Horse Safety First – Why You Should Read Your Horse Feed Supplement Label Two Ways

by Nikki Alvin-Smith

Busy horse owners often find themselves inundated with health information and suggestions for best care and nutrition for their equine partners. A barrage of e-blasts, catalogs and online advertising proffer an overwhelming array of advice that can make any horse owner, however diligent, feel they are coming up short somewhere or missing out.

While it’s true that sometimes the proverbial wheel does get reinvented, for the most part the market forces dish up so much fodder it is hard to keep track. The net result of all this hopefully salient advice is that the horse owner, whether a keen amateur or an experienced professional, throw everything they can into the feed bucket to try and cover all the bases.


What Exactly Are You Feeding Your Horse?

Once a feed product has been purchased, there is a fundamental step that many horse owners overlook that can make the whole purpose of the project trip at the first fence. Whatever horse feed supplement you choose to utilize as a responsible equine caregiver, there is one simple thing you can do to make sure you are on point with your horse feed supplement program that will also probably save you money. 

The chemistry of your horse supplement and its efficacy hinges on one major factor. You take the time to read. Throwing money on pots of equine supplement gold, often expensive products that make claims of fixing everything from your horse’s nose to tail (even ailments you didn’t know he had), is not a good route to follow for best equine health care.

While reviewing the product’s specifications published online and intended uses is an obvious necessity, it is amazing to think that perhaps despite our better judgement many of us simply opt for a quick fix and follow along with whatever is touted as fact being indeed, fact. Snake oil sales folks are still out there in various guises. Shopping is still a buyer beware situation and making a good decision on what to buy rests squarely on your shoulders.

After all, your horse cannot talk. He cannot tell you if he’s actually feeling better after you religiously disguise the pellet or powder and add to his feed, or apple sauce up the flavor of the paste medication to get him to swallow it without a fuss. 

Your horse cannot explain if he’s experiencing blurry vision, if his metabolic levels are out of balance, or if he has a pounding headache or feels depressed or anxious. Despite being as observant as we can possibly be of our equine partners, subtle signs of illness or distress in our horses is sometimes masked by their stoic natures. 

The reality is that by the time we can confidently announce our horse has a problem, it is likely that damage to his health has already been done. Damage that will take some time, effort and expense for him to recuperate from that could have been prevented in the first place.


Read The Label Two Ways

Many horse supplements include a long list of ingredients. The amount and quality of each ingredient contained in one recommended dose can only accomplish the results-driven, evidence-backed research that showcases its efficacy if those ingredients actually exist in the mix.

As an experienced horse breeder, horse trainer and advanced level equestrian competitor I’ve learned, when in doubt ask a professional. That person may be our team vet, our team farrier, a nutrition expert, an alternative or holistic therapy provider, or a fellow competitor. To understand the problem the horse is experiencing in the first place and then to figure out how to not just solve it but resolve it permanently, is often not an easy task. 


Product Transparency

When it comes to trusting what my horses ingest as part of their daily diet, it is essential I know what I am putting into the feed mix. Thankfully, there are some manufacturing companies owned by individuals that lead with integrity and where transparency is truly exhibited.

As some of you may know, leading the ‘first flight’ in working with The Association of American Feed Control officials {AAFCO}, the Food and Drug Administration {FDA} and helping to establish the National Animal Supplement Council {NASC} to ensure quality controls and safety protocols governed animal feed supplements, was Grand Meadows’ owner and C.E.O., Nick Hartog. He helped shepherd the lucrative and previously unregulated and sometimes dangerous industry practices into some form of accountability and control. The National Animal Supplement Council (, an organization that has a profound impact on the safety, transparency, and legitimacy of the animal supplement industry, is an agency that conducts strict audits of all companies that gain its seal of approval, to help ensure that what manufacturers claim is in their supplements actually is contained therein, and in the quantities and qualities claimed. 

“Prior to the introduction of the checks and balances that were introduced with the NASC systems the horse supplement market was essentially like the Wild West. In 1999 I tested 32 joint supplements to see if they matched the label claim and only two passed – clearly the industry had major problems,” explains Nick Hartog.

