Tips to Better Hoof Care

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topspec-hoof“Healthy hooves or no horse.” This is something that you’re likely to hear from a farrier or a fellow equine owner. There’s no denying the truth to such statement especially because these animals are known for their speed and agility. Weak hooves mean weak feet and nobody wants that. This is also the reason why care for their feet is one of the primary aspects to equine care and today we’ve got expert tips straight from the Topspec headquarters.

  1. Maintain sanitary stables and barns.

Many foot ailments and illnesses are a result of unsanitary conditions. Continuous exposure to wet, dirty and muddy ground is risky because it heightens the breeding ground for bacteria all while softening the hooves. To avoid such issues, make sure to invest in a good drainage and regularly clean and disinfect quarters.

  1. Make the animals exercise.

You’d be surprised to find out that there are horses that tend to get lazy especially when the weather gets tough. Too much heat or cold can send them off lazing by their stables. They need regular exercise because this ensures that proper and good blood circulation is maintained which is important as nutrients and oxygen are brought to the frog by means of the circulatory system.

  1. Start nurturing from within.

Supplements and hoof care products would still fail to work if we’re dealing with unhealthy horses. Overall nutrition plays a huge part in ensuring that equines develop and maintain strong hooves. When choosing meal options, remember the six essential nutrients they need namely protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins and minerals. They also require adequate amounts of roughage daily and remember that their meals should be divided into several small portions and given throughout the day.

  1. Pick hooves daily.

Debris eventually gets stuck and this can both be painful and dangerous to horses. This is why picking is a must before and after riding and should be done every day. With the right tools and skills, carefully remove the compacted dirt, pebbles and objects lodged in their foot making sure to be cautious when handling the frog.

  1. Have them re-shoed and re-trimmed.

As a rule of thumb, Topspec experts say that horses must be taken to the farrier every six to eight weeks to have their hooves trimmed. The shoes are to be examined too in order to assess if it needs replacing or if it went loose and need reinforcing.

Equine America: Barn Must-Haves

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horse-barnsA barn is to horses as a house is to humans. It shelters them and provides protection from various elements. Plus, it also houses quite a number of items and stocks as well. It’s safe to say that a barn isn’t going to be some random structure in the middle of an empty piece of land. It has to be well thought of and fully equipped. That said Equine America schools us on the following must-haves.

  1. Space

A barn that’s cramped and inadequately built will make it hard for everyone to move about and be comfortable. In the case of horses, the rule of thumb requires a standard size box stall that measures 12 feet by 12 feet at the very least. This can even be bigger for stallions and broodmares. Of course, it is important to put the animals into consideration when thinking of dimensions.

  1. Ventilation

You wouldn’t want to suffocate those animals, now would you? Barns need to breathe too and to do so will require a high-pitched roof, vented eaves (or cupolas or ridges), or any other feature that easily opens out (like the ceiling or door) to let air in and out freely. Even the use of fans can become necessary for areas with typically hot or humid climates.

  1. Lighting

Horses, their owners and caretakers need to find their way within the barn so lighting is an element you should never forget. The smart use of windows and wide doors as well as operated lights will also help avoid any accidents.

  1. Drainage

Barns need to be clean at all times so it’s not unlikely to find the need to hose down the floors every now and then. But consistently wet or even damp floors are not good for a horse’s hooves. Not only does it weaken them but they become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. This is why the installation of working and an effective drainage system is mandatory.

  1. Storage

Barns also serve as a storage area for a lot of things. Think about feeds, equipment, hay, blankets, emergency first aid kits and all that stuff. Equine America reminds everyone to consider and plan out an effective storage system to ensure that everything is kept in place. At the same time, see to it that everything is properly secured. Horses are smart animals and they can find their way into the feed storage area. If they can easily be opened or are not secured, expect an indulging equine as the prime suspect.

What’s the Nutritional Content of Formula 4 Feet?

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formula4feetLaminitis is a common enemy not only among horses but also amongst its owners and caretakers. Considered to be the number one culprit for lameness in equines, it can also result to premature death. But thanks to science and passion, lead experts have come to devise a hoof supplement that will not only battle such condition but will likewise provide care and remedy to unwell and injured hooves. We call it Formula 4 Feet.

A frontrunner and the very first non-GMO hoof supplement that was developed and made available in the market, Formula 4 Feet targets cracked or injured hooves, weak heels, laminitis, foot infections and similar types of conditions and injuries. It is a product of the joint effort Robert Eustace FRCVS, Director of EquiLife Ltd, and Dr. David Frape, the UK’s leading equine nutritionists who have seen the lack of available non-GMO supplements in the equine market.

Formula 4 Feet comes in highly palatable and nutritious pellets. It contains about sixty five nutrients among which are essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants that delay certain types of cell damage and degenration. Let’s discuss some of its key nutrients below.

