Good or bad supplements

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Good or bad supplements

This is a discussion on Good or bad supplements within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Horse supplements are bad
  • Horse starvation hind gut acidosis

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  • 1 Post By Tmonts65

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    05-19-2012, 02:55 PM
Good or bad supplements

I would like peoples input on the following supplements.

I need to get my horses on a vit/min supplement during the summer as they are only on grass hay and cob (corn oats and barley) and pasture grass. I am looking at the smartpak supplement called Ultra-Elite Pro-.

Also my thoroughbred's need a hoof supplement and I am looking into BioFlax 20 also on smartpak.

And during the winter my thoroughbreds are on alfalfa, strategy gx, all you can eat grass hay and fat supplement to hold there weight. I am looking at SmartGain 4 as I am looking at it because its a fat supplement and also has a high amount of protein (thining maybe I can stratch the alfalfa out of there diet and just feed this sup instead as alfalfa prices are sky high)

So what do you think about these supplements? What do you use?

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    05-20-2012, 12:33 AM

Those Smartpak supps do sound good, although not sure about the flax one, as ground flax loses it's nutritional value extremely quickly. It can be 'stabilised' somehow, but I just use whole flax/linseed which I grind fresh daily(in a coffee grinder).

Appropriate nutritional supplementation depends on what they're getting, so best way to work that out is by doing hay/pasture/diet analysis. Of course, that's not always appropriate or possible to do fully, so I reckon next best option is to consult a (independent of feed co's)nutritionist or use something like 's great program.

Regarding hoof health, hooves, skin & hair are all pretty much the same stuff. They're also part of the body & should be treated as such. Basically, if the horse is getting well balanced nutrition, so are his feet. So saying, biotin for eg. Is one nutrient which has been studied in relation to hoof growth and has been found it can help growth and strength, apparently regardless of whether the rest of the diet's balanced. It is also one nutrient, unlike many others, that is apparently not harmful if fed in excess. It does generally take at least 6 months to begin noticing changes of nutrition in the hooves, so don't expect 'quick fixes'.

Diet, as separate to nutrition, is a very important factor in overall health, including feet, and unfortunately something I think your current choice is not doing favours for.

Firstly, high starch/sugar feeds, such as grain & molassesed stuff isn't great for horses. Too much starch/sugar in the diet can lead to insulin resistance. Grain is generally also not well digested in the stomach and sudden 'hits' of starch/sugar in the hindgut causes 'acidosis'. Corn is about the worst grain for a horse & is something like 70% starch. Among the problems that hind gut acidosis can cause are laminitis, colic, ulcers and weightloss - or failure to thrive, as the acidosis kills off much of the bacteria necessary to digest food, leaving the horse to effectively starve, regardless how much he's fed.

So... I would most definitely ditch that COB for a start, in favour of a healthy, low starch, high fibre alternative. Don't think much of Strategy either, being made from wheat middlings, molasses, corn, wheat flour, etc. I would also feed a pre/probiotic, which will aid the gut in becoming healthy.

If you feel you absolutely must feed grain, oats are considered more digestible, although they're still high starch(not compared to corn tho!) and if you're feeding this sort of thing, it's very important to feed it in very small, frequent amounts, mixed with high fibre ingredients, to minimise risks and to allow the horse to get the most out of it. So if you can only feed over a couple of meals daily for eg. I'd avoid these ingredients all together. But generally, healthy, high energy alternatives such as alfalfa chaff, beet pulp, soy hulls &/or rice bran are appropriate & readily available anyway, so there shouldn't be a necessity to resort to grain.
    05-23-2012, 04:54 PM
Bottom line...Horses are expensive. However, there are some simpler solutions that will improve the overall health of your horse.Adding 100% Organic Hemp Oil (0% THC) to your horses feed will help to benefit in the following areas: Perfect balance (3:1) of Omega 6 to Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids, unlike Flax imbalance. Includes Omega 9, and GLA for additional anti-inflammatory reduction. Improves joint function, Includes Vitamin E & A as Carotene, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron & zinc. Helps remedy Ty-Up and promotes optimal gut health. Bio available and helps with supplement uptake. Fights insulin resistance, promotes healthy glucose levels, and immune system response. Maintains a lustrous coat, mane, tail, hooves, and healthy skin. Contains naturally occurring phospholipids for cell membrane growth and regeneration. Improves circulation, enhances stamina, reduces recovery time, and reduces metabolic heat production. Promotes calmness & reduces nervousness and aggressive behavior. Free from pesticides, herbicides, toxins & dioxins, GMO's, gluton, & lactose. Promotes weight management. 1 to 2oz AM & PM feeding for maintenance. 4oz for therapeutic feeding AM & PM.

