FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ2019-08-19T14:15:13-05:00
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about horse nutrition, Mad Barn products and our custom formulations. Have a question that is not answered on this page? Contact us and our team of horse nutrition experts will be happy to guide you in the right direction!

Horse Nutrition

Can you recommend a supplement for a spooky horse?2020-01-24T17:13:21-05:00

Magnesium can help, but that’s usually only if it is low in the diet to begin with. Omneity contains high levels of magnesium and a full profile of B-vitamins and will balance the diet for all minerals and vitamins. This is a good starting point to ensure the diet is balanced – imbalances in the diet can cause horses to be more excitable.

Visceral+ also has high levels of magnesium and is used to treat ulcers. If ulcers are an issue, this certainly would be beneficial. Lastly, w-3 Oil contains high levels of DHA, which has been shown to improve focus and calm. Having said all of that, none of these solutions are likely to have a huge impact on spooking, say like giving ACE might, but would be part of a longer-term solution to training and sound nutrition.

Which products would you recommend to maintain horses that have Cushings and are IR?2020-01-24T17:09:19-05:00

Omneity – Equine Mineral and Vitamin Premix is a great choice for horses that have Cushings and IR, as it will balance all the mineral and vitamins needs of your horses. There is no point in giving any type of supplement until the whole diet is properly balanced. If your horses are only receiving hay, the feeding rate is 200 grams for a 500 kg horse. If you are feeding a commercial complete feed (Integri-T, High Fat/Fiber etc), then the dose is adjusted based on how much you are feeding. For example, if you were feeding 2.5 kg of a commercial complete feed, you would only need 100 grams of the Omneity to balance out the diet.

For Cushings/IR horses, I would suggest adding MagneChrome on top of Omneity. It boosts levels of magnesium and chromium, as well as providing extra antioxidants to help combat the chronic inflammation accompanied by Cushings/IR. It certainly is not a cure for either, but will help.

Why does my horse need a mineral and vitamin premix?2020-01-24T16:56:50-05:00

Minerals and vitamins are crucial to your horse’s health, they are involved in virtually every metabolic process. They are critically important to the ultimate health and performance of your horse. The hay you feed does contain many of the minerals required by the horse, but certainly not all of them and often not in the correct balance or sufficient quantity. The process of curing and storing hay destroys virtually all of the vitamins that were present in the fresh standing forage, therefore, it is necessary to supplement these. Select one of Mad Barn’s formulations to complement your feeding program or contact us if you are interested in getting a custom mineral and vitamin made to meet your horse’s exact requirements.

Does my horse need a mineral and vitamin premix when on pasture?2020-01-24T16:44:51-05:00

When horses are on fresh grass, they generally do not need any vitamin supplements (A,D,E) as they are abundant in fresh forages and from the sun for vitamin D. Some of the trace minerals may be adequate as well, depending on fertility of the soil, but it will vary widely by region and fertilization program. There are some notable exceptions though, selenium, iodine and cobalt typically need to be supplemented as there will be inadequate levels of these nutrients. A note on selenium. Soil selenium levels vary widely across different geographical locations and due to its narrow range of safety, it is wise to determine the levels in feedstuffs before embarking on a supplementation regime. A soil selenium map is provided at this link, along with a wealth of information on selenium.

For the macro minerals, again it is likely the horse would obtain enough calcium, phosphorus and potassium from the grass, but is likely to be deficient in magnesium and most definitely in sodium.

Therefore, no, your horse does not need a fully fortified mineral and vitamin premix when the majority of the feed intake is from fresh pasture. Having said that, it may be more convenient to use a complete mineral and vitamin premix product like Omneity to supply the deficient nutrients, but it would be less expensive to supplement just the missing nutrients. This can be done by purchasing a trace mineral supplement, such as our Trace Mineral Pak, and adding salt and possibly magnesium oxide to balance out the pasture. Alternatively, Mad Barn can make a custom blend for you to supply the nutrients required. Please contact us to inquire about custom formulations.

