• No Hoof, No Horse

How diet determines hoof quality


Brittle, flaking hooves, painful soles, dry feet,... conditions that many horses have to deal with. However, the solution to these issues is not always obvious. A whole range of different nutrients impact on hoof health. To guarantee good hoof quality, providing a balanced diet that contains all these nutrients is vital.

Cavalor feeds contain all the vitamins, minerals and amino acids necessary to sustain hoof growth and health. All Cavolor feeds therefore contain enough goodness to ensure healthy horses have good quality hooves too.

One of the most common problems associated with hooves is laminitis. Although laminitis is a problem of a totally different nature to the issues mentioned above, it is not an uncommon occurrence. Horses suffering from laminitis are best given a diet low in sugar and starch. Cavalor FiberForce is a unique formula with the lowest sugar (3%) and starch (5%) content on the market. It also has a high fibre content (25%). Scientific research has shown that Cavalor FiberForce is ideal for horses that are sensitive to sugar and starch due to health-related problems.

» Cavalor Feed

Supplements & Care

Supplements can be added to the diet if horses are given feed without enough nutrients to support hoof health, of if horses are only given limited quantities of compound feed. To support general health, a vitamin-mineral supplement such as Cavalor Support, for horses used for recreation and Cavalor NutriPlus, for sport horses, can be given. These supplements contain all the necessary vitamins, minerals, trace elements, electrolytes etc.

To boost hoof health specifically, Cavalor Hoof Aid Special is recommended. This is a highly concentrated blend of all the nutrients crucial to help strengthen or encourage hoof growth. In addition to biotin, Cavalor Hoof Aid Special contains yeasts, sulphate compounds, amino acids, fatty acids etc. This combination of ingredients is extremely important to have any impact on the hoof, and vital if you really want to notice the beneficial effects.

» Cavalor Supplements
» Cavalor Care

The Cavalor range

Hoof Aid Special
Stimulates hoof growth and improves the quality of the hooves.

More info

Cavalor Hoof Aid
High dose of biotin and other elements to strengthen the quality of the hooves.

More info

Cavalor PodoGuard
Cavalor PodoGuard can be used for cracked hoofs, sensitive hoofs and/or fragile hoofs.

More info

Cavalor Dry Feet
An easy to use, highly effective spray to keep the sole dry and avoid thrush.

More info

Cavalor Solemate
Cavalor SoleMate again takes the lead in providing the perfect care for hoof soreness without having to wrap.

More info



Youtha Eysackers:
In de wintermaanden heeft men paardje al eens makkelijker last van rotstraal. Op aanraden heb ik de Cavalor Dry Feet gekocht. En na dag 1 zie je al resultaat met dit product. Het doet echt z'n werk naar behoren.

Heeft je paardje last van natte voeten is Cavalor Dry Feet echt een aanrader!


Anneke de Vree:
P's Panta Leone, Trakhener Kostolany x Matador, now 17 went through a rough period, his stallion manners and the fact that he was put in the field right next to mares with foals and at night in stall where he could still see them...he wound himself up, refused to eat, was just a constant nervous wreck, with careful feeding (vet recommended pro breed to give him maximum of vitamins and the necessary basics to get back some flesh and eventually fat and so much needed muscles on him, he did like the Pro Breed (some other feeds he would just not touch), and that with Cavalor calm (being the cool in the head but very hot to ride type) and sometimes a mix of Cavalor Pianissimo, he did get back to being a healthy and happy dressage horse. Because of his poor condition his feet had also gone very weak, Cavalor hoof oil special was and still is applied every day and they too have grown back to health. Thanks to Cavalor products and feed and careful stable management along with the vet for guidance we have our P's Panta Leone where he should be!


Tanja Van Donderen:
Mijn paard Skipje krijgt nu Western Mix van Cavalor en daar is ie super mee, vind hem er veel fitter en gezonder uitzien en hij krijgt het nog maar 2 weken, dus dat belooft voor meer! Met de Cavalor Star Shine kan ik hem zelfs na een middagje op de weide er terug als een ster uit laten zien! En met Cavalor Dry Feet krijgt hij geen rotstraal meer van wat in de modder te staan !!!!

