Knowledge Base: Max Hoof

Max Hoof is an advanced supplement that has been formulated to help maintain hoof quality and to support bone and skeletal wellbeing for horses of all ages in work, convalescence, and retirement.

Max Hoof includes ingredients that have been shown to support your horse and incorporates the latest global scientific research producing a modern product to help support your horses Hoof & Bone wellbeing.

Max Hoof & is an advanced complimentary Supplement for Horses and ponies that contains Biotin, Calcium, Phosphorus, Copper, Zinc, Lysine and Methionine to provide your horse with the best ingredients and support.


Biotin also known as vitamin B7 is required in the horse’s diet for the production of Keratin, the key protein in the formation of strong durable hoofs structure and is essential for the maintenance of good hoof quality and helps to support the metabolization of protein and energy.

In a healthy animales digestive system, the horse would produce sufficient amounts of biotin to maintain normal hoof condition.

However, if the supply of fresh forages or access to a balanced diet is compromised, the environment of the gut is not conducive to allow bacteria to function efficiently, then the production of B vitamins, including biotin, may be compromised. Poor hoof condition can often be a result of an unhealthy digestive system or environmental conditions and horses affected by this  may benefit from the addition of B vitamins, particularly biotin.

Research has long shown the benefit of supplementing with biotin. It is thought that biotin may be better absorbed by the horse when supplemented in the diet compared to natural production in the hindgut. This is because the hindgut is not particularly good at the uptake of nutrients, and it may be that metabolism in the small intestine, where vitamins are readily absorbed, may be the best route.

Multiple research studies have been carried out to identify the level of biotin needed  to help address poor hoof horn quality. Buffa et al. (1992) identified that supplementation of 15mg of biotin per day over a 10-month period achieved increased hoof hardness and greater growth rates than horses supplemented with 7.5mg per day. Then  Josseck et al. (1995) then found that 20mg of biotin per day over a 3-year period reduced the severity of hoof horn defects, increased tensile strength, and improved the condition of the white line. A hoof supplement that  provided a feeding rate of  15mg or more of biotin per day will promote improved hoof horn.

The role of the hoof capsule

• To provide protection for the internal structure of the hoof
• To support weight bearing
• To absorb concussion
• To offer traction

The impact of environmental conditions on the hoof

Wet Conditions
• Weaker structural integrity can be more susceptible to damage and the hoof can become more pliable.
• Horn can swell and then the appearance can hide cracks and defects which can be falsely
interpreted as a healthy hoof.
• Water molecules can force their way into horn making it expand and weakening the overall structure of the hoof.
The impact of  environmental conditions on the hoof

Dry Conditions
• The Horn is at its strongest at approximately 25% moisture content.
• Hooves drying out after a wet spell can lead to extensive cracking and brittle horn.
• This may lead to needing increased intervention from the farrier

Calcium and Phosphorus

Calcium and phosphorus are the two most abundant minerals in your horse’s body. They are key for bone strength, muscle wellbeing, energy metabolism and cellular function.

There are many factors to take into account when it comes to calcium and phosphorus supplementation. Horses are more likely to suffer from a lack of calcium and phosphorus than of any other minerals.  Considering the important role of these minerals and the detrimental effect on bone development that a deficiency can have, every horse owner should think about whether their horse’s diet provides the required levels of calcium and phosphorus to support its wellbeing.

A normal adult horse in medium to light work requires approximately 20 grams a day of calcium. However, some types of horses may have an increased requirement for calcium and phosphorus, especially weanlings, young stock, mares in the last trimester and horses in heavy work are just a few of the types that may need a supplement ensure adequate levels in the diet.

Most horse owners understand that calcium and phosphorus are important in keeping your horses’ bones and teeth strong and healthy, but did you know Calcium and phosphorus comprise about 70% of the mineral content of the horse’s body and approximately 99% of the calcium and over 80% of the phosphorus in the body are found in the bones and teeth.  However, both calcium and phosphorus play a critical role in a number of other body functions.

• Calcium is key for blood coagulation, cell membrane function, glandular secretion, temperature regulation and the regulation of the activity of many enzymes, and the mitochondrial and neuromuscular functions.

• Phosphorus is necessary as a buffer, for energy metabolism and numerous
other cellular function.

The majority of Calcium and phosphorus in your horse’s diet will be provided from its pasture and high-quality forage like Alfalfa or a balanced fortified hard feeds.


Copper is an essential trace mineral that is required in the horse’s diet to support wellbeing.

From the proper function of many enzymes in the body, healthy connective tissue, iron metabolism, energy production and antioxidants. Horses also need copper for hoof wellbeing and in conjunction with zinc it supports the synthesis of keratin a protein that contributes to structural integrity of hooves.

One of the signs of possible copper deficiency is a change in coat colour due to loss of pigmentation. The coat might appear to dull or change colour with a reddish tinge. Copper deficiency can also cause anaemia, weakened bone and blood vessels, and issues in the joints of adult horses. In young animals, low levels of copper may cause abnormal bone and cartilage formation.