How much selenium is safe? Should I be concerned about selenium toxicity?2020-01-24T16:40:28-05:00

The maximum tolerable intake of selenium for a horse (i.e. no long term deleterious effect) has been set at 5 mg/kg DM intake, but usually the literature recommends not exceeding 2 mg/kg of DM (dry matter) as the maximum tolerable intake. At 2 mg/kg of DM this equates to about 20 mg of selenium per day for the average horse (500 kg body weight) which eats about 10 kg of feed as the maximum intake.  It is not advisable to try and reach these levels, as there is no need to feed that much selenium. Furthermore, selenium is regulated in North America not to exceed 0.3 mg/kg of total dry matter intake, equating to 3-4 mg of selenium per day for the average size horse. The daily minimum intake of selenium for a horse should be at least 1 mg, therefore the total diet needs to be at least 0.1 mg/kg of selenium, but not more than 0.3 mg/kg. Please note, that mg/kg is the same as parts per million (ppm).

Omneity Equine Mineral and Vitamin Premix contains 20 mg/kg of selenium, which is all in the organic form, which is 5 to 10 times safer than inorganic selenium. The maximum tolerable intakes were established based on inorganic selenium. When feeding 4 scoops/day (120 g), that would supply 2.4 mg of selenium or 1.2 mg of selenium if you’re feeding only 2 scoops (60 g).

Given that concentration of selenium, you would have to feed 1 kg of Omneity per day to be at the maximum tolerable intake of selenium – i.e. you shouldn’t see any long term effects and you would have to feed in excess of 2 kg/day long term to start to see negative impact of selenium. To have an acute toxicity case, it takes a dose of about 1.5 g of selenium.  That dose equates to feeding 75 kg of Omneity – clearly this level could never be consumed. It is very unlikely any horse would voluntarily consume even 1 kg of the product, so toxicity is not a concern.

Toxicity is usually only a concern if you are using a specific selenium supplement that has a very high concentration of selenium – the polo horses in Florida come to mind, this was a case of someone making their own selenium supplement, and they obviously calculated or mixed it wrong. That is why it is advisable to only deal with reputable companies and people. It is a relatively straight forward calculation working out selenium concentrations, but there is always the chance for error if someone confuses the units or misplaces the decimal point, which was obviously the case in Florida.

Mad Barn has rigorous QC/QA procedures in place that ensure that all our products are made to specification and mixing or formulation errors do not occur.

A Note on Injectable Selenium for Horses

The above-mentioned case of selenium toxicity in Florida was from an improperly prepared injectable supplement, with selenium mixed at 10 times the desired concentration. Selenium toxicity from injection has a much lower threshold than oral administration, 15 times lower in fact. 0.2 mg of selenium per kg of body weight is acutely toxic when injected, which correlates to 100 milligrams of selenium for the average size horse. Oral acute toxicity levels are 3 mg of selenium per kilogram of body weight or 1.5 grams (1,500 milligrams) of selenium for the average size horse. Personally, I do not like the use of injectable selenium, for several reasons, but if a product containing selenium is to be injected, it should be done under the supervision of a veterinarian.

How do digestive enzymes work for horses?2019-08-12T07:45:04-05:00

Enzymes are necessary to catalyze or speed up metabolic reactions, which can either synthesize products or break them down. In the gut of the horse, the enzymes are primarily involved in processes to break down the food so that it may be absorbed and assimilated in the body. The horse naturally produces their own enzymes, but supplemental enzymes can aid in the digestion of feed, ensuring increased digestion and less flow of rapidly digestible nutrients to the hindgut where they can compromise hindgut pH and ultimately negatively impact the hindgut microflora. Also, additional enzymes can help break down products that the horse does not have natural enzymes for. An example would be phytic acid, which is normally indigestible, but supplemental enzymes can help release minerals from phytic acid, reducing the need to purchase supplemental minerals. Research indicates that hindgut health is crucial to avoiding colic, laminitis and proliferation of clostridia.

Are Omega-3 supplements necessary for my horse?2020-01-24T16:29:37-05:00

Alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid are required by the horse, they are considered essential fatty acids (EFA’s). NRC suggests a dietary minimum for linoleic acid of 0.5 percent of total dry matter intake. For a horse weighing 450 kg, this represents approximately 50 grams of linoleic acid, which is likely to be supplied in most normal equine diets. However, there appears to be poor conversion of the EFA’s to the longer chain fatty acids like EPA and DHA, which have extensive research in other species showing numerous health benefits and being generally anti-inflammatory. For this reason, if your horse is unthrift or suffering from inflammation, it may be worth supplementing some extra fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid and DHA. Typically, providing DHA had to be done through feeding fish oil, but with large scale micro-algae facilities, it is now possible to provide supplemental DHA without feeding fish oil. To get all the benefits of extra DHA without the fishy smell and fussiness associated with trying to feed it, see our w-3 Oil and IR Supplement.