When we say strong feet, we think of strong bones. The supplement is packed with adequate levels of calcium. That’s over 3 grams of calcium apart from its magnesium and phosphorus that are both crucial in bone growth, development and strength. But calcium does not only make the hoof strong and avoid laminitis. It also aids in the regulation of the heart’s rhythm, blood clotting and muscle contraction.

As mentioned, it also contains magnesium. This macro mineral helps in the conversion of food to energy, is a component in building strong skeletal structures and the absorption of calcium in the body as well as avoid glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.

Another main culprit to laminitis is obesity or overindulgence in unhealthy food or excessive meals. To battle it out, omega 3 fatty acids otherwise known as the good cholesterol can help minimize the bad fat in the horse’s body.

There’s vitamin D as well. Formula 4 Feet contains this crucial vitamin that is mostly sourced by exposing the animal under the sun during certain times of the day but may also be found in a select few food and plant sources. It is important in bone growth and enables the efficient metabolism of energy in the body.

Don’t Feed These to Your Horses Says Topspec Experts

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Food isn’t universal. What may be beneficial for one species might not hold true for another. Horses for instance find particular food items toxic giving them a series of discomfort and unwell ranging from an upset stomach to a lethal fever. The following list by Topspec’s team of experts for instance should never be fed to equines.

AVOCADO – Because of its natural content known as “persin”, avocadoes from its roots, leaves, pits, skin and fruit is dangerous to horses. Ingestion leads to a number of health issues such as gastritis, colic, agalactia, mastitis and epithelial necrosis among others.

BROCCOLI – Just because it’s green doesn’t make it safe and healthy, for horses at least. This particular leafy green has the tendency to make the digestive system produce excessive gas as it tries to process the vegetable. Since these animals have a particularly sensitive and limited stomach and intestines, this may lead to abdominal pain or worse case scenario, a rupture.

CABBAGE – Like broccoli which belongs in the same vegetable family, cabbages has the same effect on horses. Make sure that they don’t ingest one.

COFFEE – To humans, a cup of Joe is a delight but to equines it isn’t. The caffeine content may cause abnormal pulses, heightened blood pressure and irregular heart beat which we all know is dangerous and may even lead to a vessel rupture.

CHOCOLATE – Yum! They’re tasty but they will give the animal a bad tummy. Like many other animals, the cocoa content of chocolate may be a cause for digestive issues and when ingested in large amounts may be a cause of abnormal gas production in the gut. At its worse, it may lead to a seizure.

onionsONION – The worst thing that onions can bring is anemia, a blood condition in which there are too few red blood cells or the red blood cells are deficient in hemoglobin thus resulting in poor health. This is because of its N-propyl Disulfide content which is a chemical that can destroy red blood cells in the body.

SODA – Like coffee, soda and other carbonated drinks contain caffeine. They may taste great to them but apart from the risk of circulatory issues, soda also contains high levels of sugar and glucose that might lead to obesity and even a case for laminitis.

There’s more to this list says Topspec experts but the above are perhaps some of the most common items that owners give as meals or treats. Find out more at

The Truth Behind Laminitis

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horse-laminitisLaminitis is considered to be a leading cause of lameness among horses. It’s a condition that must be taken very seriously as it aggravates pretty fast. Today, we shall shed some light and get to know more about it with the help of Formula 4 Feet in the hopes of better providing cure, ensuring care and preventing its occurrence.

What is laminitis?

The condition is defined as the inflammation of the sensitive plates of tissue in the hooves called the laminae thus its name. Such tissue is responsible for supporting the pedal bone and the hoof. In other words, it is crucial in terms of holding in the weight and balance of the horse. It affects all equines regardless of age, gender, bread and season.

What causes it?

There are many reported causes of laminitis. This includes but is not limited to the following.

  • Bacterial infection
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Hoof injury or accident
  • Obesity and overfeeding
  • Overindulgence in starch and sugar
  • Stress and/or weight bearing
  • Poor hoof care such as lack of regular and proper picking

How to care for horses suffering from it?

A smaller stable is highly recommended as well as comfortable beddings to avoid further stressing the affected hooves. Be sure to provide them with adequate nutrition and water. Don’t have them walking or running too much as they are likely to cause further pain. Be careful when picking too so as not to irritate the inflamed tissue.

Equines that suffer from the said condition must be given immediate medical attention so be sure to call your vet immediately. They should be able to devise a plan on how to go about treatment depending on the gravity of the situation. In most cases, an x-ray shall be requested to see how deep the inflammation has gone.

How can it be prevented?

As the old adage goes, prevention is always better than cure. To prevent laminitis, here are some of the measures that owners must take.

