Supplements have never been considered a necessity when coming to expenses in the horse world. However, it is important to remember the benefits they do offer and how you could adjust their diet rather than eliminating a supplement. A primary reason why you shouldn’t eliminate supplements in your feeding regiment is if your horse is lacking nutritionally in an area. This can be due to a general grain being fed that doesn’t fit your horse’s needs perfectly or in other cases due to a lack of hay quality. Certain supplements will allow for additional nutritional benefits your horse needs. Additionally, some medications are hard on your horse’s body, just as they can be on humans. And just as we supplement with vitamins and minerals to help our bodies our horses could use it too. For example, Excel Supplements provide important omega-fatty acids to your horse’s diet. Omega fatty acids promote gut health and cognitive health. Additionally, it provides a level of bioavailability to aid in the absorption of the nutritional value feed offers.
What is the body condition score of a horse?
Now, before we jump into the questions you should ask and the benefits of supplements. There is much to consider when analyzing your horse’s food such as the nutrition it provides and where you may need to supplement your horse. Aside from the feed label and considering your horse’s workload you must also look at your horse! Who would have thought? Sometimes regardless of the best feed and adequate workload for your horse, their body isn’t in optimal shape. This could be for various reasons but, regardless of the reason, you tell this through body condition scoring. Body condition scoring ranges from 1-9 with 1 being poor and 9 extremely fat. The ideal body condition score is 5.
Does my horse need supplements?The first question to ask is what are you trying to improve? Are you trying to improve your horse’s nutrition? Or are you trying to improve your horse’s functionality? Let’s not think about eliminating supplements but why our horses would benefit from having them.
Nutritional Benefits of a SupplementWhen looking to improve your horse’s nutrition you need to look at the background information. What is your horse doing daily and what is the intensity of this activity? This answer will help you better understand the nutritional value of feed your horse should be getting. This is because the more activity you are doing the more nutrition they need. Then you need to ask yourself where they may need additional help getting certain nutrients. This could be because they are a “hard keeper” or because they have a nutritional deficiency.
Functional Benefits of a SupplementWhen discussing the matter of supplements for aid in functionality we are addressing the movement and overall athletic function of your horse. Once again you will ask yourself what your horse is doing daily and what is the intensity of this activity. Are you looking to move up from 2’6 to 3′? Do you think your horse could benefit from some extra aid leading up to and during this transition? More strain and miles put on the body can result in more of a need for help with comfort and possibly mobility. Joint medications like Adequan are expensive when supporting your horse’s omega intake through supplements could provide similar benefits.
My Horse Won’t Eat The Powder Supplement
I don’t know about you, but I am no stranger to my horse eating around powder supplements in his grain. If you are getting discouraged in supplements because your horse won’t eat them- reassess and try a different form of supplement with just as much ease. Many times people are suggested to wet their horse’s feed to help bind the supplements with the grain but what you can find then is the leaching of nutrients from the horse’s grain if it sits too long (15-30 minutes) in the water without being fed. The same goes for hay. Oil-based supplements work around this problem and also provide a benefit for oil soluble supplements in need of a binder.
Is My Horse Getting Too Many Supplements?
Many people will try a supplement and then add other supplements to help enhance or aid the first supplement. Or, having multiple supplements for multiple purposes when you could get one that covers them all. For example, why have your horse on Cosequin and G.U.T for joint and gut health benefits when you could provide them with an omega supplement that aids in both areas? The reality is that one supplement for an overall purpose should hit the mark. If this is not the case, reassess and cut down. Try one at a time to know which one gives you the best results, this will help you save on money and keep the important and effective supplements on board.
At Excel, we offer a cost analysis breakdown of your current supplements to ours that offer the same benefit and the cost difference you would see monthly and yearly. This way you are not paying for supplements that do the same thing and help you save money.