What are the best types of oats to give to horses?2019-10-31T10:56:19-05:00

Your traditional oat has stripped its hull and is now naked! The net effect of the oat breeding program was to grow an oat with no hull, which is the portion of oat that is high in fiber and low in energy.  Therefore, what you get is an oat with a much higher starch and fat content per kilogram than traditional oats.  The advantage of these oats, is that it vastly reduces the amount of processing that oats traditionally went through for human food consumption.  It wasn’t specifically bred for horses.

Oats were/are a popular feed for horses because they contain much less starch than corn (45% vs 75% respectively) and the prececal starch digestion of oats is higher than corn.  These 2 factors combined make the likelihood of excessive cecal fermentation (can be a cause of founder and laminitis) from oats much less likely than when feeding corn.  Oats also tend to be more palatable, although naked oats were shown to be less palatable than whole oats.  To say naked oats would have a lower glycemic index than traditional oats or corn is wrong, it would be higher because the starch availability in the small intestine is higher.  And if you don’t believe me, here’s a direct quote from the Merck Veterinary Manual:

“Oats, one of the most traditional grains for horses, may be fed whole, rolled, or crimped, which increases the bulk 20–30% and improves digestibility by ~10%. “Hulled” or “naked” oats are more energy dense than regular oats and should be introduced slowly to reduce the risk of founder or colic.”

I realize people think of corn as being the hot grain, so the above comments on starch digestion might seem off, but I think some of the misconceptions between corn and oats come from feeding by the coffee can or scoop and not by weight.  For example, if you fed 1 coffee can of each grain, you would be feeding 20% less oats than corn by weight, therefore, 50% less total starch when feeding the same volume of oats as compared to corn.  On top of that, because the oat starch is more digestible, the flow of starch to the hind gut would be much less with oats – vastly reducing the risk of digestive upset. Horses becoming hot from being fed corn is more likely a function of digestive discomfort from excessive hindgut fermentation than from the grain providing too much energy or hot energy.

Are soybeans safe to feed to horses?2019-10-23T16:21:34-05:00

There are 3 main processing methods for raw soybeans that are used in animal feeds:

1) Solvent extracted soymeal. This is the most common form of soybean. The soybean is crushed and separated, and the outer hull (which is high in fiber) from the inner germ and the oil extracted with solvents.  This provides the most complete removal of oil from the soybean itself, leaving the soybean meal with approximately 2-3% fat.  Some of the outer hull is then added back in to standardize the protein content to 44-48% crude protein.

2) Roasted soybeans. This is pretty self-explanatory; the whole soybeans are roasted, which helps to destroy the anti-nutritional factors in the soybeans and also makes them very palatable. These beans will contain approximately 38% protein and 16-17% fat.

3) Extruded soybean meal/mechanically extracted soymeal.  Instead of using solvents to extract the fat from whole soybeans, they use mechanical extrusion to remove the fat.  This is far less efficient and thus, the remaining soymeal has much more fat than solvent extracted soymeal (6-15%) depending on how efficient the mechanical extraction is. Mechanical extraction may leave more of the anti-nutritional factors intact, but they should not present an issue when fed in small amounts.

I certainly have no issues feeding soybean meal/roasted soybeans to horses.  The higher fat content in the extracted or whole roasted soy can certainly put a shine on a horse.  Of all the plant protein sources readily available, they also have one of the best amino acid profiles, no question.

In terms of how much to feed, it largely depends on the quality of hay being fed, specifically the protein content.  Almost all classes of mature horses only need 10-12% crude protein for the total diet (the exception being late gestation and lactating mares).  Horses exercising hard do require more total protein per day than a horse at maintenance, but this extra protein is acquired by a higher rate of feed intake, so the percent protein in the diet remains the same.  How to figure out how much to feed:

Your average horse (weighing 450-500 kg) will consume approximately 10-12 kg of feed per day.  If the diet should be 12% protein, that means they consume (.12*11=1.32) 1.3 kg of protein per day.  If the hay is 10% crude protein, an additional 200-300 grams of protein will be needed.  The extruded soy is around 38% protein, therefore, need to feed (0.200/0.38=0.53 kg).  If the hay is over 13% crude protein, then technically you don’t need any of the soy, but could feed 100-200 grams to get the fat and a bit of extra high quality protein.  If the protein is too high in the diet, you just end up with a smelly barn (excess ammonia being excreted).

Raw or unprocessed soybeans should be avoided due to enzymes and anti-nutritional factors present.