More info

The healthy hoof file

How diet determines hoof quality.

Brittle, flaking hooves, painful soles, dry feet... conditions that many horses have to deal with. However, the solution to these issues is not always obvious. Since hoof health has a huge impact on the performance of your horse and their quality of life, treating hoof problems correctly is vital. But how can we tackle and solve hoof problems, or better: avoid them altogether?

Optimal hoof support

The quality, conformation, shape and position of the hooves is greatly determined by genetics. However, good stable management, the help of a skilled farrier and the correct diet can go a long way to supporting hoof quality. By feeding a balanced diet that contains all the necessary basics for good hoof quality, many issues can be prevented. Correct stable management includes adequate exercise, weight management, clean stable conditions and correct shoeing. Exercise stimulates and ensures good blood circulation in the hoof. Weight management is also important because overweight horses place a far greater burden on their hooves than horses within a healthy weight range. Clean stable conditions are also crucial to keeping hooves healthy. Although the hoof horn is resistant to the effects of most substances, dirty stables with accumulated urine can lead to high amounts of ammonia. This results in soft hoof tissues and weakened hooves.

Correct shoeing or trimming regularly will prevent cracking and flaking hooves. Any naturally occurring weak patches can be treated by a farrier by slightly correcting the position of the hoof or applying extra support where necessary.

The impact of diet on hoof quality

Since hooves keep growing at an average rate of one centimetre per month, we can influence the hoof quality at any time. This growth cannot be accelerated by giving supplements, however, the quality of the growing hoof can be significantly improved by providing a balanced diet, and supplements if necessary. As the hoof grows, it is important to provide a correct diet or use supplements over a longer period.

In addition to proteins and energy, certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and trace elements play an essential role in hoof development. If a horse is fed a correctly balanced diet that contains all these important nutrients, providing supplements should not be necessary. In cases where a horse is only given high quality feed in small amounts, or poor-quality feed, providing a supplement is recommended. Supplements can also be beneficial if hoof problems occur.

Important nutrients for the hooves

Proteins make up roughly 90% of the hoof with the most important protein being keratin. Keratin consists of various amino acids and it is these acids in particular that greatly influence hoof quality. The most important amino acids are those containing sulphur, such as cysteine and methionine. One of the effects of sulphur is the formation of a flexible and cushioning attachment between the cells in the hoof horn. Cysteine and methionine are essential amino acids, which are not produced by the body and must be provided in the diet.

In addition, there are many vitamins that are also important, such as vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin. However, a hoof cannot develop based on biotin alone. Research has revealed that providing only biotin fails to lead to the desired results. For best results, other vitamins, minerals and amino acids should also be given such as Vitamin A, E, D, K and various B complex vitamins. Vitamin A, for instance, is crucial to the development of the horn tissue and a deficiency in Vitamin A is associated with coronary band inflammation. Vitamins E, D, K and various B vitamins also contribute to the metabolism and hoof development.

In addition to vitamins, minerals such as Copper, Zinc, and Selenium are also essential for hoof quality. Copper influences the outer hoof wall, protects tissue membranes and is a key element in keratin formation. Zinc supports the formation and recovery of tissue cells in the hoof and hoof wall cells and assists with the synthesis of keratin. Selenium helps protect the cell membranes in the hoof, but an excess of this trace element can cause problems. An overdose of selenium can even be harmful and toxic, so selenium supplements should be used carefully. Lastly, oil and fats containing fatty acids also play a role by forming a barrier to bacteria and mould. This protects the hoof horn and creates greater elasticity in the hoof.

Overall, there are a host of different nutrients that influence hoof quality. It is vital that the horse’s diet contains all these nutrients in correct, balanced quantities. Adding one nutrient alone, such as biotin, to an unbalanced diet will never give optimal results.