Horse Supplements, Vitamins & Minerals
Sometimes even the most carefully managed equine diets can fall short of delivering the required nutrition. This is especially true when there are specific health issue to tackle. Horse supplements can enable you to provide your horse with the vitamins and minerals it needs and to address health issues safely and naturally.
At Equi Supermarket we have selected a fine range of supplements which could be of great benefit to your horse. These have been sourced form leading suppliers whose products have been shown to really work. We offer the finest supplements from the Hilton Herbs, Science Supplements, Equilibrium, Global Herbs, Dodson & Horrell , Equine America, Kevin Bacons, TopSpec and Natural Animal Feeds (NAF) ranges plus many more great options. These formulas have been evolved over many years to provide the ideal boost to the equine diet.
Joint supplements for horses
Unfortunately, many horses suffer from joint problems and stiffness which can cause pain and reduce performance. This is especially problematic during the colder winter months when your horse is moving around less. Moreover, the colder temperatures worsen joint stiffness. Furthermore, during the winter months, there is usually increased roadwork which increases the stress placed on a horses' joints. Luckily, there are many top quality joint supplement for horses on the market in the UK. These can help to reduce stiffness by supporting healthy joint function, ensuring your horse is comfortable and working at their best!
When it comes to choosing the best joint supplement for horses, it is worth looking for a product containing the following ingredients:
If you would like to read up on joint supplements and their benefits, then click here.
Garlic Granules For Horses?
The health benefits of garlic for humans have been well documented. Garlic is rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, selenium and other nutrients. It is known to boost the immune system and appears to ward off the common cold. It can alleviate high blood pressure and can lower cholesterol. Studies in rodents have suggested that garlic could also improve athletic performance and bone health.
Clearly garlic is something which should feature in the human diet but should it also be given to horses?
The Great Garlic Debate
Many equine owners feed garlic to their animals in the form of garlic granules for horses, or even within treats, and swear by the results. However, garlic has come under the microscope recently as it has been suggested that too much garlic could lead to a form of anaemia in horses.
There has been surprisingly little research into the effects of garlic on horses. It is thought to offer anti-septic, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties which can help to alleviate a variety of conditions and boost the immune system. Garlic is often used to reduce blood pressure and to improve respiratory problems.
Horse owners also feed garlic for its insect repelling qualities. These are thought to keep flies, ticks and gnats at bay. Garlic is sometimes added to horses’ diets to aid worming as it is believed to deter tapeworms, pinworms and roundworms.
Freshly grown garlic can be offered to horses. Garlic may also be added to their diet in the form of garlic granules for horses or via equine supplements which contain an element of garlic. However, perhaps care should be taken not to overdo the garlic as there are now concerns that too much garlic can lead to anaemia.
Garlic contains N-propyl disulfide which it has been suggested may alter an enzyme within a horse's red blood cells. This can result in a depletion of phosphate dehydrogenase which protects the blood cells from the damage caused by oxidation. If the levels of phosphate dehydrogenase become too low, the blood cells may oxidise and form bubbles. The body sees these as cells as deformed and expels them from the bloodstream via the spleen. Horses may slowly become anaemic and mild anaemia has few if any symptoms.
So there are many potential benefits to garlic but there could also be risks. Should you feed garlic to your horse?
The Way Forward
The health benefits of garlic have been known for thousands of years and so this member of the onion family is a great addition to your horse’s diet. However, like many aspects of both equine and human diets, you can have too much of a good thing. The best way forward is to feed garlic in moderation as part of a balanced diet. More research would be helpful as it may be possible to identify the ideal dose. In the meantime if you feed garlic well within the recommended amounts then your horse will almost certainly benefit. Remember to consider if any other supplements or feeds you are giving your horse contain garlic.
At Equi Supermarket we feature the highest quality garlic granules for horses together with a superb range of equine supplements.
Turmeric for Horses
You have probably consumed a fair amount of turmeric yourself as it is a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. It has also hit the headlines in recent weeks as it is now believed to offer some protection against cancer. Turmeric has also been championed as an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant and as warding off Alzheimer’s. It is easy to dismiss the claims made about a variety of so called super foods. However, the incidence of cancer in countries which consume large amounts of turmeric is much lower than in the western world. Could turmeric also benefit horses? Many equestrians believe that it can.
The Potential Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is now widely believed to improve joint stiffness, skin problems and a variety of equine health issues. Companies like Global Herbs have been featuring turmeric in their supplements for many years. More are sure to follow in their footsteps. Consuming turmeric with black pepper helps to improve absorption of the active ingredient, curcumin, in the spice. Turmeric contains only 3% curcumin and so horses may require doses of up to 250g in order for the spice to prove effective. That’s a lot of turmeric! Caution is advised because there have been no long term studies regarding the use of turmeric as a supplement for horses.
