2. Why should one feed Farrier's Formula at the replenishment level for at least 9-12 months even though positive results are apparent within a shorter period of time?
The length of time Farrier's Formula should be given at the replenishment level is determined by the initial problem to be solved. If the goal is to improve the health and appearance of the skin and hair, replenishment level should be continued for approximately one to two months. If the goal is to grow a long and flowing healthy mane and tail, the replenishment level should be fed until the mane and tail reach the desired length.
The time required to completely re-model the wall, sole, and frog of the foot is approximately 9-12 months. Therefore, it is best to continue the replenishment level until the foot is completely remodelled even though you will begin to see some difference in the hoof within two months.
In the above cases, once the desired results are obtained, usually the feeding amount can be reduced by one-half in order to maintain the desired condition. Each horse will be somewhat different. For example: some thoroughbreds and warm bloods may require the replenishment level continuously. The Arabians and Arabian crosses may sometimes be maintained on one (1) scoop per day. It is important to keep all horses on a maintenance level to maintain good hoof health. Usually the same thing that caused the problem in the beginning will be present all the life of the horse (genetic, environmental, and management factors).
3. Should Farrier's Formula be fed to a "mare in foal" (a pregnant horse)?
The pregnant mare is called a "mare in foal" in the U.S. One of the most successful uses of Farrier's Formula has been in "mare in foal".
It is especially important to give Farrier's Formula the last trimester (last 1/3) of pregnancy. The nutritional reason for giving Farrier's Formula to the mare in foal is that Farrier's Formula has the necessary nutrients for building of healthy collagen which is the main component of bone matrix. In the bone matrix the collagen must be healthy and have the proper number of cross links for mineralization to take place.
We have had many positive reports of healthy foals with good bone structure from mares who have been fed Farrier's Formula. However, please caution that mares receiving Farrier's Formula have much better feed utilization and managers should not let the mare gain too much weight during pregnancy. The mare should also continue to have Farrier's Formula during lactation (nursing).
4. Why feed Farrier's Formula to older horses even though they do not have hoof problems?
One of the problems in feeding the aging horse is that mastication (chewing) of feed becomes less efficient and after the feed reaches the digestive tract nutrient absorption is diminished. Also, the connective tissue including skin, hoof, bone, tendons, and muscle is not as strong and healthy as in younger horses. Another geriatric problem is that many times the metabolism, therefore activity, is usually slowed because of decreased levels of thyroid hormone (thyroxin).
Farrier's Formula helps address all the above problems because it helps feed efficiency by improving digestion (due to the digestive enzymes in the yeast culture) and by improving quality of the existing feed because it provides the nutrients deficient in the cereal and bag feeds given to horses. It also improves the aging and weakened connective tissues by furnishing the nutrients necessary for building strong and healthy collagen. For many aging horses that are less active due to decreased amounts of thyroxin, Farrier's Formula has iodine and the essential amino acid tyrosine which are the necessary building blocks for the thyroid gland to manufacture thyroxin.
Of course, along with a requirement for more concentrated and balanced feed needed by aging horses there are important management practices which will help the aging horse. These practices include proper dental care, careful management of parasitism, proper farrier attention, grooming, housing, and regular exercise.
5. Can Farrier's Formula help in the case of a horse who has had navicular disease resulting in a severely malformed, contracted, boxy frog?
Farrier's Formula will not "cure" pre-existing scar tissue and permanently damaged internal structures of the hoof. However, weakened hoof capsule or contracted heels and frog causing the boxy confirmation of the hoof can cause damage to the internal structures of the hoof. The use of Farrier's Formula along with proper farrier and management attention would provide an opportunity to build a hoof capsule (wall, frog, and sole) that would give the internal structures protection from further damage. The structures already damaged may heal somewhat after a sound hoof capsule furnishes the needed protection. It is very important not to apply hardening agents to the wall, sole or frog (compounds containing formalin, turpentine, iodine, acetone, etc.) If shoes are used at all, do not place any nails in the posterior third of the shoe. This will allow room for the frog and sole to expand and help relieve pressure on the internal structures.
6. Should feed intake be reduced when feeding Farrier's Formula?
According to field reports the nutrients in Farrier's Formula allows the horse to utilize its feed intake more efficiently and thus decrease the amount of feed normally needed. Some horse owners have reported the decrease in feed given to be as much as 25%. The 25% figure is an arbitrary figure from horse owners "word of mouth" and is not to be mistaken as a claim for Farrier's Formula
Also, studies have been done with horses and food animals using yeast culture alone in equal or lesser quantities than the yeast culture in Farrier's Formula that have reported a significant improvement in feed utilization. We must emphasize that the results with Farrier's Formula are strictly empirical with no experimental design or controls. The improved efficiency has only been emphasized to prevent over-feeding and/or overweight and to prevent pregnant mares from gaining too much weight. Therefore, in order to maintain a horse a constant condition and temperament when Farrier's Formula is given, we recommend reducing the feed intake by approximately 25%. This is only a guide. Feed efficiency is affected by many factors such as time of year, quality of feed, age, breed, work load, etc.
7. Why is Farrier's Formula a liver protection?
Farrier's Formula contains three of the four liver nutrients known to be necessary for proper liver function: methionine, choline, and inositol. The other nutrient necessary for proper liver function is Vitamin B-12, which is produced by the normal flora in the horse's intestinal tract and therefore is not normally supplemented. These nutrients have been used for many years as liver nutrients.
8. Why should bran not be fed to horses with poor hoof quality?
Bran contains very high levels of phosphorus such as phytate which blocks the absorption of calcium in the small intestine. Published scientific research (Kempson BSc, Phd. 1987) demonstrated the ultra structural changes to the hoof wall caused by calcium deficiency related to the feeding of bran to the adult horse. If bran is being fed for the purpose of furnishing more fibre to regulate bowel function, it should be replaced by beet pulp. If bran is being fed for the purpose of preventing of sand colic (some recent studies indicate bran may not be of value in the prevention of sand colic) psyllium should be used instead. Although the other bran grains do not contain as much phytate as wheat bran. the above should apply to any of the bran grains.
9. Should additional supplements and vitamins be fed to a horse that is being fed Farrier's Formula?
Farrier's Formula is well balanced for the adult horse receiving a good quality hay and sufficient quantity of grain to maintain weight. The only indication for additional nutrients could be under extreme stress, growth, or some medical conditions in which case your equine nutritionist or veterinarian should be consulted.