Simple Suppliment Routine for different horses...
 
 

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Simple Suppliment Routine for different horses...

This is a discussion on Simple Suppliment Routine for different horses... within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
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    01-10-2011, 05:42 PM
  #1
Foal
Simple Suppliment Routine for different horses...

I swear I ask too many questions! =-)

So, in today's edition of " Ask the more experienced people ", I want to address supplements. Now, for a rank beginner...the Smartpak catalog is wayyyyy too confusing! =-( I have different types of horses in the stable I volunteer and train at, as in...some are schooling horses that are used all the time. Some are show horses...some are in strict training for other people. We have a few two-year olds...but no foals or mares that are for breeding purposes...nor do I believe we will ever have those.

What would be the most important supplements for each group? I don't want to research 10 supplements for each group but one or two wouldn't be bad. I'm assuming a multivitamin would be step one....

Thanks in advance for your advice!

PS...Sorry...I suppose I should clarify the groups I'm researching for.

Younger horses - 2 & 3 year olds
Training horses - Heavily in training for shows
Show horses - Western Pleasure and Halter Classes (Focus more on looks)
Schooling horses - used all the time...lots of exercise

-CA
     
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    01-10-2011, 07:58 PM
  #2
Green Broke
A quality multi-vitamin would be best for all of them. Something like Grand Vite, SmartVite Maintenence or Performance Grass, Uckele's Equi-Base Grass, or horsetech.com's High Point.

Now, you only need a multi-vitamin if you are not feeding fortified grain/feed, or you are feeding less than recommended amounts of fortified grain/feed. If the grain/feed that you use isn't the best quality, then a multi-vitamin can be beneficial as well.

The other thing for all of the horses that I would consider is an Omega 3 supplement, like plain Flax Meal. It's important for cell regeneration, skin & coat, and hooves. Plain generic flax meal can be purchased from most feed stores in 50lb sacks. My local store has it for $28 a bag. I feed my "pleasure" horses 1 oz (1/4 cup), my working horses 2 oz (1/2 cup), and my hard keepers 4 oz (1 cup).

The two supplements above should be all you need for most of your herd. A preventative joint supplement for any horses in hard work over 12 might be a good investment. Something like Corta-Flex. You can but it in gallon jugs for about $70 at most online shops, which makes it cost about $0.55 a day to feed. Plain MSM can be good too and it's even cheaper, only $0.30 a day.

Older horses or hard keepers often benefit from a digestive aid, like Fastrack or Probios. It helps the horse better digest all of the food he eats.

Aside for the multi-vitamin and Omega 3, you only want to feed supplements if the horse really needs it. There's no use wasting money on something that's not going to improve your horse's health or performance.
     
    01-13-2011, 07:43 PM
  #3
Weanling
If your horse is getting a balanced diet, then there isn't much need for supplements unless its a joint supplement or your horse has a specific health problem and needs a specific product.
     
    01-13-2011, 07:54 PM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
A quality multi-vitamin would be best for all of them. Something like Grand Vite, SmartVite Maintenence or Performance Grass, Uckele's Equi-Base Grass, or horsetech.com's High Point.

Now, you only need a multi-vitamin if you are not feeding fortified grain/feed, or you are feeding less than recommended amounts of fortified grain/feed. If the grain/feed that you use isn't the best quality, then a multi-vitamin can be beneficial as well.
If you are feeding less or too much of the current feed, then that particular feed is not working for you and you should seek out other options. There is also IMHO no reason to feed a feed that isnt good quality. That is just asking for health problems and it is more expensive to buy feed and a bunch of supplements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979
The other thing for all of the horses that I would consider is an Omega 3 supplement, like plain Flax Meal. It's important for cell regeneration, skin & coat, and hooves. Plain generic flax meal can be purchased from most feed stores in 50lb sacks. My local store has it for $28 a bag. I feed my "pleasure" horses 1 oz (1/4 cup), my working horses 2 oz (1/2 cup), and my hard keepers 4 oz (1 cup).
Flax is high in Omega 3 and is very beneficial, however you do not want to feed more than 1cup per day as it can mess with the thyroid if used in excess. Also, fresh pasture is also high in omega 3, so it is really unnecessary to feed it in summer if you horse is on pasture.

Some people also supplement with BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds), but you need to remember that it is also high in Omega 6 which is an inflammatory. If you have a horse with arthritis or other joint/inflammation problems, then you should steer clear of BOSS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979
The two supplements above should be all you need for most of your herd. A preventative joint supplement for any horses in hard work over 12 might be a good investment. Something like Corta-Flex. You can but it in gallon jugs for about $70 at most online shops, which makes it cost about $0.55 a day to feed. Plain MSM can be good too and it's even cheaper, only $0.30 a day.
I start all my horses on a joint supplement as soon as I start riding them consistantly. Why wait until you have a problem? If they are working, there is no reason not to supplement them for preventative measures. Don't wait until they are 10 or 12 yrs old to start.

Acti-flex 4000 is one of the best joint supp. You can get. It has the highest concentrations of ingrediants except MSM. You will need to add at least a 1/2 scoop of MSM to your actflex to get the required amount. Big Dee's has the best deal on act-flex. If you order a gallon they give you a quart free.

MSM is very effective as an anti-inflammatory and it is rather cheap. MSM alone can do wonders for joint problems or simply for preventative measures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979
Older horses or hard keepers often benefit from a digestive aid, like Fastrack or Probios. It helps the horse better digest all of the food he eats.
EVERY horse can benefit from those. They are a good idea especially if the horse is going to be under stress such as a long trailer ride, a new home, a first show, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979
Aside for the multi-vitamin and Omega 3, you only want to feed supplements if the horse really needs it. There's no use wasting money on something that's not going to improve your horse's health or performance.
Very true. There is a lot of stuff out there that is a waste of $$
     
    01-13-2011, 07:56 PM
  #5
Weanling
I feed Direct Equine Joint Health supplement to my slightly arthritic Appaloosa gelding. Occasionally, I will pick up a tub of hoof builder for my other two if their hooves get looking run down, or it I am trying to grow out a crack in the hoof wall. Beyond that, they get their nutrition from their grain and hay.