While certain elements of the formulations in supplements are not tested, due to the expense or legitimacy concerns of present-day testing availability, the majority of formulations are examined and tested in each product that receive the NASC seal are validated as being present and correct. This gives the consumer some level of protection against companies that simply have no clue what they are doing, are simply out to make a quick buck or execute nefarious or safety ignorant business practices. 

Today there are many companies that operate under the umbrella of the NASC seal, and the necessary self-regulation of the industry that was spearheaded by a few visionaries has without question benefited horses and the human contingent that love and care for their health and well-being.

So great. Well done. You’ve read the supplement label and see the seal stamped on the tub or packet and feel happy you’ve made a good choice. Well, that’s a good start for sure. 


Dosage and Timeline

The second important part of reading the label is following the manufacturer’s recommended instructions for dosage and timeline for use. We all know that if our doctor prescribes us a course of antibiotics it is important we finish the course (given we have no allergic response to it) to avoid the targeted bacteria becoming resistant to the drugs being administered or the health issue returning. So as responsible horse caregivers, we will likely complete any prescribed course of treatment. But then we often take things into our own hands don’t we? Wrongly believing we know better than our vets and the medication or supplement manufacturers. The more is better thought process. 

Not following instructions or recommendations can have terrible consequences, and learning to follow the professional guidance we are provided rather than take things upon ourselves is a good lesson to learn vicariously rather than to experience first-hand.

It may seem obvious to some, but giving a horse more of something than the manufacturer recommends because you figure more is better, is likely a recipe for long term health disaster. Amazingly many horse trainers and caring equine owners give horses in their custody a myriad of supplements without much clue as to any contraindications, long term use benefits or quality of ingredients. When you add the frequent use of products for the wrong purpose and the likelihood of long-term damage to the horse’s health as a result to this equation, it is logical to assume that the poor horse is going to suffer unnecessarily. 

Consider veterinary prescribed medications that are designed to treat a malady like equine gastric ulcer syndrome {EGUS} for example, will do nothing to support the horse’s long term gut health if you combine brands or dish up cocktails of them with long term use because that is not what they are manufactured to do. They are a treatment.  It’s not just a waste of money, it puts your horse’s long-term health at risk. It is far better to adopt a postbiotic support product and fix the problem that caused the ulcers in the first place once they are resolved, rather than consistently treat the symptoms of the disease or worse treat the horse for something he no longer exhibits further undermining the health of his digestive system.


Here’s what Nick Hartog has to share on the EGUS issue:

“The performance horse industry is facing an existential threat with the horrendous statistics on horses showing ulcer symptoms and the widespread abuse of ulcer medications being used outside of normal treatment parameters. There is little awareness that the long-term use of these drugs actually causes a reverse effect, rebound acid hypersecretion. RAUS causes excessive acid production as a response to the acid suppression that the ulcer meds promote. This triggers an endless cycle of more ulcers. In early trials with Grand Postbiotic we have been able to wean multiple horses off of meds without ulcer symptoms returning.”  


Following the herd is not always the best idea. Sometimes it is better to take a hard look at where we are going and what track we are following. Doing something because it seems better than doing nothing doesn’t really make sense does it? 

The reality is there is always a better and best solution to any problem. You may not necessarily always manage to find the best solution even though it may exist. But one thing is for sure, you won’t find the better one either unless you look for it and action it. 

Making the best decision with the information you have at the time, really comes down to what information do you have? When you have confidence in what is actually in your horse supplement and follow the guidance the manufacturer provides as to its use, you’re a good way toward making that best decision.


About the Author

Nikki Alvin-Smith is a seasoned freelance writer who loves to share her lifelong experience with everything horse, rural lifestyle, and travel. Her works have been printed in more than two hundred fifty equestrian magazines worldwide and her published articles number in the thousands.

