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Supplements for your Horse

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Supplements are available to help address specific areas of need that your horse may have such as joint health, respiratory function, digestion, skin disorders, behaviour and age.

Broad based vitamin and mineral supplements and general horse supplements can make up for deficiencies of basic micronutrients where pasture has limited numbers of the plants and grass species required or if hard feed is restricted.

These supplements come in a variety of forms:  

Equine Feed & Supplement Range

 

 

 

Mole Valley Farmers carry a full range of supplements. 

Please do ask for advice if you require assistance.

Download our Equine Feed & Supplements guide

 

 

 

 

What to Consider

Mobility and Joints

A horse’s joints can take a lot of strain through life especially if competing.  Also as a horse ages general stiffness is often evident.  Taking the necessary precautions when exercising can reduce the adverse effects but some horses are naturally predisposed to conditions such as arthritis. Providing the correct nutritional support can reduce the horse’s discomfort and help performance and quality of life.  Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM are often found in joint formulas and herbs such as Nettle, Celery Seed, Burdock root and Devil’s Claw root are also used.

Horse SupplementsHooves

Poor quality hooves can make shoeing difficult and they can also indicate that your horse’s diet is lacking in essential micronutrients. Weak horn walls, misshapen hooves, crumbling, ridging and flaking may be associated with a biotin deficiency.  The essential sulphur containing amino acids methionine and cystine are also necessary in maintaining quality hoof conditions. To re-grow a hoof completely takes approximately 9 to 12 months and it is necessary to supplement the diet until satisfactory growth is complete.  Permanent supplementation may be necessary for horses that suffer from recurrent hoof / foot problems. Herbs such as Rosehip, Seaweed, Nettle and Garlic Granules can also be beneficial.

Coat and Skin Condition

A healthy and glossy coat is an indicator of good health; however outside influences  can affect coat and skin conditions.  The horse’s coat can be improved by adding appropriate feed ingredients. Seaweed and Nettle are particularly well known for their benefits to the coat and skin.  The addition of oil to the diet has been traditionally used to improve coat condition and shine, along with many other health benefits. Sweet Itch can also benefit from nutritional supplementation.

Digestion

Stresses such as travel, competition, illness or a change in environment can disrupt the delicate balance of microflora in the horse’s digestive system.  When this occurs it is important to restore the balance to prevent digestive disorders such as colic and scouring.

Vitamin B is naturally produced by the horse as a result of fibre digestion, but there are situations where supplementation is required.  There are many feed supplements that contain prebiotics and probiotics which work throughout the digestive system, helping to ensure that beneficial bacteria flourish and harmful bacteria are removed.

Respiratory

Horses stabled for long periods of time and fed forage containing dust and fungal spores, can develop dust allergies and stable coughs. Management must be addressed if your horse is suffering from RAO (Recurrent Airway Obstruction).  Some horses are prone to a condition called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) similar to asthma in humans.  MSM is said to promote circulation around the lung’s capillary network and Aniseed, Red Clover, Coltsfoot and Garlic amongst others are all said to have benefits.  Antioxidants have been scientifically proven to benefit horses suffering from respiratory problems.

Behaviour

Poor behaviour can be attributed to a number of reasons such as; environment, management or an excitable or nervous temperament. Herbs are a natural way of providing nutritional support for horses that display behavioural problems. Mares can be difficult to handle when in season and geldings can display ‘riggish’ behaviour around a mare in season. Herbs prove to be a useful addition to the diets of these horses. Chamomile has been used for its calming and soothing qualities for many years.

Performance

Horses that participate in strenuous work and travelling lose water and electrolytes through sweating. The horse will initially balance these losses but if it continues the horse will suffer electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.  (Which cause problems such as reduced stamina, fatigue, appetite loss and stomach cramps) Feeding an electrolyte supplement is essential to redress this imbalance and help prevent poor recovery after exercise.

General Supplements

The nutritional benefits of herbs have been acknowledged for years. In their natural environment horses would have selected plants to maintain their well being and ensure their nutritional requirements were met. It is now possible to add these herbal products to your horse’s diet through a general supplement where they are no longer available in pasture.

Vitamins and Minerals

A horse may receive reduced amounts of hard feed if they have access to good grazing, are overweight or are not in work. This can mean that they can become deficient in minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.  The diet can be balanced by adding a vitamin and mineral supplement.

Life Stage

Supplements are available for key life stages e.g. Senior, Mare and Foal, Youngstock.  They will be formulated specifically to support the horse’s extra nutritional requirements.

Prohibited Substances

If you are competing under rules it is vital that you ensure that all feed substances you are using are free from prohibited substances.

Veterinary Advice

If in doubt do consult your vet.

Most ready-made feeds provide all the essential nutrients required to keep your horse healthy.  It is important to consider ‘individual variation’ - what is ‘correct’ for one horse may not be for another.

Mole Valley Farmers carry a full range of supplements.  Explore this area in our online shop.  If in doubt do consult your vet.  Please do ask for advice if you require assistance.

 


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