How much protein does my horse require? Does my horse require more protein when exercising?2019-08-12T07:44:52-05:00

Horses at maintenance do not require a lot of protein – NRC gives a range of 540 grams to 720 grams of protein per day for a 500 kg horse, which is equivalent to a diet of only 5 to 7 percent crude protein.  It is difficult to get feedstuffs that are that low in protein, so usually a decent quality hay alone will meet the horse’s protein requirements and if you’re feeding some flax on top of that you will be well covered.  Contrary to popular belief, heavy exercise does not increase the animals protein requirement to any great extent – they do lose some protein through sweat and exercising horses tend to have more muscle mass so that will also contribute to a small increase in requirement for protein.  The increase in protein requirement though is easily met by the increase in total feed intake of heavily exercised horses.  The NRC recommends an additional 0.354 g CP per kg of BW, which works out to an additional 177 grams of protein.  If you add that to the 720 grams for maintenance, it is still less than 1 kg of protein per day.  Given that the intake of an exercising horse is going to be higher – 20-30% more – the percent crude protein of the total diet still only needs to be 7%.  I typically recommend keeping the diet between 10-12% crude protein for mature horses.  Lactating mares and foals will need more than this.  Technically speaking, horses don’t actually have a protein requirement, they require amino acids.  Unfortunately, lysine is the only amino acid they have established a requirement for in horses.  It is possible to extrapolate data from other species though and apply it to the horse with some confidence.  Most feeding programs are well in excess of the amino acid requirements when the diets are at 10-12% protein.

Many people believe that hard working horses need to have a diet with a higher protein content, this is totally unfounded and in fact there is research in race horses that has shown feeding excessive protein actually causes horses to have slower run times.  The same goes for horses that are injured, there may be a nominal increase in protein utilization due to tissue injury, but not enough to warrant dramatically increasing the total protein content of the diet.  Excessive protein just makes the kidneys work harder and increases the amount of ammonia in barns.  Any protein the horse does not need has to be broken down – which means taking the nitrogen off the amino acids, turning that nitrogen into urea and then excreting.

There are feeding strategies for hard working horses where a high dose of protein is effective.  There is roughly a 2 hour window after heavy exercise that if you give horses a good dose of protein and simple carbohydrates is very effective in improving recovery from exercise.  Essentially, this strategy stimulates an insulin response, which will improve recovery from exercise.  Insulin is a potent anabolic hormone and very sensitive to dietary manipulation. Causing an insulin spike right after exercise will help stop muscle breakdown and shift the horse back to building muscle again.  This should only be done after heavy exercise though.  Even with this strategy, the total diet crude protein content should still be in the 10-12% range.

How much Magnesium should I give to my horse?2020-01-24T16:27:12-05:00

Magnesium is a pretty safe mineral to supplement. The NRC requirement for magnesium is pretty low (all calculations are based on 500 kg horse) 7.5 grams/day, which is less than 0.1% dietary concentration of magnesium. Most hays will contain 0.2% magnesium or higher, so the hay alone should meet the requirement. Having said that, minimum NRC isn’t really a marker for optimal health and certainly not one for ponies or horses that may have health issues. As stated, magnesium supplementation is pretty safe. Up to 0.8% of the diet, which is equivalent to 80 grams/day of magnesium intake (total dietary magnesium intake) did not produce any negative side effects. Based on other species and research, I would suggest not exceeding 40 grams/day long term, which would equate to 0.4% total dietary magnesium. Most well balanced equine diets supply ~25-30 grams of magnesium, so adding another 10 grams of magnesium would be acceptable – that would be the equivalent of 18-20 grams of Magnesium Oxide – the preferred source of magnesium. It is high availability and acts as a natural buffer, without the laxative effect of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts).

My horse is an easy keeper. What supplements would you recommend to help reduce weight?2019-11-18T17:38:25-05:00

I would recommend Omneity, our comprehensive equine vitamin and mineral formula. It is available in a powder or pellet, depending on what your horse will eat. It will supply all of the minerals and vitamins that he needs that he can’t get from eating hay alone. And it doesn’t contain any added sugars or artificial flavouring agents. Using the directions on the product label, feed with 2-3 tablespoons of plain, loose salt and fresh water at all times. Your horse should also be getting lots of exercise to lose weight and you should avoid giving any commercial feeds that he doesn’t need.