A Brit who has called New York home for more than 40 years, Nikki brings a unique perspective to her writing. Her experience as an international level Grand Prix dressage competitor, coach, and worldwide clinician, with a youth spent showjumping and foxhunting, provides lots of educational truths and fun moments to share with the reader. Additionally, she has been a horse breeder and importer of Hanoverian, Dutch and Iberian horses for more than 25 years. Together with her husband Paul Alvin-Smith, who is also a Grand Prix rider, operates Willowview Hill Farm, an organic hay farm and private dressage yard in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York.

Visit or to learn more.

Your Horse Supplements FAQ: Horse Supplements Facts You Need to Know

Horse Supplement Facts You Need to Know

Trusted answers to your questions about horse supplements

You have questions about horse supplements and we have the answers.

Our goal at Grand Meadows is to make sure you are informed about horse supplements so you can make educated decisions about your horse and their needs. Of course, we always want you to talk to your veterinarian and horse trainer about your horse’s diet, exercise, and supplements.

We have compiled the most frequently asked questions you have about horse supplements. If you don’t see your question answered here, email us and we’ll help you out.

What are Horse Supplements?

Horse supplements are additional vitamins, minerals, or nutrients designed to support your horse’s health. Horse supplements may help fill gaps in your horse’s diet and provide support for different health conditions.

The horse supplements you choose should be based on your horse’s unique needs, age, existing health conditions, diet quality, and exercise level.

What are Horse Supplements Used For?

Horse supplements are used to support your horse’s nutritional and physical needs. Horse supplements may be used to support joint health, digestion, skin and coat care, hoof health, immune system support, and deliver specific nutrients for senior horses.

Like human supplements, horse supplements help fill nutritional gaps and provide the extra support your horse needs to feel their best. It is challenging to give your horse everything they need through diet alone.

Always discuss your horse’s nutritional and overall health needs with your veterinarian. It is possible to over-supplement your horse. This is something we do not want to happen to your horse!

What are the Different Types of Horse Supplements?

The different types of horse supplements include:

  1. Joint Supplements: joint health supplements are specially formulated to naturally support your horse’s defense against normal joint wear-and-tear that happens with age, activity, and breed. Common horse joint supplement ingredients include glucosamine, hyaluronic acid (HA), MSM, sulfate, and collagen type II.
  2. Horse Hoof Supplements: it is challenging for your horse to create the nutrients they need to support their hooves. To support horse hoof health, your horse may benefit from supplements with key ingredients like copper, zinc, fatty acids, biotin, methionine, and other vitamins and minerals.
  3. Horse Digestion and Immune Supplements: all horses can benefit from digestive and immune system support. For those horses undergoing feed changes, taking antibiotics, or under heavy training and competitive loads, digestive support may make a big difference in your horse’s overall health. Protecting and enhancing your horse’s natural digestion process is one of the most important things you can do to support your horse’s overall health.
  4. Horse Skin and Coat Supplements: your horse’s coat and skin can give you direct feedback on how your horse is feeling inside and out. A glossy, shiny coat and skin free from blemishes and sores are good indicators your horse is healthy. Your horse is not able to produce all the nutrients required for a healthy skin and coat. Horse skin and coat supplement ingredients like omega 3 and 6, heat stabilized flax meal, biotin, lecithin, and Diamond VTM yeast, may fill nutrient gaps.
  5. Horse Calming Supplements: these supplements may help nervous, stressed, or on-edge horses feel more confident, focused, and more at-ease. Do your research on horse calming ingredients – not all ingredients are approved for competition in rated events. Ingredients that may help support your horse’s nervous system include theanine, thiamine, vervain, valerian, chamomile, and magnesium. Before using horse calming supplements, it’s important to rule out contributing factors including underlying health problems, dietary challenges, and how you ride and behave around your horse.
  6. Horse Vitamin and Mineral Supplements: your performance horse is under a lot of pressure and this places extra importance on ensuring your horse is getting everything they need to feel their best. Remember that the nutritional demands of performance horses can be several times those of a horse grazing in the pasture. Horse vitamin and mineral supplements may encourage wound-healing, support connective tissue growth, encourage energy transfer, support enzyme production, provide antioxidant properties, and more.
  7. Topical Horse Supplements: these horse joint supplements are absorbed through the skin, directly into the joint capsule, providing a slippery surface when the joint is compressed. This process is called biolubrication and functions to provide joint lubrication, helping to relieve stiffness, restrictions, and friction. Topical horse joint supplements are non-invasive and easy to administer directly on the impacted area.