Feeding Turmeric to Your Horse
As with any new feed, introduce turmeric slowly to your horse’s diet and built up over a week or two. Few horses seem resistant to eating turmeric but if your horse is a fussy eater then try mixing the spice with something they really love. No recommended dose has been established but some experts suggest that a heaped tablespoon of turmeric each day would be appropriate. Mix this with freshly ground black pepper and either linseed oil or coconut oil.
There is a suggestion that cooking turmeric may make it more effective. You might want to try heating your mixture before offering it to you horse. It sounds like it would be a good idea to eat some of the mixture yourself!
The best news of all is that turmeric does not appear to induce any side effects. Although do not give turmeric to horses or people that are on blood thinning medication. Unlike many anti-inflammatories, turmeric does not damage the lining of the stomach. So this spice is highly unlikely to cause any harm and just might help horses with joint issues and skin conditions. It would be worth investigating if your horse is suffering. However, if in doubt consult your vet or equine nutritionist.
It is amazing how so many traditional and ancient remedies turn out to have beneficial properties. Turmeric just might be the most spectacular example of this yet. They say that you are what you eat so perhaps everyone’s future should be a little more yellow!
Our excellent oat balancers are to be fed in conjunction with a diet of oats as this can be high in energy but low in calcium and amino acids. These nutrients are crucial to muscle function and so are vital for race horses and performance animals. Concentrated balancers are formulated to balance forage. They are low in energy to prevent weight gain and they boost nutrition when forage is of poor quality. They are the perfect choice when horses require enhanced nutrition but without additional calories.
Tackling Health and Behavioural Issues
Our range also offers supplements which help to tackle a variety of health issues including muscle weakness, respiratory problems, digestive disorders, Mud Fever and hoof condition.
Do Horse Calmers Really Work?
You may find that some horses are more highly strung than others. If your horse is highly strung (and you are sure that you are providing the right diet) then you may be considering using a calming supplement for certain situations. But do horse calmers really work?
The short answer is yes. There is not an enormous amount of research into the subject of horse calmers. However, the studies that have been conducted indicate that calming supplements do have a beneficial effect on horse’s temperaments.
Calming supplements can feature a variety of ingredients but many include magnesium. Magnesium reduces the release of the brain hormone dopamine, which is linked to hyperactivity.
In 2007, a student at Myerscough College conducted research into magnesium and calming supplements by studying their effects on police horses. These horses often face extremely stressful situations including heavy traffic and unruly crowds but it is vital that they remain calm. The study looked at two groups of horses. One group received an active supplement, the other group received a placebo.
Researchers monitored the horses' heart rates while exposing them to stressors. It was clear that the group receiving the supplements had lower heart rates under stress than those receiving the placebo.
Another study in 2013, conducted at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, produced similar findings. Leisure horses faced the challenge of road signs placed in a riding school in positions that the horses were unaccustomed to seeing them. Again, horses which had received calming supplements exhibited lower heart rates than those which hadn’t when exposed to the stressors.
Scientific research certainly supports the efficacy of calming supplements. However, the FEI has banned some calming supplements. This is because they contain ingredients which sedate horses rather than merely suppressing dopamine production. Any level of sedation could be dangerous in the competitive environment as it could relax the horse to the point that their reaction times are significantly slower. For performance, you should avoid nutritional supplements which sedate. The most common ingredient known to be a sedative is Valerian.
Valerian features in many natural remedies for humans. This is a medicinal herb often used in products formulated to address sleeping disorders and anxiety. Valerian appears to act as a sedative but there is limited scientific research into this herb. The studies have failed to prove conclusively how Valerian works. However, there are indications that Valerian affects the same receptor in the brain as benzodiazepines.
So calming supplements can really work but in different ways depending on the ingredients. You should certainly avoid supplements containing Valerian if you are competing, for safety reasons and because you could find yourself banned. But there is as yet no evidence that Valerian or magnesium cause unpleasant or dangerous side effects or that the long term use of calming supplements is hazardous to equine health.
Buy horse supplements online at Equi Supermarket
Good health and a great coat are always the result of a good diet and so it is essential to find the correct balance. Your horse may benefit immensely from the addition of the right supplements and we are sure that you will find exactly what you need here at Equi Supermarket.
Different types of supplements for horses:
If you would like to read an excellent article providing an overview of all the types of horse supplements, then please click here.