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MSM for horses is an ingredient for horses that you may well have heard of before. It is otherwise known as Methylsulphonylmethane (which is a mouthful so we will stick with MSM) and is most commonly found in horse joint supplements. That isn’t to say however that it isn’t seen in other types of horse supplements and it is also often included in horse hoof supplements too.
MSM can be highly effective for hoof care, making this a very versatile ingredient. It is important that you take good care of your horse’s hooves and have a solid care plan in place. After all, no foot, no horse! MSM in the right doses can be very powerful which is why so many owners opt for this ingredient in hoof supplements.
Let’s take a closer look at what MSM actually is and how helpful it can be for assisting with hoof issues.
MSM is a mineral that is known to be a very rich source of sulphur. Sulphur is the 8th most abundant substance in the horse’s body and makes up about 34% of MSM by molecule weight. It is a naturally, reoccurring organic molecule that is bioavailable and easily digestible. You will find this present in most fresh raw foods such as plants and meats.
Sulphur deficiencies are not uncommon in horses and are known to cause degeneration of the hoof as well as a slow recovery rate and joint issues. MSM can help bridge that gap and assist with repairing the hoof as well as preventing problems in the future.
MSM has no known side effects to horses and is considered to be quite palatable which can be helpful if you have a particularly fussy equine that knows when something has changed in their regular feed. When looking at your horse's regular feed it can be found in alfalfa and also whole grains, but this is in such small amounts that it isn’t likely to provide your horse with enough which is why supplementing is recommended.
MSM is used in many types of supplements for horses. It has mainly be used to help horses with joint issues however it is becoming increasingly more popular for use in hoof supplements. You could say that it is truly a multipurpose ingredient that helps tackle a wide range of issues for horses and this is why so many believe feeding this to horses is the way forward.
It’s true to say that there hasn’t been anywhere nearly as much research carried out on the use of MSM for horse’s hooves as it has for the use with joint issues, but so far the results have been very positive and getting the right dosage is the key to success.
MSM has proven to produce a tighter laminae connection which can work wonders, particularly for horses that suffer from laminitis. It also works to produce mechanically stronger hooves allowing the hoof wall to become polished like and in much better condition. This is very helpful for horse’s hooves that have gone through much wear and tear. Those equines with cracked and brittle hooves as well as those with a thin hoof wall can all benefit from this highly regarded ingredient.
The dosage of MSM you should feed to your horse varies greatly. Some owners choose to feed concentrated levels of MSM whilst others choose a supplement that includes MSM as well as other ingredients such as calcium and natural sources.
It’s always best to read the manufacturers feeding guidelines carefully to make sure you are feeding the right amounts to avoid over or under-dosing. However, it is fair to say that overdoses are rare since MSM is derived from a natural compound and there are no studies to suggest the latter will occur by feeding too much of this ingredient. In fact, MSM is known to be the least toxic substance in biology which should give you complete peace of mind about safe this ingredient is to use.
If you are feeding MSM for maintenance purposes with the intention of improving your horse's overall hoof condition then the recommended amount is around 18g (one tablespoon) morning and night. It is always best to speak to your vet if you are unsure about exact quantities for your horse as this likely to vary from equine to equine. Weight, age and size are usually the criteria.
If your horse’s hooves are in particularly bad condition then MSM supplementation may work wonders. It is so common for our horse’s hooves to go through much wear and tear and it is important we put together a good car plan to avoid any serious issues later on down the line.
Horse’s hooves can deteriorate for several reasons. The key one being when the hoof has dried out and is not as lubricated or moisturised as it should be. This can happen for a variety of reasons and can leave your horses hoof cracked and brittle. You will find the hoof wall becomes very thin and looks dull and lifeless.
Horses that carry out heavy work, particularly on hard surfaces may experience much wear and tear on the hoof. Equally, horses that spend lots of time in the field particularly during dry weather will likely find that their hoof deteriorates much more easily since the hoof is likely to dry out. MSM supplementations can be a huge help in getting your horse back to optimal health.
MSM can be a great addition to your horse’s diet to assist with hoof condition and is equally as effective in helping with joint issues too.
Many believe MSM is a good all-round care option for your horse as it is also said to enhance the functioning of the immune system and the lungs too.