The copper in Max Hoof has been formulated to provide adequate levels to allow optimal function of enzymes involved, in the horse’s physiology including metabolism, organ function, detoxification processes, improved coat, energy metabolism the support of hoof quality and the growth and wellbeing of horses of all ages.

The benefits of copper
• Coat Colour
Copper is required for the enzyme tyrosinase that makes melanin, that colours pigment in skin and hair.

• Hoof wellbeing
Copper supports hoof wellbeing, within the body by supporting the synthesis of keratin a protein that contributes to the structural integrity of the hoof.

• Hoof growth
Copper has been shown to support hoof growth in yearlings and adult horses, Supplementing the horse’s diet with copper and zinc increases the mineral content of the hoof horn which provides extra antioxidant protection and supports a strong hoof structure.

• Antioxidant support
Copper works as an antioxidant by being part of the antioxidant enzyme copper/zinc superoxide dismutase. This enzyme exists in most cells of the horse’s body and protects against oxidant molecules that can cause damage to various parts of the cell.

A good antioxidant status can protect against premature ageing and helps cells, tissues, and organs to function properly. Antioxidants are also important for horses that are heavily exercised to support tissue recover quickly. Older horses are also particularly vulnerable to low levels of antioxidants and may benefit from copper supplementation in the diet.

• Immune Function
Low levels of copper in the horse’s diet can impair the function of the immune system. Horses with a low copper and zinc status may be more at risk to mud fever or rain scald because their immune cells are unable to protect against overgrowth of skin bacteria in more humid conditions.

• Bone development in foals and young horses
Copper supplementation is recommended for pregnant mares to support adequate copper status in the foal to help form strong connective tissue and in young stock copper help support the proper growth of cartilage, tendons, and ligaments

• Iron metabolism
Copper is key for iron metabolism and the production of red blood cells. Iron is a highly important part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. A number of copper-containing enzymes are responsible for moving iron from where it is stored in the horse’s body to where red blood cells are formed. Anaemia in horses can be caused by a copper deficiency because they are not able to produce red blood cells in a high enough quantity.

Horses with anaemia may also be weak, appear to have low energy and have a reduced appetite.

• Nervous system function
The horse’s nervous system requires copper to function properly. Copper is involved in the production and maintenance of myelin. Myelin provides a protective cover to nerves that help them send signals around the body. Copper is also involved in the production
of neurotransmitters that allow nerves to communicate with each other.

• Energy production
Energy production by all the cells in the body of the horse require copper because it is a component of cytochrome c oxidase, that is an enzyme within the mitochondria. The mitochondria has been referred to as the power plant of the cell, it is the part of the cell that produces energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. All cells of the body are dependent on this enzyme to produce adenosine triphosphate the molecule that acts as the key energy currency of the cell. The correct level ensures that cells metabolize nutrients and get the required energy from them.

Many paddocks and forages found in the British Isles are either low or have marginal levels of copper, and supplementation may be needed in certain cases where levels of copper in forage and pasture are found to be low or marginal. Or in areas that high levels of iron or sulphur are present in the feed or forage that may interfere with copper absorption by the horse.

Copper is a trace mineral that is only required in miniscule amounts in the horse’s diet and adding copper yourself may cause a nutritional imbalance with other minerals, especially zinc and iron. We recommend that adding copper is best done by using a balanced and formulated supplement or
contacting a registered equine nutritionist.


Zinc supports bone development in young horses and helps the wellbeing of healthy hooves and skin. Zinc is one of the essential trace minerals that is required in the horse’s diet to support the function of many of the enzymes affecting physiological functions. Enzymes are proteins that do jobs in the body, such as breaking down sugars and fats for energy.

Zinc is also involved in antioxidant protection that supports immune function, protein synthesis, and cellular communication. It is also important for good bone development in foals and young horses and supports hoof and skin wellbeing. Zinc is also important for reproductive health and supports growth and the health of tissue.

As an enzyme cofactor, zinc is needed to help many key biochemical reactions. This is why zinc supports so many functions in the body of the horse from antioxidant protection to hoof health and coat quality.

Zinc is the second-most abundant trace mineral in the horse and is found in all cells and tissues with the majority (80-85%) being found in skeletal muscle and bones.

• Antioxidant Protection
Zinc like copper is important as a key antioxidant enzyme, it is also important in regulating the production of other antioxidant enzymes in the horse. These enzymes convert harmful oxidants or free radical particles into neutral or harmless compounds. Free radicals are produced naturally by cells when nutrients are broken down for energy, but over time they can cause damage to cells. By improving the antioxidant status, zinc can help to protect against premature ageing and supports healthy tissues and cells. Senior horses also tend to have lower levels of antioxidant enzymes and may benefit from zinc supplementation for wellbeing.

• Hoof Health
A good balance of zinc to copper supports keratin synthesis. Keratin is the main protein in hooves that creates a strong hoof structure.

• Immune function
Zinc supports the immune cells response to infection. When infection is detected, Zinc enables immune cells to send out signals to other cells to coordinate an immune response.

