Educational Resources: Why choose K.I.S.TraceUK?

The Link between Hooves and Nutrition:

Anne Buteau (PHCP Member and Mentor)

In the mid 2000's, notable "natural hoof care" pioneers in the equine industry such as Pete Ramey and others, started to notice the incredibly important link between nutrition, overall horse health, and more specifically hoof health. A hoof would be "improving" and then get to a point where the improvement would plateau out.

  • What do we mean by "improvement"? I mean the change from a weak, compromised, unhealthy structure to a strong fully functioning robust hoof that allows correct movement, which usually results in an increase in whole body comfort for the horse, and therefore way of moving, attitude and performance.
  • "Correct movement" consists of heel first landings, so concussive forces are being absorbed in the way they are designed to be. The horse's stance can become one of relaxation, and not tenseness from bracing against pain and discomfort.
  • A weak unstable hoof may have continual cracking of the wall, chronic thrush with a deep central sulcus infection, an underdeveloped digital cushion, hoof wall separation, flaky hoof walls, white line disease, and other issues which are so common that they are considered "normal".
  • A weak unstable hoof frequently cannot comfortably carry the horse  with or without a rider, and often cannot "hold a shoe".
  • Lack of protection of the navicular area by a dense strong frog and digital cushion can commonly result in discomfort and pain, and contribute to "navicular disease".
  • So the hooves HAVE to be improved for our horse's long term health and performance.

An equine is not destined to have "good' or "bad" feet forever.

  • The hooves are in a constant state of homeostasis, which is a self regulating and dynamic process whereby the internal and external structures of the hooves are constantly adjusting to external conditions. 
  • One of the most important external influences on a horse's health that we can have a good amount of control over is nutrition, and specifically the insufficiency of trace minerals in the equines diet.
  • You can't grow a healthy hoof if the horse is not in good health.


The following is an article is well worth the read:

Why choose K.I.S.TraceUK ?

Dana J. Tomlinson PhD, PAS, Dipl ACAN Research Nutritionist

Trace minerals (Zn, Mn, Cu, Co, I, Fe and Se) are essential nutrients to sustain life through normal cellular integrity and bodily functions. However, to be functional, trace minerals must first be absorbed and then, depending on their form, play key roles impacting metabolism, immunity as well as production and protection of cells. Interestingly, the form of trace minerals begin their impact at the absorption site or lining of the gut. The form of minerals, examples being, sulfates, oxides, carbonates, hydroxy, and organic minerals, affects mineral solubility, conversion to a chloride and/or its absorption potential.


Controlled research by Zinpro Corporation has shown in over 250 studies that metal amino acid complexes (an AAFCO “American Association of Feed Control Officials” term for Zinpro Minerals) improve animal performance because they remain stable through the GI tract as they are absorbed and handled differently, resulting in multiple animal responses. Zinpro minerals do this 1st by being absorbed by amino acid carriers on the surface of gut epithelia or gut lining cells.

Secondly, once in the cell, Zinpro minerals are handled differently than inorganic (Sulfate, Oxide, Hydroxyl) or other, CLASSIFIED ORGANIC minerals (Proteinates, Polysaccharides or Chelates) thus changing cellular metabolism and function. One of the first functions that changes is in the cellular matrix holding epithelial cells together, also known as tight junction proteins. These are important in all epithelial or skin tissues thus affecting the gut, respiratory, urinary, genital and reproductive tract as well as the mammary gland and external skin surfaces.

Multiple studies (over 50 in gut and skin epithelium) have shown that through this enhanced effect animals have stronger gut integrity and are therefore less likely to suffer from EGUS, have gut leakage of bacteria leading to stress and infection, lameness, loss of performance or lowered wellbeing.

Additional studies demonstrated that animals receiving mineral supplements with Zinpro minerals had significantly lower levels of E coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella leaking into circulation and thus stressing the animal. Interestingly, leakage of these organisms was significantly lower with Zinpro minerals than animals receiving similar supplements containing inorganic minerals (common sulfates).

However, these benefits go well beyond the gut as Zinpro amino acid complexes have been shown to improve skin and coat in dogs, footpads in dogs as well as hooves in horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and llamas.

The advantages have also been demonstrated in reproductive performance by improving reproductive tract integrity and function resulting in fewer services per conception, healthier offspring with lower lifetime morbidity or sickness and better performance.

So when choosing a trace mineral supplement for your prized animals look for Zinpro amino acid complexes on the bag or tag to ensure your animals are getting what they need to achieve optimal performance. K.I.S. Trace® and Ru-Min Pro both use Zinpro Performance minerals and do not contain any sulfates, polysaccharides or oxides with the exception of magnesium oxide.


Equine Nutrition Webinar | Webinar on Equine Nutrition (

Equine Care | Thorne Bottom Farm   

(20+) Facebook   link to the US KISTrace facebook page. Discussion/ Q & A, photographs, testimonials from horse owners and more.

(20+) Thorne Bottom Farm, Health & Hoof For Horse and Goat | Facebook  K.I.S.Trace related discussion: interested horse and goat owners are encouraged to ask to join this private fb group.