to the diet? What, if any, hoof dressing do you use? I tend to lean towards oily ones this time of year when things are so dry.
I wonder if standing in water daily, or just having ‘mud’ by the water trough, would help in cases like this?

I find copper/zinc make the biggest difference but i have also found it hard to find palatable versions.

Also keratex hoof hardener 2-3 times a week and no other dressings. I was religious about this last year and sort of slacked off this year and it shows quite dramatically in chippy tb feet.

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what have you tried? Uckele mixes theirs with kelp, which is off-putting to a lot of horses. California Trace and Horse Tech don’t, but still, ew, it’s copper LOL CT does have a pelleted cu/zn mix, and Hay Harmony is a lesser known pelleted mix.

California Trace the forage balancer (as opposed to the individual cu/zn products) and other forage balancers can often be used at half doses to get cu/zn levels up without impacting a lot of other things, obviously depending on your starting point.

I bought the uckele powder and have very slowly been getting through it. My gelding will literally eat anything and hates it. I have been able to get it down by adding a cup of a molasses heavy nutrena feed. But it has improved his hoof quality quite a bit.

Have you tried the hay harmony? I have been curious but after the ukele experience I thought maybe I was just wasting money. My mare is the one that really needs it but I knew there was NO way she was going to eat with the uckele in there.

Uckele also makes a pelleted version of both their copper and zinc. I’ve found that it goes over better with the picky eaters at our barn.


I have not personally, but have heard it’s pretty palatable. I’m not sure if they do this, but see if they do samples. I’m pretty sure California Traces has sample sizes available

Mine also had no problem with the Uckele minerals, despite the kelp, but I know a LOT of horses who won’t eat theirs, don’t have problems with the CT or HT minerals (because there’s no kelp)

Not to hijack, but anyone tried the madbarn?

Is it pelleted?

" Our 3:1 Zinc Copper powder is…"

It’s mixed in with some distillers grains so may be relatively palatable

One would hope Madbarn’s is palatable. Their recommended dose for a 500kg horse is 300mg:100mg Zn/Cu which means (if I remember correctly…) you’d need to feed 6g or 9cc of it.

I like the HorseTech version but I don’t think it’s available in Canada. It’s not tasty but you feed such small amounts of it, it’s easy for me to hide in food.

Dosing is entirely dependent on what balances the rest of the diet. For some diets, you might easily need 3x that of each.

These minerals are heavy, so the 6gm serving for 100/300 cu/zn really isn’t a lot. a 9cc scoop is pretty small, a bit less than 2tsp.

Hay Harmony is flax-based / granulated, not pelleted unfortunately.

After eating pelleted Uckele copper and zinc for the last year and a half, my horse recently decided it’s disgusting so I tried added fenugreek powder, then Custom Equine Nutrition, then Hay Harmony. No dice with any of it. I haven’t bitten the bullet on Cal Trace yet because it’s so much more expensive and he probably won’t like it either. He’s driving me crazy. @ClassyJumper if you want some of any of these things to try, let me know!

California Trace will send you a free sample to try. My picky hoof challenged pony eats it but I started out with very small amounts and increased it gradually until I was at a full dosage.

My hoof group I’m in says Vermont Trace is more palatable the CA Trace but I haven’t tried it. They also do free samples.

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Thanks! That’s my next step I think. I’ve been hesitant on the free samples because I think he will either need more than a small sample to get used to it, or will eat it for the duration of the sample and then stop once I pay for it. :angry:

Thanks, that’s what I get for going off memory and not checking!

Horsetech can do a custom mix with some flavor added - check the cost? It might end up as much as the CT pellet