What do you recommend for feeding a PSSM positive horse?2020-03-21T10:03:26-05:00

It is pretty straightforward feeding PSSM positive horses, keep the sugar and starch down and add a bit of extra protein and antioxidants. Get in touch with us through our contact form and we can review your horse’s diet.

Do you have any recommendations for a pregnant broodmare?2020-03-21T10:06:05-05:00

You should definitely get a good ration balancer into them to balance the minerals and vitamins. Omneity – Equine Mineral and Vitamin is perfect for this, especially with 100% organic selenium which ensures greater maternal transfer to the growing baby. Although having babies is hard work, incubating them does not actually increase nutrient requirements tremendously, so there is limited need to increase calories and protein for most of pregnancy. Once they foal, the real work starts and you will definitely need to boost the calories and protein over what hay is providing. If you want a more detailed feeding regimen, please feel free to email us through our contact form.

Which of your products is appropriate for a miniature donkey or mule?2020-03-21T10:20:54-05:00

We recommend Omneity, which is our comprehensive equine mineral and vitamin supplement. Just adjust the dosage to the bodyweight of the mule or donkey.

I just acquired a horse that is a little under weight, been stressed and now is not eating well. What do you recommend for a picky horse?2020-03-21T10:22:08-05:00

Ulcers and other gut problems are incredibly common among today’s horses, and stress is one of the main culprits that can cause them, whether that be from transportation, a new environment, intense training, social isolation or stress that arises from being withheld feed. Ulcers can definitely reduce feed intake as well, which is likely why he is underweight. We have hundreds of customers who have gotten their horses back to healthy weight with Visceral+, because when the ulcers heal, their appetite comes back. It is our best product for the treatment and prevention of both gastric and hindgut ulcers and it is in a pelleted form for easy feeding. Visceral+ works by forming a barrier to protect stomach tissue, enhances mucin (stomach mucous) production and stimulates cell turnover so that ulcers heal faster. It also contains yeasts, our 5-strain probiotic blend, amino acids and beneficial herbs to nourish the whole GI tract.

What do you recommend for boosting the immune system of my horse?2020-03-21T10:24:34-05:00

In terms of boosting her immune system, the number one thing to do is make sure the diet is balanced. You can also consider increasing your horse’s Vitamin E intake. Most of our products are gut health focussed, but they may still help as you get general immune enhancement. The Optimum Digestive Health Pellet has an array of ingredients for improving immunity and gut health, which may be of assistance, but it really depends on what the root cause is. You may also want to consider Omneity – Equine Mineral and Vitamin. It is a highly concentrated product and uses higher quality trace minerals and has much higher levels of b-vitamins, which would be helpful.

What is the best base supplement to give to my horse to support overall nutrition?2020-03-21T10:26:18-05:00

The most important base for any equine diet is to provide loose salt and an equine mineral and vitamin to fulfill your horse’s daily nutrient requirements that can’t be acquired from hay alone. Our
Omneity (available in a premix or pelleted format) provides more than just high levels of commonly lacking vitamins & minerals. It also contains yeasts and digestive enzymes that assist with digestion as well as 20 mg of Biotin in each serving, eliminating the need to feed hoof supplements. Salt is especially important, as it stimulates drinking. Once minerals and vitamins are balanced, then you can start to add other feedstuffs like flaxseed or vegetable oils for additional calories. If you are looking for additional joint support, our W-3 Oil contains high levels of DHA that is very effective at controlling inflammation and is priced very competitively compared to other brands out there.

What do you recommend to treat gastic & hindgut ulcers?2020-03-21T10:29:36-05:00

For gastric & hindgut ulcers, we recommend Visceral+, which can be used effectively following omeprazole treatment and contains probiotics and nutrients that accelerate tissue healing. A lower cost option for gut health maintenance would be our Optimum Digestive Health Pellets. ODH also contains probiotics, however it wasn’t developed to treat ulcers. It works by stabilizing the gut flora and enhancing digestion, both of which help to prevent digestive upset.

I have a horse that is recovering from Lyme disease. What do you recommend for this horse?2020-03-21T10:34:45-05:00

To help them recover, I would suggest getting them onto a comprehensive vitamin and mineral, like Omneity. It will ensure your horses get the right amount of selenium, vitamin E and all other trace minerals and vitamins they can’t obtain from hay alone. In terms of probiotics, we carry Optimum Probiotic which is a fantastic, 5-strain probiotic blend that will help replenish gut bacteria.

