Are you looking for the best horse vitamin and mineral supplement?
The best horse vitamin and mineral supplement is the Equi-Max Crumble Equine Vitamin & Mineral Supplement, it is offered here through our store.
It has been designed using a weather-resistant technique, which was initially launched as a result of identifying each of the problems and concerns of conventional methods of supplementing essential vitamins and minerals to horses, then addressing each issue and incorporating a solution into a single, clearly superior product.
It is important to note that this is the only mineral and vitamin supplement that doesn't have added iron, which can cause toxicity.
What Vitamins and Minerals do Horses Need?
There is a significant amount of research that has been done to try and answer this question. Unfortunately the answer isn't complete. We know a lot, but we don't know it all.
The primary thing that we do know is that horses get everything that they need from green grass, water and sunlight. They do sometimes injest some dirt and salt, but a horses guts and internal processing system is very, very good at getting everything it needs from grass.
What are Vitamins and Minerals?
Vitamins are an organic substance or compound essential for a horse’s growth and metabolism. These substances are generally required in low quantities and are found in the horse’s feed.
Vitamins cannot be produced naturally by the horse, so they need to ingest them orally. Most of them will be in the feed or grass, but sometimes salt and iron are also in the dirt.
Vitamins are used for all sorts of functions in the body, for example, vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and vitamin E helps neutralize free radicals as an antioxidant.
If you are looking for Vitamin E for your horse we also carry that in our store...you can get it HERE
Minerals, on the other hand, are inorganic compounds found in nature and they help the body perform significant functions. Although there are a large number of minerals in nature only a few are required for equine function. An example is potassium which helps with heart function and blood supply.
What is Iron Toxicity in Horses?
A horse’s daily need for iron is estimated to be around 40ppm of their entire ration (hay, grain, grass, water, whatever and don’t forget, many lick and eat dirt, or pick it up while grazing. This also adds more iron.
Most horses get many more times that amount.
The problem is, that many horses are getting excess iron, and the side effects are numerous (most often seen in barefoot horses, as the hooves are one of the first things to suffer under excessive iron and the resultant imbalance in other minerals). From bad hair coats and hooves, to insulin resistance and immune/allergy issues, iron overload is a major problem, that is probably being majorly overlooked.
Iron is being added to almost all processed feeds and vitamin/mineral supplements, when our horses get too much naturally already. The following is a kind of cliff notes version about the importance of mineral balancing.
There are many articles out there referring to “equine iron overload” and “equine mineral balancing”.
If you want a truly accurate count of what your horse takes in, you would have to take samples of your hay and pasture - if they have pasture-soil, (remember, they often lick or even eat dirt, and at least pick it up while grazing or eating hay off the ground), water, and anything else you feed .
This is the only sure way of determining the iron and other mineral content your horse is getting.
There are hair and blood tests you can do, but iron storage in the horse is fairly complex, and these tests are not always an accurate picture of what is going on in the horse.
What Nutrients Does a Horse Need?
There is a large body of research that has gone into answering this question, but the whole answer is still not known. most of the recommendations that are made are based on currently published data and research.
What this leads to is trying to figure out what supplements your horse needs and how much.
If your horse has a healthy lifestyle, is exercised, has adequate turn out and access to high-quality hay it is highly likely that everything is ok. There may be slight deficiencies that can be identified by a vet and remedied.
The issue for most horses begins with low-quality hay and a lifestyle that doesn’t include much time on green grass, or in an open paddock.
Toxicity is very rare, and that is why a general, well-balanced multivitamin/mineral supplement is recommended.
Which Vitamins Should I look For?
Vitamins are divided into two groups, ones that are soluble in fat and ones that are not. The ones that are fat-soluble are more likely to contribute to toxicity, while water-soluble vitamins are not.
Crucial for vision. Also helps with muscle function and cell membranes. Vitamin A also plays a role in reproductive function.
The source for vitamin A, is beta-carotene and it is present in green grass and hay. Horses store this chemical in their livers and will use it if there is a deficiency.
A regular 1000 - 1200 pound horse needs approximately 15, 000 IU per day.