What Nutrients Does My Horse Need?

Your horse needs 6 core nutrients for overall good health and well-being:

  1. Water is essential to every aspect of your horse’s health including temperature regulation, digestion, and nutrient absorption.
  2. Carbohydrates are a key energy source for your horse. Horses need two types of carbohydrates – structural and nonstructural. Structural carbohydrates are the fiber your horse consumes when eating grass and hay. Nonstructural carbohydrates are the starches and sugars found primarily in grains and other feed concentrates. Because your horse’s digestive system is designed to digest a high-roughage diet, you should not overfeed your horse nonstructural carbohydrates. Work with an expert in horse nutrition to learn how to correctly feed your horse nonstructural carbohydrates.
  3. Protein is critical to horse bone growth and support. Your horse’s protein needs are based on age, current health status, and activity levels. Generally, pregnant and lactating mares and growing horses have additional protein needs.
  4. Fat is a crucial nutrient for your horse, but it’s important to understand how to feed fat and balance it with your horse’s overall nutrient intake. For horses with high calorie needs, fat does fill gaps, but it should never come at the expense of essential nutrients.
  5. Vitamins are required by your horse for almost every aspect of their overall health. Vitamins have a key role in healthy tissue growth, immune system support, energy production, antioxidant support, wound healing, vision, fertility, bone growth and support, and much more. Essential vitamins for your horse include vitamins A, B (including folic acid, biotin, cyanocobalamin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine), C, D, and E.
  6. Minerals are essential to your horse’s skeleton growth and function, enzyme production, energy transfer, soft tissue health, hormone production, and more. Essential minerals for your horse include calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and selenium.

Why Might My Horse Need Horse Supplements?

Your horse may need supplements to help balance nutritional demands, performance support, support overall health and well-being, or to support an underlying health condition.

Just like us humans, your horse may not get everything they need from diet alone – particularly when they are under extra stress, doing lots of activity, or have a health condition.

Your horse may need supplements for these reasons:

  • Age
  • Diet quality and gaps
  • Intense activity levels
  • Health status
  • Joint and bone support
  • Immune system and digestive support
  • Skin, hoof, and coat health
  • Pregnant or lactating mare

Your horse is unique – what works for your friend’s horse may not be applicable to your horse.

How do Horse Supplements Work with Forage?

Horse supplements work with forage to fill in nutritional gaps, keeping your horse active, healthy, and strong. Forage (hay and pasture) should be the foundation of your horse’s diet, providing a reliable nutrient source. To benefit from forage, your horse needs high-quality forage that is free of chemicals, pesticides, and irritants.

Before feeding your horse supplements, assess the quality of your horse’s diet, forage, and overall health. It’s important to feed the right supplements for the right needs. We recommend working with a horse nutrition expert before supplementing your horse’s diet with supplements.

In general, your horse should be eating a forage-heavy diet and taking supplements to support and manage overall health, activity, and age-related concerns including joint, hoof, digestive, immune, skin, and coat health.

Just as you prioritize a high-quality forage – you need to do the same for your horse supplements. Focus on giving your horse the best possible supplements, backed by science, and designed to support their unique needs.

What are the Typical Ingredients in Horse Joint Supplements?

When researching horse joint supplements, look for these typical ingredients:

  • Glucosamine: this is the most widely researched joint support ingredient and is a fundamental building block of articular cartilage. Glucosamine supports the growth of new cartilage and helps support cartilage health, limiting break down.
  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA): is critical for joint lubrication and shock absorption, along with blocking inflammatory responses. HA is an important component of joint cartilage and joint fluid.
  • Chondroitin Sulfate: this ingredient works with glucosamine to help support healthy joints, promoting the growth of new cartilage and slowing cartilage break down. Chondroitin sulfate is key to your horse’s ability to produce HA and proteoglycans.
  • MSM: supports healthy joint function and is a source of organic sulfur.
  • Collagen Type II: is the primary structural protein in the connective tissue found in skin, cartilage, tendons, bones, and ligaments.