Extra Virgin Organic Raw Coconut Oil: Healthier skin, coat, mane, tale and hooves. Natural antioxidant 50 times more potent than vitamin E. No cholesterol and supports cardiovascular health with approx 50% lauric acid. Helps regulate blood sugar and supplies energy to cells without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels. Boosts immune system, containing minerals and enzymes which have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Used externally for scrapes, abraisions and irritations, it will provice a chemical layer that protects from external pathogens and helps wounds heal quicker. Supports joint health and can provide arthritis relief. Helps reduce allergic reactions, and boosts energy and endurance since it is not stored in the fat, rather metabolized in the liver.

Google it all and do some research. I can help if you need further info. Healthy horses cost less overall and live longer. The extra expense for organics that professional and private owner/trainers are paying out are paying off. Sorry if I ramble on...but I am passionate about healthy happy horses! Thanks for reading and I hope it helps!

Spirulina & Chlorella? Added to feed Chlorella increases vitality, improves other food absorption, naturally detoxifies removing heavy metals from the body, has all dietary essential amino acids, is 60% protein and bioavailable for maximum absorption. Has more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals. Racehorse owners report improved performance and rapid recovery, just like human atheletes. A little goes a long way!

Spirulina is the horse worlds super food! Improves coat, hooves, immune system, blood builder and detoxifier, especially good for horses without constant access to a sustainable pasture. Great source of protein, vitamins, and a wealth of minerals. Progressive barns already know about spirulina. Takes approx. 4 weeks to reap benefits. Helps prevent sweet itch, reduces anemia, improves appetite and energy, promotes resistance to infection and recovery from injury. Contains the essential fatty acids including GLA, and helps improve horses breathing affected with the heaves. Helps relieve anxiety icreasing trainability.A little goes a long way!
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    05-23-2012, 08:36 PM
Wow, Tmonts, that hemp oil sounds magic... pity hemp doesn't have those properties when smoked!
    05-23-2012, 09:02 PM
I don't know why anyone would smoke hemp? That would be like drinking hot sauce to quench your thirst. Hemp oil, as referenced above, is industrial hemp and has no THC (Psychoactive Property) in it. They could smoke a field of it and never catch a buzz....unlike its cousin that you referenced. Hemp goes back to the ming dynasty for use as feed for many different animals and people and over 25,000 uses non narcotic. Look it up online to verify hemp oil for horses or check out USEF Vet Dr. Tim Ober and his 2009 study on high performance jumpers. BiostarEQ, a whole foods for horses markets a hemp oil for horses and has greats testimonials from horse owners. It's not marijuana were talking about:)
    05-23-2012, 09:13 PM
Yes, twas a tongue in cheek comment, not meant to be taken seriously... but your explanation may have just saved any teenagers reading the thread from making themselves sick trying to smoke it!
    05-23-2012, 10:19 PM
Originally Posted by loosie    
Yes, twas a tongue in cheek comment, not meant to be taken seriously... but your explanation may have just saved any teenagers reading the thread from making themselves sick trying to smoke it!

I got the tongue in cheek part. Google happy horses pics and you will see some horses that may have eaten the wrong stuff! Lol! Just wanted to clarify for any who may misintepret. However if is still a free country...well...mostl, and people can have their opinions...well...most ofthe time...if they are approved. Thanks for the humor!
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    05-25-2012, 12:02 AM
WOW tomonts I have been looking for information on herbals etc and could never find anything online,. Thank you so much :)
    05-29-2012, 12:48 PM
Thanks for all the good info. I have been reading labels like crazy lately instead of listening to the people buying what ever is cheap or on sale. My mare has a bad scar on her back leg right in the bend from getting tangled in barbed wire as a baby, with all the movement that leg has to do, the scar gets tough and reopens, she kicks when I try to apply A&D. I know she needs some additional nutrition, again thanks.

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