Why Are Horse Supplements Important In The Modern Equine Diet?

One of the first questions that springs to mind is why are horse supplements important in the modern equine diet?

If you go back in time a hundred years, horses were living on large areas of pasture with a rich combination of grasses, herbs and other beneficial plants that provided them with a rich source of nutrients. Today the vast majority of horses are confined to small areas, many having no access to pasture whatsoever and are sustained by grass and legume hays and grain products.

On top of this, due to intensive farming practices, soils have been depleted of many key nutrients, altering the nutritional profile of hays to drop dramatically, causing horse owners to look for alternatives to keep their horses in peak condition—especially high performance show horses.  This dynamic growth in vitamin and mineral enhanced grain products which most have too low a profile anyway to meet adequate equine nutritional requirements.  More important, these grain products should not be over-fed as they are not the single solution to the lack of nutrients in forage.

Meeting your Horse’s Nutritional Needs…Don’t take chances with his diet.

The inherent problem with using excessive cereal grains as the sole means to supplement horses’ diets, is that a horse’s digestive system is not designed to breakdown large quantities of cereal grains. We now see far more cases of gas colic, in particular, reaching epidemic proportions as partially digested starches enter the large intestine.  It is rare to see colic cases in horses grazing on pasture grass.

Here’s the real scoop on Vitamins and Minerals…

Using comprehensive, balanced horse supplements on their own or as an addendum to a moderate portion of grain is a more practical, effective and safer way to maintain and improve your horse’s overall diet. By using supplements to fill the gaps left by nutrient depleted hays, and increasing the effectiveness of enhanced grains, you will be providing your horse with the ideal diet and not asking your horse’s digestive system to work overtime and overload!

Whether your horse is grazing on a lush, green pasture (doubtful if you live in a drought stricken state) or being fed just one or two types of hay forage, most working horses, show horses, pregnant or lactating horses, require additional nutrients in their diet that hay/forage alone just can’t fill.    Supplements are designed to provide a complex blend/ratio of chelated minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, pre-probiotics and amino acids to fill the gap between hay based forage diets and ensure your horse’s best overall performance, health and long-term vitality.

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...