What is a Quality Horse Supplement?

A quality horse supplement has these key features:

  1. NASC Quality Seal
  2. Science-Backed
  3. Quality Ingredients
  4. Clear Labelling
  5. Strong Brand Reputation
  6. Responsive Customer Service
  7. Purpose Specific

When researching horse supplements, take the time to read the company’s website, especially the customer testimonials and research and science sections.

What Can’t Horse Supplements Do?

Horse supplements are not a replacement or substitute for a poor-quality diet. Horse supplements are based on science to support, aid, and supplement your horse’s diet.

Many people make the mistake of overfeeding supplements while neglecting the quality of their horse’s forage. It’s important to remember that horse supplements cannot fix a poor diet.

Many people over supplement their horse out of the very best intentions – remember, to focus on your horse’s specific needs and discuss any supplements with your veterinarian and expert in horse nutrition.

As always, we are here to answer your questions about horse supplements. We are here to help you understand the science behind horse supplements, so you can make informed and educated decisions about your horse and their supplements

Email us with any questions you have about horse supplements.

What is the National Animal Supplement Council?

National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) 20 Year Celebration

Learn why you only want to feed your horse NASC approved supplements

The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) works to promote the wellbeing and health of companion animals and horses that are given health supplements and works to protect and enhance the animal health industry.

You care about your horse. You want to give your horse the best quality supplements. You need to have peace-of-mind that the horse supplements you buy are safe, tested, and adhere to manufacturing guidelines.

This is exactly how I feel. I believe that you need to know what you’re giving your horse and why you’re giving these ingredients to your horse. You could say, this is why the NASC exists today.

Nick, Grand Meadows, and The Origins of the NASC

Way back in 1997, the horse supplement business was exploding. There were so many new brands and formulations on the market – it was impossible to keep track of.

Me, being me, I was a bit suspicious about how companies were able to roll out new horse supplements so quickly. So, I decided to do some testing. I tested 32 different horse joint supplements – I wanted to know if their labels matched the actual ingredients..

Guess what? Only 2 of the 32 tested brands had ingredients that matched their labels. Not only was I ticked off, but I was also worried about what this meant for the horse supplement industry and the health and safety of horses.

Back in the late 1990’s there was very little regulatory oversight in the horse supplement business. In fact – product labels were anything but transparent. What was in the product? No one knew. How much active ingredient was in each serving? Your guess is the best guess.

So, I decided enough was enough. Time to do something about this.

Grand Meadows started the National Association of Equine Supplement Manufacturers (NAESM). Our goal with the NAESM was to raise the standards in the equine supplement industry.

Interest from manufactures was slow to start, but quickly picked up when the President of the Association of American Feed Controls Office (AAFCO) (regulatory body for feed in each state) decided to put a stop to the sale of horse supplements containing unapproved ingredients.

In 1999, working with other like-minded pet supplement manufacturers, we created a plan to engage with the regulatory agencies – AAFCO and Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM). We created and presented a Compliance Plus document aimed at bringing transparency and accountability to the animal health supplement industry.

Ultimately, in 2001, a group of animal supplement manufacturers created the NASC. And in 2003, the NAESM joined forces with the NASC.

The National Animal Supplement Council is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of companion animals and horses throughout the United States. Founded in 2001, NASC is an all-industry association of stakeholders concerned with the issues surrounding the supply of health supplements for animals not intended for human consumption, such as dogs, cats and horses.

NASC members include manufacturers of the finest animal health supplements, who are committed to the highest standards of quality and safety in the industry today, as well as raw materials suppliers, distributors, veterinarians, retailers, pet professionals, and animal friends.

What Does the NASC Do?

