Always try the natural way first.
Before humans confined horses to paddocks of just pasture they ate alot of different herbs and plants that gave them the vitamins and minerals and we now supplement with man made - processed supplements . Not saying they are bad just not as good .
Now think about what your horse needs and there will be something below to help
Let us consider some of the natural sources of Vitamins and Minerals one at a time. Vitamin A:
Is found in Carrots and Leafy Green Vegetables and is therefore much better fed as such, rather than processed supplements. Vitamin B:
Is found in all grains and the idea of giving Vitamin B supplements to animals which have grain in their diet is a complete nonsense. Vitamin B12 is a little harder to get and is best found in the herb Comfrey that can be offered (occasionally and in small quantities!) and in these doses is a valuable supplement. Bioflavinoids:
Can be supplied with a little Buckwheat to provide for Rutin especially for healthy blood vessels. Vitamin C:
Is found in fresh greens in abundance and it is a poor horse which has no access to green pick. If a horse is kept away from greens for a time a few Rosehips Tea Bags in boiling water and allowed to cool will provide all the Vitamin C and Iron that is missing. Choline:
Is found in bitter vegetables and the leaves of Dandelions and a few fresh leaves can be offered a stabled horse from time to time. Otherwise let a few dandelions grow around the yard and the Horse will chose them for itself. Vitamin D:
Is synthesized by the action of Sunlight on Skin and found in Fish Oils. Not needed as a supplement for grazing animals. Vitamin E:
Is found in fresh wheat germ along with the whole range of Vitamin B's. Wheat germ is a commercial source of both E's and B's. A little fresh wheat germ for those horses not on grains is all that is required. Anything more expensive or more processed is nonsense. Calcium:
Is found in Dry Feed, Leafy Greens and in Molasses (along with Sulfur) Iron:
Is found in Wheat Germ, Green Feed, Rosehips and in Molasses. Silica:
Is found in Grain and Dry Feed in abundance. Trace Elements:
Are all found in Kelp.
It all boils down to Grains, Green Feed, Wheat Germ, Molasses, Carrots, Rosehips and Kelp. To this I would add Garlic as a protection against infection and provide access to the odd weed like Dandelion and Comfrey. Garlic Cluster of bulbs forming the garlic clove which when broken release a strong odour.Nutrient value – Predominantly consists of sulphur compounds containing allicin and allin, volatile oils, trace minerals zinc and copper. Benefits – Antibiotic – very effective for fighting bacteria especially in the digestive tract, helping to maintain the balance of the gut flora. Antifungal and antiparasitic - effective against hookworms, tapeworms, pinworms and roundworms and aids in the deterrence of external parasites/insects. Alterative – blood cleanser and enhances circulation that assists in recovery from illness. An excellent all purpose preventative herb. 1 tablespoon daily or as directed by your practitioner of granulated form. If fed fresh, 2 cloves crushed/chopped. Chamomile A small daisy-like flower, with a delightful aromatic scent. Nutrient Value - is high in phosphorous and calcium utilised by the nervous system. Benefits – sedative by reducing nervous tension or excitement, carminative, eases flatulence and colic in the gut and improves digestion, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antispasmodic – reducing spasm or tension in the gut. A good general purpose herb. One handful daily (may be made into a tea) Brewers Yeast A powder supplement.Nutrient value - Rich source of Vitamin B, protein and phosphorous also contains iron, potassium, calcium, chromium and selenium. Benefit - Helps strengthen the immune system and regulate the body’s natural yeast balance. Is also beneficial for the function and balance of the nervous system. 1-2 tablespoons daily Rosehips The hips are small olive shaped seedpods, which remain after flowering.Nutrient value - Very rich source of vitamin C, and iron; also contains biotin, vitamins A, B and a variety of other vitamins. Benefits - High vitamin C content assists the horse to fight off infection and maintain a strong immune system, astringent - helpful with gut disturbances and scouring, and is beneficial to boost poor coat and hoof condition. 2 tablespoons daily (may be made into a tea) Dolomite A powder supplement. Nutrient value - Contains calcium and magnesium in a natural form. Benefit - Calcium is essential for bone growth, repair and strength, muscle contraction, blood clotting and metabolism.1-2 tablespoons daily Natra Kelp A liquid form of seaweed made in Australia from Tasmanian bull kelp. Nutrient value – Kelp contains sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, zinc, copper, aluminium and silica Vitamin B1 Benefits – Anti-hypothyroid – used effectively for under active thyroid, which effects proper growth, energy and metabolism An excellent complete source of easily digestable trace minerals for your horse. 10ml daily or as otherwise specified