What is Biotin?

biotin for horses

If you own horses, you have probably heard of Biotin. It was one of the first feed supplements to hit the shelves and remains a best seller today. Biotin is commonly fed to improve horses’ hooves. 

But did you know….

Biotin is a B vitamin, known as vitamin B7, or weirdly, vitamin H. 

Like other B vitamins, Biotin it is used to metabolise fats, protein and carbohydrate. 

Biotin is water soluble and cannot be stored in the body. This means that the body needs more every day. 

Biotin is made by bacteria in the horse’s gut as they ferment fibre in the diet. The health of the horse’s gut, plus the amount of fibre in their diet will affect the amount of Biotin produced. 

Biotin contains sulphur and this is why it is so important for hoof health.  Research has shown that feeding at least 15mg of Biotin per day can improve hoof condition.  

Biotin is most effective for hoof condition when fed with methionine and zinc. Hoof Hero contains all 3 key ingredients along with seaweed, rosehips and MSM to support hoof condition and also hoof growth rate. We see such great results with Hoof Hero it comes with a money-back guarantee! 

Learn more about Hoof Hero

Why does my horse lose shoes?

Grass Growth Rate for Horses

grass growth rate for horses

My field has no grass but my horse is still fat!….Sound familiar?

It is so difficult to manage a good-doer at this time of year. Is your horse hungry or greedy?! 

Grass growth is really important for farmers so there is a national scheme that records the growth rate every week. In the last week of May 22, in the South West of England, the growth rate was 80kg (dry matter) per hectare (2.5 acres) PER DAY! If we assume that a 500kg horse needs to eat 2.5% of its bodyweight every day, that 2 1/2 acre field would produce enough food for 6 horses – and a pony!!! 

Now, this is only looking at fertilised grass grown for dairy cows so if you have an unfertilised, natural paddock for your horses the growth rate will be considerably less than this, BUT it will still be producing a LOT of grazing every day. 

So why, is there ‘no grass’ in your paddock??….

…Because it is in your horse’s belly!!! 

I think the best way to judge whether your horse is hungry or greedy is to regularly measure his weight with a weigh tape and keep a close eye on his behaviour. 

Does my horse / pony have laminitis?

Most horse owners will have heard of laminitis and be aware of the dangers, but how do you know if your horse or pony has it? The quicker laminitis is diagnosed the more likely he will make a full recovery. So, what symptoms should you look for?…


Laminitis is painful. Your horse’s feet will hurt so he will be reluctant to move. He may shift his weight from one foot to another and look dull and listless. As his owner you know if your horse is acting differently – do his eyes look dull with a sad, dis-interested expression on his face?

Digital pulse

During laminitis the blood circulation to your horse’s feet is restricted. This creates a pulse that can be felt at the back of the fetlock joint. With some healthy horses it can be difficult to detect a pulse at all, in others you will feel it gently, even when they are well. The key for a laminitic, is that the pulse will be ‘bounding’. It isn’t faster, but feels stronger due to the blood constriction pushing the blood back up the artery. Monitor your horse’s pulse so you know what it feels like normally and can therefore detect if it changes. Make sure you are not just detecting your own pulse in your thumb – the horse’s pulse is much slower than ours! (there are lots of online videos showing you how to detect the pulse)

The Laminitic Stance

The typical laminitis stance is where the horse leans back to take the weight on his hind quarters, with his painful front feet stretched out ahead. This is easily recognizable but other symptoms may help you detect the condition before it reaches this stage (and if he has laminitis in all four feet, you won’t see the typical stance)

Warm Hooves

Heat in the feet, in combination with the other symptoms, is a key indicator of laminitis.  If heat is the only symptom it is more likely to indicate a hoof infection.


Laminitics are often ‘pottery’ on their feet because it hurts to put their weight on them. Their gait gives the impression that they are walking on hot coals. He may take short, quick steps his movement will be worse on hard ground rather than soft. It is important not to force your horse to walk if he doesn’t want to.


If your horse has any combination of symptoms from the above, take action immediately. Keep him stabled on a soft bed, feed soaked hay with no concentrates, and call the Vet. The sooner laminitis is diagnosed, the more successful the outcome will be.