It may sound strange, but feeding Jell-O to your horse may help promote hoof health.
For some Jell-O is just a tasty snack, but within equestrian circles, it has long been used as an equine supplement to strengthen hoof and hair growth. It sounds "out there," but it has a logical basis.
Jell-O, or any similar brand, contains gelatin. Since humans take gelatin to promote growth of hair and nails, horse owners have found that pouring Jell-O powder on a horse's feed is a cheap and easy way to give their horses the same benefit. But does it really work?
Scientists in Germany decided to find out, conducting a study to determine if supplementing a horse's diet with gelatin would aid in the repair of cartilage and other connective tissues. They fed 12 horses a regular diet of hay and grain, supplementing the horses in the control group with soybean meal and oil, and the horses in the test group with gelatin.
Both groups underwent the same training program and blood sampling, and after just six days, the horses in the test group showed significantly higher levels of both glycine and proline, amino acids that are found in gelatin.
While the study showed that gelatin's amino acids are quickly absorbed by the horse, further research would be needed to prove that gelatin has the desired effect on cartilage. Still, many horse owners believe in its benefits, reporting changes in their horse's hooves in as little as 30 days.
Since Jell-O is relatively cheap when compared to other hoof supplements, it's certainly worth a shot. Next time you have a horse whose hooves need some help, you may just want to stop by your local grocery store.
Do you believe in the positive effects of Jell-O? Tell us below!
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