The NASC works to improve the consistency and quality of animal health supplements around the world.

The organization is united in ensuring any health supplement products sold to consumers for their horses, cats, dogs, and other companion animals adhere to industry, state, federal, and international standards.

NASC member companies, including Grand Meadows, work to create a legislative and regulatory environment that provides a framework that is fair, reasonable, responsible, and nationally consistent. Such an environment of safety, accuracy and quality serves the interests of NASC members by ensuring ethical manufacturing and labeling practices are complied with throughout the industry.

What is NASC Quality Seal?

The NASC Quality Seal identifies products from companies that are committed to quality, vigilance, and continuous improvement to promote the well-being of companion animals and horses.

There is an NASC Quality Seal on every single Grand Meadows product.

The NASC Quality Program provides strict guidelines for product quality assurance in written, consistent raw material sourcing and manufacturing standards, adverse event reporting, and labeling and claims requirements that are within the guidelines provided by the regulatory agencies.

To display the NASC Quality Seal on our products and marketing material, we need to pass an independent third-party audit every two years and we need to prove our continued compliance with NASC Quality Seal criteria:

The NASC and Your Horse Supplements

Please, please, please only buy and feed horse supplements that display the NASC Quality Seal.

You need to know that you’re giving your horse safe, tested, and quality horse supplements.

The NASC is a voluntary membership and I’m proud to be a founding member. Grand Meadows has the highest rating with the NASC for compliance with rigorous manufacturing Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

For us, this includes strict raw material testing, independent lab tests on all finished products, and ensuring our formulas are consistent from the first scoop to the last.

I am adamant about maintaining our high-quality level of standards in every aspect of our business – especially with formulations that are clinically researched with the world’s most respected nutritionists, biochemists, and veterinarians. Because of this, you know your horse always gets optimal nutrition and supplementation with Grand Meadows.

Our mission at Grand Meadows and the NASC, as I continue to serve on the Board of Directors of the NASC, is to continue to police our industry and to constantly strive to ensure that the animal health supplements produced by our member companies are safe and effective.

My final word on the NASC and your horse: make sure your horse supplements carry the NASC Seal. This is the proof you need that the animal supplement is manufactured to a very high standard.

Read more about my leadership with the NASC:

To learn more about what the NASC is doing now, visit the NASC website and browse the 2023 NASC Annual Conference agenda. This gives you great insight into the issues and hot topics in the animal health and wellness industry.

Your Equine Microbiome and Digestion FAQ

Equine Microbiome and Digestion FAQ

Learn the facts on the equine microbiome and horse digestion

Your horse cannot live without its microbiome. The equine microbiome is essential to horse digestion, immune system health, and vitamin synthesis.

A healthy equine microbiome is core to your horse’s overall health.

In this blog Nick answers your questions about the equine microbiome, horse digestion, and postbiotics.

What is The Equine Microbiome?

The equine microbiome is the collection of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms that live in your horse. The bulk of the equine microbiome is found in the small and large intestines. The microbiome is also present and active in your horse’s lungs, skin, and nasal passages.

A healthy and balanced equine microbiome is essential to healthy digestion. The microbiome has a critical role in breaking down feed, nutrient absorption, and immune system support.

Your horse’s microbiome is unique and influenced by DNA, diet, supplements, environment, and medication.

What Does the Equine Microbiome Do?

The equine microbiome is essential to healthy digestion, immune system support, and nutrient absorption.

Researchers at the Department of Pathology at the University of Guelph Veterinary College believe the equine microbiome does the following:

  • Boosts the horse’s immune system
  • Ferments fiber in the hindgut to produce short chain fatty acids that your horse uses for energy
  • Inhibits the development and absorption of toxins
  • Produces antimicrobial elements that help limit the development of disease-causing microbes

Where Does My Horse’s Microbiome Come From?

Your horse’s microbiome starts with your horse’s DNA and the birth process. During birth, your horse was exposed to a microorganisms in the birth canal, from mare’s milk and colostrum, and environment.