What is the best supplement to feed for joint health?2020-03-21T10:35:25-05:00

Omega-3s have been shown to be beneficial in maintaining joint health. Our w-3 oil product provides long chain omega-3’s that can only be obtained through supplementation.

What is the average iron content in a typical grass hay?2020-03-21T10:36:09-05:00

The average iron content in a typical grass hay is around 100 ppm, or mg/kg. With a daily intake of 10 kg of hay, that would work out to around 1000 ppm. The NRC recommended daily intake of Iron is 400 mg.

I’m looking for a good all around mineral with higher levels of vitamin E. What do you recommend?2020-03-21T10:37:10-05:00

Our Omneity – Equine Mineral and Vitamin is a complete formula that fully balances a hay-only or grain-complemented diet. 120 grams of the Omneity Premix contains 1020 IUs of natural vitamin E, which is around 200% of the average daily requirement for mature horses. If you’re looking for more on top of that, we sell bulk natural vitamin E.

My horse has developed a habit of licking the dirt which I’ve heard is a sign of mineral deficiency. What should I give him to help?2020-03-21T10:44:09-05:00

Our Omneity pellets act a a ration balance and will definitely help. That will balance all the minerals and vitamins in the diet. You should also add loose free choice salt.

What is the best supplement to provide vitamins without the addition of protein in the diet?2020-03-21T10:44:35-05:00

Our Omneity Equine Vitamin and Mineral contains all the essential nutrients needed that can’t be obtained from hay, with the addition of beneficial yeasts to assist with digestion. The Premix is a granulated mixture, with little protein. We also have the Pelleted version, which is pelleted with oat hulls.

Does my horse need additional amino acids?2020-03-21T10:45:33-05:00

Need is dependent on physiological status, it goes up slightly with increasing work load. Most hay will meet the protein (amino acid) needs of most horses, unless it is really low in protein. However, there may be some amino acids that are insufficient in the diet like lysine, threonine and methionine. Our Omneity supplement provides these three amino acids.

What is the recommended amount of biotin to supplement my horse with to support hoof growth?2020-03-21T10:48:11-05:00

20 mg per day of biotin is the recommended therapeutic amount based on the current research. Supplementing any more than that may not have a beneficial effect on hoof growth. Our Omneity vitamin & mineral supplement provides 19.2 mg per day of biotin at the average feeding rate.

I have a horse that foundered in her front feet. What product do you think will help the most?2020-03-21T10:49:03-05:00

For managing laminitic horses, we recommend getting the diet balanced in vitamins and minerals, in addition to reducing the sugars and starches in the diet and diligent hoof care. Balanced vitamin and mineral nutrition can be achieved with Omneity or AminoTrace+, our equine mineral and vitamin formulas. AminoTrace+ contains higher levels of copper, zinc and magnesium than Omneity to provide additional support for horses with metabolic issues such as laminitis.

Do you have a supplement that supports muscle building?2020-03-21T10:49:35-05:00

We recommend first balancing the diet with a complete vitamin and mineral supplement to make sure the horse is getting everything they require that can’t be obtained from forage alone. A correct balance of vitamins and minerals will go a long way in promoting lean muscle growth and topline. Omneity, our equine vitamin and mineral, fully balances a large range of forages and also contains the essential amino acids that will contribute to muscle growth. Along with hay, and perhaps some ground flax seed, Omneity would be a great starting point.

Do you base your selenium levels in your supplements on the soil in the USA?2020-03-21T10:51:40-05:00

Selenium levels vary depending on where you are in the US. We provide 2.5 mg of selenium (for 500 kg horse) in our Omneity Equine Mineral & Vitamin supplement, which provides adequate levels for an area completely devoid of selenium, but can also be used in areas with some selenium in the soil. It’s also in organic form so it is much safer than inorganic forms.

What are the most common deficiencies in a horse’s diet if they are eating forage only?2020-03-21T10:52:03-05:00

Depending on where you live, your horse may be deficient in selenium. Most hay is deficient in several other trace minerals as well: iodine, zinc, copper and possibly manganese. Additional magnesium is also beneficial. You should also supplement the other fat soluble vitamins A & D if not getting fresh pasture. Our feed balancer supplement Omneity is designed to meet all of your horse’s needs.

I have a drafty horse and it is a constant struggle to keep weight off. What supplement would you recommended for this horse?2020-03-21T10:59:53-05:00

Omneity premix is our comprehensive equine mineral and vitamin supplement. It contains everything horses need and does not have any fillers. It would be safe to give to your drafts as it won’t contribute any added energy and is a great addition to hay. To slow down hay intake, it may be a good idea to use a slow feeder with your drafts.

