How Can I Strengthen My Horse’s Hooves?

I just got a gelding who came off the racetrack about a year ago. I want to do dressage and showing with him and a bit of jumping and hacking. I want to get some weight on him and muscle! His hooves are also quite bad and he has a short tail. Can you help me get his tail longer and stop his hooves from breaking? At the moment he is being fed by the owners of the stables, but are there any extra supplements that you can recommend?

Hoof strength (alongside all other horse traits) is down to genetics so there may not be all that much you can do. To give you the best chance though you should combine a good diet (hay, grass and a good quality feed) with supplements. Biotin is one of the few supplement with scientific research to back up its claims to improve both hoof and hair health. It is best in combination with a whole range of other supplements such as zinc, methionine, lysine and cystine, fatty acids, manganese, copper, and vitamin C.

There are a whole range of off the shelf supplements available so I would recommend looking at what they contain and picking on that contains most if not all of the above. It will take several months for any supplements to show a marked improvement due to the rate of growth of hoofs and hair.