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Horse Supplements: What to Know

Oct 17, 2022

By Elaine Waldorf Gewirtz

It’s a fact. All horses deserve good health. To provide the best for their animals, owners look to equine supplements to complement a healthy balanced diet. 

What are horse supplements?

Additional vitamins and minerals provide a boost for highly active horses who perform heavy work or suffer from health conditions.

In addition to vitamins and minerals, a supplement can consist of extra proteins and nutrients to fill in what a meal might be missing. Supplements can increase stamina and energy or improve competition performance.

How do you know if your horse needs supplements?

To evaluate whether a horse benefits from a supplement, consider the horse’s nutritional requirement and daily routine. A veterinarian can advise a course of supplements. 

Equine supplements include:

  • Joint
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Hoof
  • Gastric issues
  • Coat
  • Reproduction
  • Performance
  • Calming
  • Pain Management

Joint Supplements 

Owners use joint supplements to help manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis—the most common cause of joint issues in equine. Many joint supplements are available. The essential ingredients are glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).

Vitamin Supplements

Most grains contain the right amount of vitamins, and minerals horses require. 

But additional vitamins and minerals are helpful for horses feeding on a small amount of grain or only hay or grass. Pregnant or nursing mares, young horses, or horses performing strenuous tasks also benefit from added vitamins and minerals. An extra supply of vitamins can layer protection. 

Before adding supplements to an equine diet, know what vitamins and minerals the horse is already receiving. Over-supplementation can lead to toxicity. 

horse supplements what to know (1)

Hoof

To improve hoof quality by strengthening hoof walls, look for supplements that include biotin. Other ingredients include lysine, methionine, fat, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, and protein. For the best results, these products take several months.

Gastric

Due to their long digestive tract, horses are prone to gastric issues. Many gastric products are available. Their main ingredients are pre- and probiotics to keep the digestive system balanced and reduce equine ulcers and colic.

Coat

A bright, shiny coat is the envy of every horse owner. It’s a sign of good overall health. Supplements boasting coat health appear everywhere. The main ingredient is omega-3, which also has anti-inflammatory agents. Look for supplements containing linseed, oil or powder, and fish oil. 

Reproduction

Breeding mares and stallions often require supplements to their diet to increase fertility, fetus development, and milk production. Omega-3 is a key ingredient, especially when given in the final weeks of pregnancy. An equine nutritionist or veterinarian can recommend the correct products.

Performance

Performance supplements are helpful for horses involved in strenuous training or regular competitions. These include vitamins and minerals to aid muscular strength and energy boosters. 

Calming 

Recently popular, horse calming supplements contain thiamine, valerian, L-tryptophan, magnesium, and chamomile. These aid in relaxation and help horses focus on their jobs. Mild without sedative effects, these are banned for use in competition.

Pain Management

Certain herbs have proven effective for long-term pain management. These ingredients include devil’s claw, yucca extract, and vitamin B-12. A veterinarian can provide information on the best quality ingredients for a horse’s specific needs. 

CBD For Horses

CBD, or cannabidiol, has become popular as a pain-relieving supplement for horses who suffer from osteoarthritis. This degenerative disease affects cartilage, joint lining, and other structures of the equine musculoskeletal system. 

According to researchers, cannabinoid receptors are present in healthy and arthritic joints. They believe CBD can stimulate the receptors and relieve pain.

Pet Releaf CBD Supplements For Horses

Pet Releaf has helped more than 4 million animals and their families in the past decade. Equine owners can now offer their horses relief with Equine Stress Releaf Hemp Oil and Equine Joint Releaf Hemp Oil.

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