I have a mare that is prone to colic and ulcers. What would you recommend?2020-03-21T11:16:15-05:00

If your horse is regularly showing signs of ulcers, then my first recommendation would be to give the full recommended dose of Visceral+. It’s a pelleted formula that was developed to specifically treat gastric ulcers, but it also provides full coverage of the rest of the digestive system to assist in the prevention of colic. Visceral+ also contains our 5-strain probiotic blend which is found in our Optimum Probiotic supplement.

What product would you recommend to put weight on a senior retired jumper?2020-03-21T11:17:25-05:00

To put more weight on a horse, we recommend our w-3 Oil supplement. w-3 Oil is an energy supplement containing essential fatty acids like omega-3s found in the form of microalgae-synthezied DHA. This gives it all of the benefits of fish oil but without the fishy taste that some horses find unpalatable.

Which of your products would you recommend for a horse that suffers seasonal pollen allergies?2020-03-21T11:19:37-05:00

Our w-3 oil supplement can be very helpful in controlling inflammation. It is made of essential fatty acids and multiple sources of omega-3’s. We recommend feeding 2 – 3 ounces per day. Also, ensure the diet is balanced with enough selenium and vitamin E. Omneity is a great equine mineral and vitamin supplement to ensure optimal health.

I have a horse diagnosed with degenerative supspensory ligament disease. Do you have a supplement that can help?2020-03-21T11:20:19-05:00

We don’t have anything specific for DSLD, as there really is no treatment for it. However, Omneity is an excellent choice to ensure you are giving your horse a balanced diet and our w-3 oil with essential fatty acids may be helpful in reducing inflammatory processes.

Do you have a supplement to support recovery from a ligament injury?2020-03-21T11:23:09-05:00

A properly balanced mineral and vitamin, like Omneity, can help support healing of ligament inuries by providing the building blocks for healthy tissue growth. We also carry an omega-3 fatty acid supplement, w-3 Oil, which will help to reduce inflammation.

I live in a very high iron area. Which product do you recommend?2020-03-24T13:37:02-05:00

It depends on what exactly the iron levels in your hay are. The high range is upwards of 300 ppm (mg/kg or ug/g). If you are under this amount, our Omneity equine mineral and vitamin is a good choice. If you have horses with metabolic issues such as Insulin Resitance, laminitis or related conditions, I would recommend AminoTrace+ because it will do a better job of balancing high dietary iron.

Mad Barn Products

Can your products help with cribbing?2020-01-24T17:10:12-05:00

There is a high probability that if your horse cribs, it has ulcers, which usually causes them to crib more- it’s a vicious circle. I would definitely try Visceral+. It’s proven to heal gastric ulcers and improve overall gut health. It may also help reduce cribbing.

How will my product be packaged and how long will it take to receive?2019-08-12T07:45:04-05:00

Most products are packed in a 1, 5, 10, or 25 kilogram resealable plastic pails, or in 20 or 25 kilogram bags. Standard products are typically shipped next day and delivery is 5-7 days within Canada, but in most cases it is less than that. Custom formulas are manufactured within two days of finalized formulation and again 5-7 days shipping within Canada. Products shipped to the US are generally received within 5-7 days as well.

Where will my product be manufactured?2019-08-12T07:45:04-05:00

Mad Barn Inc. produces all products in a CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) inspected facility that only produces equine products. There is no risk of cross contamination with other ingredients or drugs used in the manufacture of feeds for other species, as we are strictly an equine production facility. Your horse’s health and safety is our number one concern.

Why do Mad Barn horse supplements contain yeast?2020-01-24T16:35:41-05:00

Specific strains of live yeast, like the ones used in many of our products such as Omneity, Optimum Digestive Health Pellets and AminoTrace+, have been scientifically proven to improve digestion of feeds and absorption of minerals. They also help maintain hindgut pH, therefore reducing acidity. This helps create a healthy environment for the good bacteria and improves digestibility of feed.

What is the best supplement to support mane and tail growth?2020-01-24T16:23:35-05:00

The best thing for mane and tail growth is a well balanced diet with adequate minerals and vitamins. Omneity or Omneity P both contain the minerals and vitamins required to support hair growth. We can also make a custom blend if you provide a current hay analysis.