As a foal, your horse is exposed to more microorganisms as they graze, nurse, and eat carbohydrates and faeces (coprophagia). At 60 days of age, your horse has a stable microbiome.   

This base microbiome changes based on environmental factors, diet, supplements, and stress.

What are Postbiotics?

Postbiotics are bioactive compounds. They are produced by a combination of prebiotics and probiotics in the hindgut.

Postbiotics are shown to increase blood oxygen levels, reduce recovery times from lactic acid accumulation, act as a barrier to harmful bacteria, and support intestinal health. 

Why Does My Horse Need Digestive Support?

Your horse needs digestive support because the health and function the digestive system impacts your horse’s health and well-being. In fact, the digestive system is the most critical component in the overall health of your horse.

The horse digestion process relies on fermentation for maximum absorption of nutrients and energy conversion from feed and supplements. This occurs in the hindgut, primarily in the cecum and large intestine.

The fermentation process is powered by the bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms – the equine microbiome. During fermentation, fiber and short chain fatty acids are converted into carbohydrates, providing energy to your horse.

The stomach and small intestine are responsible for the breakdown of food. 80 – 90 percent of the fats, amino acids, and vitamins are absorbed through the small intestine. It takes 6 – 8 hours for feed to pass through the small intestine to the large intestine.

Even though horses have not evolved to digest large amounts of grain, horses are still routinely fed grain-focused diets. This has resulted in high levels of metabolic problems, leaky gut, and other digestive challenges.

How Can I Help My Horse’s Digestion?

To help support your horse’s digestion, these strategies can help:

  1. Minimize grain: because grains are high in starches and sugars, they can cause digestive issues including colic and laminitis. Do not feed your horse large amounts of grain.
  2. Hay first: feed your horse hay and then grain, this can enable a more complete digestion process. When your horse eats grain first and then hay, food moves through the stomach and small intestine too quickly, resulting in compromised digestion.
  3. Constant feeding: your horse’s digestive tract is designed always be working. Horses on restrictive feeding schedules of one or two meals a day, are prone to gastric ulcers due to the acid accumulation in an empty stomach.
  4. Priority on high quality forage: the quality of the forage you feed your horse has impacts on every aspect of your horse’s health.
  5. Pasture turnout: your horse’s digestive tract is designed for grazing. The more time your horse can spend in the pasture, the better their overall digestion and health. 

As a general recommendation, we suggest horse owners look at alternatives to grain.

At Grand Meadows, we believe in a forage first diet using fat instead of grain for calories and a well-balanced supplement to help ensure your horse meets optimal nutrient levels for overall health.

To learn more about your horse’s digestive process and how you can support it, start with our Digestion Primer:

Followed by our other videos in the series:

How Do I Know If My Horse Needs Postbiotics?

The following characteristics may indicate your horse needs postbiotics for digestive support:

  • Dull coat
  • Weight challenges
  • Behavioral challenges
  • Stress and demands of training and competition

Always contact your veterinarian with any questions and concerns about your horse’s health and well-being.

If you do decide to use a horse postbiotic supplement, make sure it contains Dried Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Postbiotic Fermentation Product.

The benefits of Dried Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Postbiotic Fermentation Product include:

  • A fully fermented, stable yeast culture that works as a perfect digestive aid, supplying a long list of beneficial enzymes and bacteria to the small and large intestine.
  • Boosts the breakdown of fibrous feed digestion and stabilizes pH to safeguard the stomach lining against excess gastric acid.
  • Provides mannooligosaccharides which are crucially important in bacteria scavenging in the small intestine.
  • Boosts the efficient function of the large intestine and is therefore critical in helping support the immune system as B vitamins are produced in the large intestine.

To learn more about postbiotics and your horse – make sure you read our Postbiotics for Horses FAQ.

Always contact your veterinarian with any questions about your horse’s health and well-being.

Topical Joint Support for Dogs, Cats, Ferrets, and Small Pets

NANOFLEX - Dog & Cat Joint Support

Learn about our topical joint support for your small pets

A little less than a year ago we launched NANOFLEX and now we have more NANOFLEX news…

We have a new size of NANOFLEX specifically packaged for your small pets.