  • Ensure proper and adequate feeding at all costs.
  • Divide their daily requirements into several small portion meals.
  • See to it that they only take what’s necessary to avoid obesity.
  • Hoof care is important so ensure proper trimming, picking and shoeing.
  • Avoid dangerous and difficult terrain.
  • Never let your horse carry so much weight.
  • Make it a point to monitor their overall health.

Now that Formula 4 Feet has helped us understand laminitis better, we hope that you got enough insights to provide better care for your horses.

Fun Facts and Horse Trivia from Equine America

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equine-americaHorses are one of the popularly domesticated animals today. Their relationship with humans date far and beyond and up to today, they’ve proven to be quite a favorite particularly in the field of leisure and sports. Today with Equine America, we made a list of fun facts and trivia about horses that might sound news to you! Check them out and let’s have some fun!

  • An adult horse’s brain weights about 22 oz. That’s the same mass as a regulated NBA basketball and half that of the human brain. It’s also pretty smaller in size, just as huge as that of a baked potato.
  • Chariot racing was part of the earliest Olympic game lineup and considered the most important and popular of the equestrian games. It was first added in 680 BC and came in two and four-horse races.
  • Horse hooves are like the fingernail to equines. It will take approximately 9 to 12 months to completely grow an entire one back.
  • Horses can sleep both standing up and lying down. They can lock their leg muscles so they won’t topple over should they snooze on all fours. Cool huh?
  • Leonardo da Vinci, famous Italian polymath known for his paintings like the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper was known to fondly make sketches of the animal.
  • Their ears are also great indicators of their attention. If you want to know where they are looking without having to check their eyes, see where their ears pint to. It also helps that they have16 muscles in each ear and can rotate them 180 degrees.
  • Their sense of sight is pretty peculiar. They can see better at night compared to humans but will take more time adjusting from light to dark and vice versa. Each of their eyes can see different images at the same time and almost completely around its entire body except directly behind, underneath its head and in front of its face.
  • They cannot vomit. This is because of their cut-off valve muscle and the angle in by which their esophagus meets the stomach thus creating a tight shut.
  • They like anything sweet and are particularly not a fan of sour and bitter tasting food. This is also the reason why they have a penchant for sweeter treats like apples and strawberries.

So which among these fun facts from Equine America surprised you the most?


How to Clean a Horse’s Hoof

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horse hoof cleaningOne of the vital tasks that any horse owner must be able to master is the cleaning or picking of the hooves. This is important to ensure not only sanitation but also the avoidance of injury, infection and certain ailments like laminitis. Today, we will be discussing a basic tutorial on how to do this.

Cleaning is done using a tool called a hoof pick. The main goal is to remove compacted debris like mud, dirt, stone and similar other items that may have found its way in. These can eventually cause pain and injury which can lead to injury or even lameness. Experts suggest that picking must be done on a daily basis, before and after the horse is taken out for a ride.

#1: Ready the animal. See to it that they are calm, not panicky, anxious or irritable. Bring them to a secluded or quiet area. Tie them up but make sure that it isn’t too tight so in case they panic they won’t get hurt or strangled.

#2: Begin with one side. Carefully approach one side and stroke the neck and shoulders gently. Stand by the shoulder and turn your body to face the tail. Put one leg slightly in front of the other for better balance.

#3: Give warning. Run your hand down its leg and tap the back of it. This will introduce the horse to what you are able to do allowing him time to square up.

#4: Life the leg. You can squeeze above the fetlock if the horse doesn’t automatically do so itself. This will take some getting used to. After which, provide support. With the hand closest to the body, support the hoof allowing the other hand to take hold of the pick.

#5: Start picking. With the hoof on hand, begin by removing any debris from the frog using your fingers or a brush. This part is very sensitive so pay extra caution. Once done, use the pick to loosen up the packed debris, dirt and stones. Continue until the horn becomes visible. When everything has been removed and cleaned, examine the foot for any injury, crack, abnormal heat or sore spots. If any, call the doctor immediately.

Caring for your horse’s hooves is very important.Remember the old adage, no hooves means no horse.

Parasites in Horses

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horse parasiteOne of the most common and fatal digestive dilemmas that befall horses would have to be parasitic infections. Not only are they a health issue for the animal but they can also pose threats to the others inside the barn or stables. To battle it out, knowledge has to be above par because we can’t exactly fight off an enemy we don’t know. This is why today we’ve asked the experts from Global Herbs to introduce to us the common parasites that make life a living hell for our friendly horses.

ASCARIDS or more commonly known as round worms are plump white worms that can grow up to 12 inches long. It primarily affects but is not exclusive to foals. They are contracted by ingestion of eggs which can be found in pastures, paddocks and contaminated soil. Infected foals will show. Its signs will include loss of appetite, lack of energy, colic and even intestinal blockage in the intestines and perforation.

