The macrominerals calcium and phosphorus are the most abundant minerals in the horse’s body. They are important for bone strength, cellular function, muscle health and more. Ensuring adequate calcium and phosphorus intake is particularly critical for pregnant and lactating mares, as well as growing horses.
When it comes to feeding senior horses, there are many factors to consider to support longevity and healthy ageing. Making sure your horse’s core nutritional needs are met and keeping up with routine healthcare are critical to promoting optimal well-being for many more years to come.
Building topline muscle and dealing with topline loss is a common struggle for horse owners. Your horse may have a weak topline due to a variety of factors including nutrition and exercise. Physiological factors such as age or underlying health conditions can also affect topline muscle.
Given the importance of the hoof, it's important to know that what you feed your horse will have a profound impact on its hoof growth and quality. In this article, we will go over what nutrients your horse needs to grow strong, robust, beautiful hooves and how you as a horse owner can deliver those nutrients in the most effective way possible.
If you have taken the first steps towards feeding your horse a balanced diet that includes a concentrated mineral and vitamin supplement, there's a chance that your horse may turn its head up when first introduced to it. But don't be alarmed - horses don't like change! With some encouragement and patience, however, your horse will come to realize that you only mean the best for their health.
Feeding a quality forage should be the basis of every feeding program. Given the forage portion will account for the large majority of nutrient intake for your horse, isn't it important to understand what is in that forage? By knowing what is needed to fill in the gaps, you can take the guesswork out of feeding grains, commercial feeds, and supplements to your horse. Obtaining and knowing how to read a hay analysis is a skill that can help you create the optimal starting point for your horse's nutrition program.
Many horse owners do not fully appreciate the significance of providing adequate salt to their equine companion. In terms of cost to benefit ratio, it would be hard to think of another nutrient with such a low cost that provides the benefits of salt. This can not be emphasized enough, your horse will not consume too much salt. To my knowledge, no horse has ever been diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) from excessive salt intake. The larger problem is the lack of salt intake.
Vitamin E, or alpha-tocopherol, is an essential vitamin that must be obtained through your horse's diet. There are many products sold in the equine supplement industry that contain varying forms of vitamin E that are available, but it is sometimes difficult to decide which type and how much is best for your horse and its individual needs. Ultimately, the most bio-available forms of vitamin E should only be used in order to properly formulate balanced equine diets to treat vitamin E deficiency and its associated conditions and to aid in exercise recovery.
Trace minerals are only needed in very small amounts in a horse’s diet. Think milligrams! Despite this, however, the majority of horses still receive too much energy and protein and not enough trace minerals from their diet. Deficiencies in key trace minerals, over a long period of time, can result in a plethora of problems with hoof quality, coat condition, digestion and can also affect the athletic performance of your horse.