Learn all about NANOFLEX and our newest offering of this ground-breaking non-invasive topical joint support product.


NANOFLEX is a non-invasive topical joint support product. NANOFLEX acts quickly to help restore joint flexibility, mobility, and range of motion.

Using biolubrication and nanotechnology, NANOFLEX gives joints relief from friction, rubbing, stiffness, and restrictions. Biolubrication and nanotechnology combine to lubricate joints, allowing your horse, dog, or cat to move freely and easily.

What is the Latest NANOFLEX News?

We are excited to announce we have a new 4oz NANOFLEX product, specifically for your small pets.

Use pet sized NANOFLEX on your pets including dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and more. Pet sized NANOFLEX is ideal for any mammal with articular joints.

How Do I Apply to Pet Sized NANOFLEX to My Dog, Cat, Rabbit, or Ferret?

Apply NANOFLEX thinly twice a day by spreading the gel around the joint.

For short-haired animals there is no need to rub NANOFLEX into the skin. The nanotechnology based delivery function of this joint support product means you do not need to rub it in.  

For longer-haired animals try to get NANOFLEX as close as possible to the skin either by clipping the area around the joint or parting the haircoat and then applying it around the joint.

You only need to apply a small amount. More is not better when it comes to NANOFLEX!

When Should NANOFLEX Be Used?

NANOFLEX should be used when your pet starts exhibiting mobility issues. Additionally, if you have a pet breed with systemic joint challenges, NANOFLEX may work to protect joints from mobility concerns.

NANOFLEX offers a fascinating and dynamic new approach to joint support for any animal. The unique nanotechnology delivery system allows you to target a specific joint and the action inside the joint.

How Does NANOFLEX Work?

NANOFLEX works by providing enhanced biolubrication inside the joint capsule and protecting the cartilage surface.

NANOFLEX is a gel that when applied to an affected joint, acts to restore lubrication in the joint. This biolubrication process provides a “slippery” surface ensuring when the joint is compressed, the two cartilages surfaces can move freely.

What Makes NANOFLEX Different?

NANOFLEX is different from other joint products due to its technology and non-invasive restorative action:

  1. NANOFLEX is topical and made of Ultra Deformable Sequessome™ Vesicles (UDSVs). UDSVs are specially engineered fatty lipids, that with nanotechnology, change their shape to penetrate the skin and synovial membrane of the joint where NANOFLEX is applied.
  • Once inside the joint capsule, millions of UDSVs give the joint’s cartilage surface a new source of biolubrication. This creates a slippery surface when the joint is compressed, helping the joint move freely with increased flexibility and mobility.

What are the NANOFLEX Ingredients?

The NANOFLEX ingredients are:

  • Aqua, Phosphatidylcholine, Glycerin, Alcohol, Carbomer, Polysorbate 80, Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Linalool, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Metabisulphite, BHA

How Can I Learn More About NANOFLEX?

To learn more about NANOFLEX, watch these videos:

And read these articles about NANFOFLEX:

Highlights from our NANFOLEX Q & A

Q: What is nanotechnology?

Nick: Nanoscience and nanotechnology are the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering.

Q: What is biolubrication?

Nick: Biolubrication plays a crucial role in assisting the sliding contacts in many organs in the human body. Notable examples are the joints, the skin surface, the eye, the mouth and gastrointestinal tract, the lungs, and red blood cells.

Reduced lubrication leads to increases in friction and adhesion between the surfaces in contact, which may lead to the surfaces becoming stuck and wearing, ultimately leading to irritation, pain and trauma.

Joint lubrication involves a complex and adaptive set of lubrication mechanisms:

  • The smoothness of the cartilage lining of the bone surfaces.
  • Synovial fluid – a lubricating hydrogel of collagen fibrils.
  • Hyaluronic Acid.
  • Glycoproteins (lubricin) and water.
  • A weeping mechanism by which joint pressure releases synovial fluid into the interspacing liquid film separating the cartilage surfaces.