Why should I consider using Mad Barn supplements and where should I start?2020-01-24T16:21:53-05:00

We provide a full range of equine supplements that have all been formulated by our professional equine nutritionist – Scott Cieslar. The company’s goal is to provide the best products and services to optimize your nutrition program, improve gut health and enhance performance. For example, Omneity (available in a powder or pellet) is our all-in-one equine mineral and vitamin formula that has been formulated to balance a forage-only diet or complement a grain feeding program. Visceral+ is our best-selling ulcer treatment formula that works better than Omeprazole! All of our products are made in Canada in a CFIA-inspected facility that only manufactures equine products. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us. We are here to help you provide your horse with the best nutrition possible!

Do you offer any products in a paste form?2020-03-21T10:07:23-05:00

The only paste product we have is the Visceral+, it is a formulation, which contains probiotics, along with many other ingredients to treat/prevent ulcers as well as providing complete GI tract coverage. It is available in pelleted format as well, but was necessary to have a paste as many horses with ulcers will go off feed, so we use the paste to get them started and then switch over to the pellets.

My product is a slightly different colour than the last time I ordered it. Did the ingredients change?2020-03-21T10:30:13-05:00

In most cases, no the color change is not the result of an ingredient change. There is some natural variation in colour in some of the ingredients that we use, so this can cause the premix or pellets to look a slightly different colour.

If I am starting to use two new Mad Barn products at the same time, should I start with one first or can I feed both together?2020-03-21T10:30:57-05:00

We recommend starting with a small amount with both, but you can feed multiple supplements together with no problem.

Which is the best Mad Barn product for a pregnant mare?2020-03-21T10:56:12-05:00

We generally recommend that energy and protein levels in the diet don’t exceed requirements too much in the first month of pregnancy. The last 2 months are when energy and protein levels may need to be increased as the fetus starts to grow. I would recommend that a pregnant mare go on Omneity. Omneity will do a great job of ensuring she gets the minerals and vitamins needed for successful transfer to the fetus without adding additional energy and protein.

What’s your best-selling product?2020-03-21T12:44:26-05:00

Omneity and Visceral+ are the two top products in our line-up.

Do you have a joint supplement?2020-03-21T12:46:01-05:00

We do not sell a product specifically for joints, but w-3 oil contains high levels of DHA (the fatty acid in fish oil), which has been shown to be beneficial for joint health.

Custom Formulas

What’s involved in receiving a custom formula for my horse?2020-01-24T17:03:17-05:00

Custom formulas require a hay analysis, which can be attached after filling out your information on our custom formulations page. This will include horse’s age, status (working, pregnant, maintenance etc.), body weight and current feeding program with appropriate feed analysis. It is imperative that a hay sample is provided and the amount of feed consumed by weight, not by volume. If you do not have an hay analysis and are not willing to take one, it is recommended that you purchase one of our mineral and vitamin premixes, such as Omneity, as these have been formulated to provide adequate nutrition over a wide range of feeding situations. If you do not have a hay probe, most feed stores will have one they can loan you; have a representative take the sample for you; or at least point you in the right direction on how to obtain one. If you plan on testing hay on a regular basis you might consider obtaining your own forage probe, the attached link is a simple inexpensive forage probe. This is not an endorsement of the product, there are many good options for hay probes and this is one of the more economical ones.

What is the advantage of a custom formula?2019-08-12T07:45:04-05:00

Many supplements or nutritional additives on the market today are not balanced properly to meet your horse’s requirements. They often have high levels of one or two nutrients and not enough of the others. This is particularly problematic with products marketed at a specific ailment (hoof supplements, blood builders, etc.). Others that may be balanced may contain a lot of extra additives that you do not want or need. The ability to make a specific blend for your horse, based on your feeds, allows you to provide your horse with the exact nutrients it needs. Furthermore, if there are particular additives you do want, it is easy to add them to the formula. Fill out the contact form to contact us directly and we can get started today customizing your horse’s diet, because just like you, your horse is a unique individual.

How do I take a hay sample and where do I get it analyzed?2020-01-24T16:51:27-05:00

In order to design a custom supplementation formula for your horse, a proper hay sample is taken with a forage probe. At least 5 to 10 bales should be cored to get a representative sample of your hay and mixed into one bag. A minimum of 100 grams of sample should be obtained and sent to an approved forage testing laboratory. It is best to download submission forms and select the appropriate forage analysis for horses. Our blog post on taking a hay sample and how to read the analysis provides an excellent overview of forage sampling and a list of the main North American forage testing laboratories.

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