If your horse has no access to fresh pasture or your breeding mare is inside all of the time you may need additional vitamin A. If this is the case you may also want to get a hay analysis done to see what nutrients are in the hay, and then make a supplement decision.
There are a whole number of compounds that are in the B-vitamin family, we will group them together for ease of explanation.
These vitamins are all involved with metabolism, they help the horse to produce energy from it’s food.
B-vitamins are produced by the bacteria that live in your horses gut, and they are also found in grass and hay.
Specific levels of need have not been established by the scientific or equine community, however we have another couple of resources when it comes to vitamin B that you can check out.
Here and here…
Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that kills free radicals in the blood. It helps to protect body cells and the formation of collagen.
Horses get this from their food, it is synthesized from glucose in the liver.
Like most of the other vitamins and minerals on the list, it is during times of high stress or low-quality feed that a horse may need supplementation.
There are a couple of other vitamins that are important to a horse, namely vitamin D and vitamin K.
Vitamin D comes from the sun and it assists in the absorption of calcium and the regulation of phosphorous. Both of these functions are involved in health bones and joints. If your horse is not getting 6-8 hours of sunlight per day this vitamin may need to be added to his supplements.
Vitamin K is involved mostly in the blood-clotting system in the horses body. Horses get this from their feed, and usually do not need additional supplements.
Which Minerals Should I Look For?
Minerals have a bit of a different story. They are absorbed a little differently by the horse, and are important when mixed together in ratios, just as much as the amount per mineral. This might seem confusing, but it is important to know that a horse generally gets all that it needs from hay and pasture.
If you are in an area that has low selenium, that might be a consideration for you as well.
Salt helps to maintain proper fluid balance in the body, it comes from the grass a horse eats, but often boarding facilities will also include a salt block for the horses.
It is important to remember that a horse will lose salt when it sweats so if your horse is under heavy work this might be something to watch.
Calcium is critical for bones and is high in alfalfa hay. It isn't as high in normal grass, so it may be something to monitor with your vet. It is very important during the development years, and growth periods.
This nutrient works with calcium to give strength to the bones. It is present in hay and also high in cereal grains. 18-29g per day is sufficient. Senior horses as well as developing horses can be affected by low amounts of this mineral.
Magnesium is a very important mineral for horses. It is known to also aid as a calming nutrient for a horse. It also can help with ulcers.
It plays a role in metabolism, muscle contraction and nerve function. Magnesium is found in most hays and grains.
Selenium has gotten a lot of press because there are some areas that have enough and some that don't. It is important for different cellular mechanisms, mostly involving the muscles and the nerves. It is essential for the metabolism of vitamin E, which is an essential antioxidant.
Selenium is found in the soil, and your horse will also get some from the hay it eats. 3mg a day is what is generally required. A simple blood test will be able to tell if your horse is deficient.
There are other minerals that are important to a horse like potassium, copper and zinc. These play roles with the immune system, wound healing, reproductive functions, joint development, electrical balance and nervous function.
Horses like all other living animals need food and water, but the way in which we keep horses as pets and competitive partners means we need to pay attention to these things a little differently.
Water is the most important nutrient for horses, and they need a lot of it. A horse will drink roughly 2 litres of water for every pound of hay they eat. If the temperature is hot, or the horse has been working the amount of water will go up.
In Canada, the different seasons force us to pay attention to water intake at a high level. We swing from really hot and dry summer months to really cold winter months. During these times it is important that your horse has continual access to clean fresh water.
The worst seasons however are spring and fall, the temperature can swing drastically over the course of a day, from -5 in the morning to +20 in the afternoon. It is during these days that feeding times, feeding length and water availability is crucial. Without proper water, a horse is at a higher risk of colic and ulcers.
Which is the best multivitamin and mineral supplement?
The best multivitamin and mineral supplement is the Equi-max Crumble. It is formulated to withstand weather breakdown, and deliver the required nutrients.
Do horses need mineral supplements?
As described above there are certain circumstances where horses do need additional mineral supplements. The quality of the hay that they are receiving is the biggest question. You should get a hay analysis done in the fall and again in the spring, this will tell you what you are giving your horse.
After that you can also get blood work done to see what your horse may need. Together with your vet you can make an appropriate supplementation plan.