At the stable where I work, they feed their horses mostly high quality hay. Each afternoon, they get a very small amount of grain (about a average-sized drinking cup full), a scoop of a multivitamin supplement, mixed with 1/4 cup of soy oil. The only reason they really get grain is so that there is something to mix the supplement and oil in with.

Even though supplements can be expensive, the grain you save probably makes up for that! The more roughage (hay) in a horses diet, and the less concentrates (grain), the better!
     
    01-13-2011, 08:20 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharliGirl    
I feed Direct Equine Joint Health supplement to my slightly arthritic Appaloosa gelding. Occasionally, I will pick up a tub of hoof builder for my other two if their hooves get looking run down, or it I am trying to grow out a crack in the hoof wall. Beyond that, they get their nutrition from their grain and hay.

At the stable where I work, they feed their horses mostly high quality hay. Each afternoon, they get a very small amount of grain (about a average-sized drinking cup full), a scoop of a multivitamin supplement, mixed with 1/4 cup of soy oil. The only reason they really get grain is so that there is something to mix the supplement and oil in with.

Even though supplements can be expensive, the grain you save probably makes up for that! The more roughage (hay) in a horses diet, and the less concentrates (grain), the better!
not all feeds are "grains" so to speak. Grains are things such as corn, oats, barley, etc and those all have a high NSC (starches/sugars) which has been researched and found unhealthy for horses.

You're correct in saying that a horses diet should consist mostly of forage. They are grazing animals and are designed to pretty much eat constantly. A good quality hay is very important.

That is great that all the horses at your barn can maintain weight on a min/vit supplement, but not all can. Some horses have specific problems, high metabolism, are in hard training, etc. and require more calories than forage and a handful of a carrier substance can provide. (By carrier substance I just mean the small amout of something you mix that vit/min supplement in to get them to eat it. )

If I may ask, why does your BO feed the soy oil?
     
    01-13-2011, 09:36 PM
  #7
Green Broke
BOSS has only trace amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids. Flax is a much better choice.

Also, not everyone can change (or can afford to change) what they're feeding their horses, which is why I suggested adding a vitamin supplement.

Joint supplements only need to be fed to horses that need them: horses in heavy training, horses doing high-impact work (jumping, cutting, barrels), older horses, or horses with joint issues. A pleasure horse or a young horse that don't show any signs of joint discomfort don't need joint supplements.

I have used Acti-Flex and have liked it, but I have been using Corta-Flx and it seems to be working better, without added MSM. ValleyVet.com is running the same deal, buy a gallon and get a qt free, and it's $5 less than Acti-Flex.
     
    01-13-2011, 09:41 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharliGirl    

At the stable where I work, they feed their horses mostly high quality hay. Each afternoon, they get a very small amount of grain (about a average-sized drinking cup full), a scoop of a multivitamin supplement, mixed with 1/4 cup of soy oil. The only reason they really get grain is so that there is something to mix the supplement and oil in with.

Even though supplements can be expensive, the grain you save probably makes up for that! The more roughage (hay) in a horses diet, and the less concentrates (grain), the better!
This is how I feed my horses. They get just some chopped alfalfa hay with flax and a vit/min supplement. My hard working guys get some alfalfa pellets and I have two that need some "umph" that also get some plain whole oats. I, personally, do not like to feed any grain or horse feed. Ingredients like corn, wheat middlings, grain sweepings, grain byproducts, molasses, etc. are all just fillers and can even have negative effects on a horse's health (if you feed more than a cup ).
     
    01-13-2011, 09:43 PM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
BOSS has only trace amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids. Flax is a much better choice.
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979
Also, not everyone can change (or can afford to change) what they're feeding their horses, which is why I suggested adding a vitamin supplement.
What a lot of people don't understand is that a better quality feed is actually cheaper in the long run b/c it has better ingrediants, better nutrition and you feed less. Yes, my RB is $26/50lb bag, but the total per month is cheaper than if I were to feed a cheaper, lower quality feed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979
Joint supplements only need to be fed to horses that need them: horses in heavy training, horses doing high-impact work (jumping, cutting, barrels), older horses, or horses with joint issues. A pleasure horse or a young horse that don't show any signs of joint don't need joint supplements.

I have used Acti-Flex and have liked it, but I have been using Corta-Flx and it seems to be working better, without added MSM. ValleyVet.com is running the same deal, buy a gallon and get a qt free, and it's $5 less than Acti-Flex.
I agree, and that is what I said. My horses may be young, but I start them on a joint suppl. At an early age b/c they ARE going to the barrel pen. I usually start giving them a joint supp. Around 3 or 4 b/c that is the age at which their training increases and I begin to haul them. I do not wait for problems to arise to start my performance horses on a joint suppl.

I have heard good & bad about Corta-Flx. I just prefer the Acti-flex with added MSM as do many other trainers I know.
     
    01-13-2011, 09:45 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
This is how I feed my horses. They get just some chopped alfalfa hay with flax and a vit/min supplement. My hard working guys get some alfalfa pellets and I have two that need some "umph" that also get some plain whole oats. I, personally, do not like to feed any grain or horse feed. Ingredients like corn, wheat middlings, grain sweepings, grain byproducts, molasses, etc. are all just fillers and can even have negative effects on a horse's health (if you feed more than a cup ).
I just wanted to add that technically oats are a grain.
     

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