Is purchasing something for healthier joints, coats, hooves, teeth and bones necessary for horses? There are many supplements on the market today for just about everything. It’s us again “Of Horse” people, the Pony Bloggers (Sweetsie, Gucci, and Leggs) here to tell you the facts when it comes to supplements.
There are mainly two types of supplements, those that aid in the prevention of a deficiency (minerals, vitamins, electrolytes) and those that improve performance (joint, muscle, blood tonic, calming agents). Many supplements are valuable compounds that are proven, produced by reputable manufacturers and supported by science. Look for a supplement that meets the specific needs of your horse and consult with your veterinarian on supplement choice.
See what the horse is getting already. Look at the nutritional information on the feedbag. Know the nutrients in the pasture and always feed quality hay. After you look at the horse’s diet, and you find a defiency then look for the correct supplement.
Joint supplements can be beneficial for horses with arthritis and horses that have jobs, which stress the joints. Barrel Racers (that’s me Sweetsie), Jumpers, Reiners and Cutters seem to benefit the most from joint supplements. Horses under stress or recovering from illness or injury also benefit.
Calming Supplements and Hoof Supplements do not have a huge success rate at this time. Nothing replaces riding horses consistently, receiving good training, and not feeding high energy feeds.
Horse owners have a responsibility to their horses. Look at labels, read ingredients, and consult with your veterinarian. Know the supplement that is right for your horse at that time and remember, don’t over do it. Don’t get stuck in the same supplement routine. Winter needs are different than summer needs. If your horse does need a supplement, adjust accordingly. And stop supplements when your horse doesn’t need them anymore or if you don’t see results (try supplement for 60 days and catalog the results).
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