What Supplements Should I Give My Horse?

What Supplements Should I Give My Horse?

Learn which horse supplements can help your horse feel their best

There is a lot of information about horse supplements available online and in-person at horse events. In fact, there is so much information out there about horse supplements and horse health, it can be downright challenging to separate fact from fiction.

As you know, our mission at Grand Meadows is to make it easier for you to choose the right product for your horse and keep you focused on what matters most, riding and enjoying time with your healthy, fit horse.

In this blog we provide you with science-backed information about horse supplements and how horse supplements can help support horse joint health, improve hoof, skin, and coat health, provide digestive and immune system support, and help calm an anxious or stressed horse.

As always, contact us with any questions you have about your horse and which horse supplements to give your horse.

How do Horse Supplements Support Horse Joint Health?

Horse joint supplements fill in the gaps that cannot be provided by nutrition, horse care management, and exercise best practices. Just as humans develop joint problems with age, overuse, or due to genetics – the same holds true for horses.

Horse joint supplements naturally support your horse’s defense against normal joint wear-and-tear and degeneration that occurs with activity, age, and breed. The best way to support horse joint health is by starting your horse at a young age on a NASC-approved joint supplement. This approach can slow the impacts of arthritis and feed your horse’s joints the much-needed nutrition that cannot be delivered through forage.

Look for horse joint supplements with these key ingredients:

  • Glucosamine
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Chondroitin Sulfate
  • MSM
  • Collagen Type II

What Supplement Ingredients Can Help Horse Hoof Health?

The following supplement ingredients can help horse hoof health:

  • Biotin: is a B-Vitamin essential to the growth of strong and healthy horse hooves. Biotin improves the strength of the periople, hoof wall, sole, frog and white line, stimulates keratin production in the hoof’s laminae and coronary band, minimizes weak walls and cracks, and protects the hoof wall exterior from moisture damage.
  • Copper: is required for bone, cartilage, and elastin formation and the metabolization of iron. In addition, copper improves pigmentation and the structure of the hoof.
  • Lysine: is usually deficient in most horse diets, making it important to supplement, particularly in young horses. This amino acid is closely linked to Methionine and is required for efficient protein synthesis, a process essential to the growth and development of your horse.
  • MSM & Methionine: expand the blood vessels vital to circulating nutrient rich blood into the small capillaries inside the hoof. These sulfur bearing nutrients increase the delivery of hoof building nutrients and support the connective tissues inside the hoof wall.
  • Vitamin B-6: aids in protein metabolism and the RNA/DNA synthesis necessary for cellular reproduction.

It’s important to remember that along with the right horse hoof supplement, your horse needs correct shoeing, the correct diet, regular hoof trimming, and exercise to stimulate blood flow are essential to consistent horse hoof health.

Which Supplements Ingredients Will Give My Horse a Shiny Coat and Healthy Skin?

These supplement ingredients can give your horse a shiny coat and healthy skin:

  • Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids: Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids prevent moisture loss in skin cells that lead to dry and flaky skin. Omega 3 helps control skin inflammation and gives coats a bright, glossy appearance.
  • Biotin:  Biotin is an essential requirement for the health of dermal and connective tissues.
  • Heat Stabilized Flax Meal: A digestible source of flax meal, high in Omega 3 that will support the structure and function of skin cells. Normal flax meal has a very short shelf life and can quickly turn rancid, particularly in the summer. Grand Meadows use a special heat stabilized flax meal that has a two-year shelf life.
  • Diamond VTM Yeast:  Is a true, fully- fermented prebiotic yeast culture that supplies a potent combination of nutrients to support effective digestive function and to enhance nutrient absorption in both the small and large intestine. Remove phospholipids, a vital requirement for helping support healthy skin and a deeper improved coat color.
  • Lecithin contains phospholipids, a vital requirement for helping support healthy skin and a deeper improved coat color.

Nutrition is key to giving your horse a healthy coat. We cannot emphasize enough how every aspect of your horse’s health starts with what you are and are not feeding your horse.

Remember, to give your horse a healthy coat and improve their health, you need to pay attention to all aspects of your horse’s health. A balanced diet, good grooming technique, consistent exercise, and regular vet visits are key.

How do Horse Supplements Strengthen Horse Digestion and Immune System Health?

Horse digestion and immune system supplements support your horse in these ways:

  • Stomach
    Two key ingredients Toxynil PlusTM and Zeolites help protect against the absorption of harmful toxins and to absorb excess stomach acids. Glutamine helps support the health and function of the delicate upper mucosal layer of the stomach.
  • Small Intestine
    MultizymeTM is a comprehensive enzyme blend that supports the enzymatic breakdown of nutrients. Glutamine is essential to the maintenance and growth of the intestinal villi through which nutrients pass into the blood stream. Diamond V Yeast supports the small intestine by breaking down feed supplements, so they are more easily absorbed.
  • Hindgut/Large Intestine
    Aspergillus oryzae and Diamond V Yeast are two powerful tools in supporting bacterial digestion. These two key ingredients work together to support the health of good gut flora that are essential to immune system health and the production of volatile fatty acids which are responsible for 30% of your horse’s energy.

Horse supplements strengthen horse digestion and immune system health by providing the essential nutrients that help maintain the fine balance between modern feeding practices and the stressors of travel and training.

Look for digestion and immune system support supplements that contain specialized ingredients tailored to supporting energy, endurance, immune system support, correcting electrolyte imbalances, and enhancing the absorption of nutrients.

How do Horse Calming Supplements Work?

Horse calming supplements work to help soothe an anxious or stressed horse with a specialized combination of ingredients including magnesium, theanine, thiamine, valerian, chamomile, and vervain. These ingredients help support your horse’s nervous system, allowing your horse to feel more-at-ease, confident, and focused. 

However, before using a horse calming supplement, it’s important you rule out other factors that could be impacting your horse’s mood, stress level, and overall disposition. Make sure you rule out these reasons for an anxious, stressed, or unhappy horse:

  • Poor tack fit: check the saddle for chafing, rubbing, and overall fit and make sure bridle fits properly and that the bit is comfortable. Additionally, ensure you’re relaxed and confident when riding, your horse is extremely intuitive and will react to your body language.
  • Feed: pay close attention to the ingredients in your horse’s food and the amount of grains you’re feeding. Grains can be high in sugar and starches, making your horse overly energetic and excited.
  • Exercise: if your horse is not getting enough time and space to run, move, and jump, this makes it hard for your horse to relieve stress, burn-off energy, and feel content. Make sure your horse is not standing in the stable too much or missing out on necessary turnout time.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: signs of a magnesium deficiency include muscle tension and nervous behavior. Or if your horse is low in thiamine, they could also be easily spooked or jumpy. A moody horse might need some extra support to help normalize hormone levels and a calmer disposition. Discuss your horse’s behavior and diet with your vet.

How to Learn More About the Right Horse Supplements for Your Horse

These Grand Meadows resources can help you make an informed decision and choose the right horse supplement for your horse’s needs and health:

We want you to make informed science-back decisions about your horse’s health. Contact us with any questions you have about horse supplements and horse health.

Nick Hartog

by Nick Hartog

In 1994, Nick Hartog became an owner and President of Grand Meadows Equine Supplements bringing his talents and extensive background in domestic and international equine sales and manufacturing. He has a reputation for plain speaking of the truth. In 1997, when the US horse supplement market was something akin to the Wild West with a complete lack of standards, Nick personally tested 32 different horse joint supplements to see if they matched the label. Unsurprisingly, to him at least, only 2 products matched the label claim. Read more...