Are you asking, “Is it ok to give my horse supplement and how much”?
Horse supplements are a matter of great consideration. Of course, you want to make sure that your horse grows healthy and strong. But before you mindlessly administer supplements, shouldn’t you first consider whether your horse at all needs them? And of course, are you just administering any supplements or the ones your horse really needs?
In comes the pertinent question…
Is it ok to give my horse supplements?
Well, the fact is that this differs from horse to horse – from situation to situation. If your horse has a deficiency, a need, that his regular diet is not supplying, then by all means your horse needs supplements.
On the other hand, it is usually agreed that hard-working horses or racehorses, that are very active, mainly need supplements because the forage in their diet isn’t adequate as a source. And of course, with other horses too, you may need to administer supplements based on what is missing in the forage found at your geographical location.
So, before you start adding supplements to your horse’s diet, always remember that every supplement has a particular purpose. This brings us to the next point…
The different kinds of supplements
There are supplements for various purposes available for horses. Mainly these are:
- Electrolytes – for when the horse sweats a lot and loses these.
- Weight gain – in case your horse in under-weight (though these aren’t so good for digestion).
- Coat, skin, and omega fatty acid – These are if the right nutrients for a shiny coat are either absent or low in the horse’s diet.
- Calming supplements – Horses tend to be nervous with a rider on their back – these supplements counter that effect. But again, administer only if necessary and make also sure your horse’s eyes are in perfect condition which will calm it as well.
- Hoof and joint supplements – the names are self-explanatory – but should only be administered when needed.
- Digestive aids – In case of indigestion, these may be administered.
However, the bottom line is always that supplements should be given only when there is a need for extra nutrition. Ideally, your first act should be to try and provide your horse with well-rounded and balanced meals that can take care of all his nutritional needs. If need be, you could mix in some good quality rice bran with his usual meal. It comes with quite a few essential nutrients for horses. Horses that are used for other training purposes, like riding around with students on their backs, will require different feed and different supplements, so keep that in mind as well and ask a vet for advice.
And finally, to shed some light on another important factor…
How much supplement is too much for your horse?
Again, this is a question that requires an in-depth and specific answer. It will vary from horse to horse. First of all, you need to learn all the ABC’s of how to take proper care of your horse. Depending on what the lifestyle of the horse is, how balanced his/her meals are, what supplements are needed in the horse’s body and to what extent.
The best way to determine all these factors is to have an equine nutritionist or vet check over your horse, answer his questions honestly, and then just take his advice! It’s mostly about first learning the basics of how to best take care of your horse and good advice will benefit both your horse and you.
Supplements for horses, as with supplements for people, are all about plugging deficiencies – they aren’t to be had without rhyme or reason! So, do what’s best for your horse, give him only those supplements which he needs and watch him glow with health!
Make also sure your horse gets all the necessary vaccinations. This is really among the top priorities when ensuring your beloved horse will be and stay healthy for a long time to come.