The most common question asked by horse owners sounds simple but can open a whole can of worms!
I need a vitamin and mineral supplement for my horse, which one do I use?
To be able to answer that million-dollar question we need to ask more questions to find the best possible supplement to suit your horse, their environment and your back pocket. There is no benefit to the horse in recommending the most expensive vitamin and mineral supplement if you cannot afford to keep the horse on it.
Professionals should always as questions such as:
- What breed is the horse and what is the horse used for and their current work status?
- What is the horse's current bodyweight like?
- What does the current diet of the horse consist of and does the horse have any health issues?
- What is the age of the horse?
- What size area does the horse live in and does it have pasture? Also do you know what type of pasture is available?
These are all questions that help professional people will ask to find the best Supplement for your horse so the more information you can tell them the better we can help you, help your horse.
Many of today's equine diets are high in iron, this can interfere with the absorption rates of other minerals like copper, which it turns can lead to other health issues. Also, when feeding pre mixed feeds there is often adequate Selenium so there is no need to add extra as Selenium can be toxic in excessive amounts.
The main ingredients we need to look for in a quality vitamin and mineral supplement are Zinc, Copper, Iodine, Selenium ( if not feeding a premixed feed, still make sure you read the ingredients of the feed to make sure), Amino Acids such as Lysine and Methionine, Vitamin E, Biotin and Magnesium.
The often forgotten about ingredients that are also essential are Electrolytes, Sodium and Chloride.
Remember Potassium is found in grass and hay so it may not be needed if your horse has constant access to forage.
There are so many Vitamin and Mineral Supplements on the market these days so it is hard to know where to start. Begin with the basics and chat to people you trust with your horse's welfare, if they are asking questions about your horse it is not because they are nosey, they need informative details to make the best decision about what supplement your horse may require.
Who do you ask when your diet needs supplementation as a human?
Trained Professionals........Your horse is relying on you to do the same.