HORSE BOTS are the larvae of Bot flies and are found to linger in the stomach. It is contracted when the adult fly lays its eggs on the horse where it sticks to the coat or hair. When dampened with sweat, the eggs hatch and the larvae are carried into the mouth as the animal grooms itself. Soon enough, it passes and burrows itself in the stomach. They can cause wounds and ulceration in both the mouth and the stomach.

TAPEWORMS are found in the stomach and both the small and large intestines. They begin when the horse ingests pasture mites that have come to be infected by tapeworm eggs. As the larvae travels down the digestive tract, it brings about mild to severe symptoms depending on the gravity of the infection. The horse can suffer from ulceration, abdominal infection, recurring colic and weight loss.

LARGE STRONGYLES are also known as red or blood worms. They are ingested from forage (e.g. grass and hay) that have become unsterile by being contaminated with feces. The initial point of entry would have to be the intestines but as they grow, they migrate to the blood vessels and other organs in the body thus their name. Large strongyles bring about anemia, diarrhea, weight loss, poor appetite, weakness, colic, intussusceptions of intestinal tissues, bleeding, rupture of the digestive tract and even damage to the central nervous system.

These horse parasites can be treated in several ways and it is best to consult and seek medical help from a veterinarian immediately. Apart from proper nutrition, sanitation is also a key instrument to ward them off says Global Herbs.

Nutrients for Maximum Health

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equiboxNutrition is a huge part when it comes to equine care. Feeding and providing the right supplements and care to one’s horses is needed to ensure their maximum health and productivity. Horses that are out of shape are not only susceptible to diseases but they too become more vulnerable to accidents and injuries. That said, we teamed up with to bring you the following list of nutrients to ensure maximum care for your horses.


Dehydration is the number one cause of death among these animals so adequate levels of water intake are necessary. On average, they are to consume 2 liters of water for every pound of hay consumed. A 500 kg animal will drink up from 30-45 liters of water on a daily basis with lactating mares needing more. This will also increase depending on the climate and the size of the animal.


This is the integral source of energy in their bodies and must therefore be present. This is the content of most feeds in the market. The needs of every animal will always be unique depending on which category they fall under: maintenance, growth, pregnancy, lactation or work.

  • FAT

Adequate and healthy levels of fat are needed in equine care. Fat is stored energy and it is very much needed in certain cases, the winter months for example where animals tend to shed pounds and eat less. However, constant check is required to avoid feeding them with too much as obesity is a health risk as well.


Minerals form an integral aspect of equine care too as they aid in the support of various functional needs. Calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur are needed in relatively high amounts compared to others like cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc.


A building block for muscle development, protein must be part of their daily nutrition for growth and exercise agility. Absence or lack of it can result to unhealthy and coarse hair coat, stunted growth, poor milk production, weight loss, high injury rates and poor performance.


According to Equine America, horses need a significant level of Vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E and K in their diets. Majority of these vitamins are found in the roughage and feeds that are given to the animals but certain cases will necessitate for added supplements which must of course be done under veterinary supervision.

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Topspec: Equine Feeding for the Winter

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Topspec feedWinter is considered to be a harsh if not the harshest season for everyone, human, plant and animal alike. For horses, the season can pose certain threats as the dipping temperature will create a drastic change in body needs and nutritional requirements. More than ever, owners will have to ensure proper and better nutrition to keep them healthy and in great condition. Today, we’ll be discussing some equine feeding tips with the help of the Topsec team. Let’s begin.

  1. Provide ample roughage. Hay for example is necessary for metabolism and proper digestion. Apart from this, the digestion of the fiber creates more heat within the body to keep warm. It’s basically a win-win situation. Make sure that you have ample stock on you because prices can get pretty high when winter comes close or is already at hand.
  2. Stock up on fat. Obese horses are not healthy but a substantial and healthy amount of fat is still an important part of the body as it not only pertains to stored energy but it also adds a level of insulation during the colder months. Before winter begins, add an extra layer of fat. The lower the temperatures are, the more energy a horse will require keeping warm. It’s easier for them to shed the weight during the chill than to gain it back when it is warmer.
  3. Add extra calories. In the event that the horses still lose a lot of weight, adding at least 4 ounces to 8 ounces of corn oil to their grain meals would be beneficial. Don’t give them any more than that. If the problem still persists, contact the nearest vet immediately.
  4. Keep water in check. Hydration is important all year round. During the wintry months, make sure that their water does not freeze or go icy cold. Horses are best given liquids that are from 7 ºC to 18 ºC. An adult hours with approximately 500 kg in weight that isn’t lactating or being exposed to strenuous activity requires at least 25 to 35 liters of water every day. Lack of ample hydration during this time of the year increases risks of impaction colic.
  5. Check their digestive tracts. All the feeds, supplements and diet would be futile if the animals cannot digest them properly. This is why deworming prior to winter is essential. This should of course be under the supervision and order of a veterinarian says Topsec reseller,