• Skin Health
Zinc deficiency in horses may cause skin issues such as slow wound healing. This may be attributed to a weakened immune system. Horses with low zinc may also be more susceptible to mud fever or rain scald. If the immune function is compromised because of low zinc, the skin may become overwhelmed by bacteria. Having good levels of zinc in the diet can support healthy skin and improve coat quality and shine.

• Joint Wellbeing
Zinc is needed to produce the protein collagen which is a key part of the tendons and ligaments in joints. It is also important for the production of cartilage.

• Coat and hair condition
Zinc supports the production of the protein keratin that is the most abundant protein in hair. Keratin is responsible for giving hair its structure and making it strong. Zinc is also a key component of the enzyme tyrosinase that produces melanin, the pigmentation protein that give skin and hair its colour. Horses with dull and poor hair may be low in zinc and not be producing a correct level of melanin. A low level of melanin is most noticeably observed in chestnut, bay, and black horses who require more melanin for their dark coat colour. These changes in coat colour and quality can also be a sign of a copper deficiency as well and is also the easiest way to identify if your horse is low in zinc or copper.


Lysine is an essential amino acid that is often lacking in your horse’s forage and pasture. There are twenty-two basic amino acids and lysine is one of the eight essential amino acid that are considered to be essential. By essential we mean that the horse’s body cannot make it and it must be supplied
in the diet. The body can make the fourteen non-essential amino acids if the horse has adequate supplies of the essential eight. Therefore, if even one of the essential amino acids is deficient in the diet, the production of new proteins is compromised.

Lysine supplementation is necessary for all horses but especially breeding horses and those in moderate to heavy work and young horses. Lysine is found in a variety of tissues, hormones, and cells throughout the horse’s body and using lysine at times of stress is key to calcium absorption, creating and maintaining a resilient immune system and supporting the body’s production of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. Supplementing the immune system can be very beneficial to optimal performance and wellbeing.

Lysine supplementation the benefits
• Helps Improves protein and amino acid availability.
• Helps supports good hoof growth and hair quality.
• Helps in the  formation of collagen and the horse’s body’s ability to repair and maintain tissue.
• Helps balance lysine deficiency in pasture and forage consumed in the horse’s general diet.
• Is essential for helping build and supporting the development of topline, and muscle mass.
• Helps supports horses lacking in stamina.
• Helps to boost the immune system.
• Helps support a healthy nervous system and promotes overall wellbeing.
• Helps support the correct growth of young horses.
• Helps support the correct development of the equine foetus.

Lysine is the essential amino acid that is most often found deficient in the diets of horses. Research has confirmed that a diet containing at least 4.3% of crude protein as lysine will supports the same gain and /growth at lower levels of crude protein because improved and efficient utilisation of the other amino acids in the body.

Lysine is not often found at these levels in the horse’s diet unless it is  supplemented, through feeding a balanced diet containing adequate levels or by feeding as a separate supplement like Max Hoof & Bone.


Methionine like Lysine is one of the eight essential amino acids that is often lacking in your horses’ forage and pasture and is considered to be essential. By essential we mean that the horse’s body cannot make it and must be supplied in the diet.

Methionine is a structural amino acid that means you can find it in all proteins in the body, from skeletal muscle to haemoglobin, antibodies, and enzymes.  Methionine is also required for the initiation of building proteins in the body.

Supplementing your horse’s diet with methionine, you will also help support hoof, joints, muscle wellbeing and the condition of the skin and coat. The level of methionine that is found in Max Hoof & Bone helps to support the demands for protein synthesis in the body and for horses that because of dietary or enviromentel issues have cracked, soft or crumbling hooves. In addition to these benefits, horses that require higher levels of protein like lactating mares youngstock and those that are in moderate to heavy work will benefit from supplementation.

Max Hoof Health

To help your horse, the team at Maximum Animal Health have formulated a comprehensive supplement Max Hoof to support hoof and bone wellbeing.

Max Hoof is formulated with ingredients to help support your horse’s hoof and bone with a combination of vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that supports and help improve the hoof and bone condition for horses and ponies in hard work, maintenance, convalescence and enjoying retirement that may suffer from hoof and bone issues caused by diet, genetics, age, or environmental issues.

Maximum Gut Health

Max Gut Health is a probiotic to support a healthy gut environment in horses.

Max Gut Health Plus

A scientific blend of Yeast, FOS and MOS which is key to the digestive wellbeing and performance.

Maximum Joint Health

An advanced complete natural supplement to help support and maintain total joint wellbeing.

Max Hoof Health

A combination of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that improves hoof & horn condition, reduces splitting and builds hoof strength.

Maximum Calmer

A complementary feed that will help horses maintain a calm and focused temperament when under stressful situations.


A grain free formulation that supports your dog’s microbiome health, wellbeing and immune function.


Read our information on the digestive physiology of the horse, including the stomach and the hindgut.


A selection of the most commonly asked questions from delivery information to the suitability of our products.