The best general purpose mineral/vitamin supplement?
So over the years I've had excellent pasture and wonderfully healthy horses. We still cut our own hay, testing out at 14% protein, bermuda mixed grasses. We are now living on our mountain farm with 20 acres of good pasture for the 3 horses and it's in pretty good shape but nothing like I'm used to. My mare has always been well pastured and is in excellent if not too good of shape and wonderfully healthy, shiny, dappled etc.
Now for the new guys... Both were purchased this fall/winter, Rick 5 a rescue in decent shape and the other Cowboy 15 pastured with a bunch of cattle for years. They both seem lacking and have developed goopy eyes this winter and I know they need some better nutrition. Vet has looked them over SEVERAL times and likes what he's seeing condition wise, well dewormed. They have access to a good roundbale 24/7, pasture is growing they spend most of their time grazing, and I feed a basic but good 12% dry pellet feed 4lbs each daily. They also have free access to minerals.
What do you suggest to boost their immune system and tune them up? I'd like a general supplement that I can feed all three of them.
Any opinions on free choice tubs? Something to add some sparkle?
Pasture is growing so should I be concerned about overdoing it?
Thanks in advance!!
I'm not sure about your horses, but I feed mine whole oats, flax seed oil, ACV, vegetable oil (soybean), and ShoGlo. I also give my mare MSM. They also have a mineral block and free choice hay. My two gleam even with their winter coats, feet are better, smooth manes, clear eyes, etc. My mare is prissy and always looks pretty, but my gelding is constantly rolling in mud, a quick brush off gets him shiny and pretty again.
I took them off pelleted feed and sweet feed at the recommendation of my dentist. We have really nice quality hay, though.
The pellets I'm feeding now are pretty good, a local mix not sweet feed. I've never fed that. Rick is shiny and has a nice coat, Cowboy is a tad coarse but decent and has some great muscle tone.
I'm with ya on hay, it's what they are meant to eat! I'll look into the oils, we take them and so should they! I'm torn with the ACV, heard too many good and bad things. ShoGlo looks great and I am really wanting to boost their Vit A. Thanks so much!
I had my guy on mega cell which also has a prebiotic in it. Check out the smartpak website. I have an unopened bucket that I will sell for 28.00 plus shipping. if you are interested in trying it.
My guys are on good quality mostly bermuda grass, no feed. I give them ADM GROSTRONG and they have really bloomed. It has all the vitamins they need as well as minerals. My vet was out yesterday and even he was impressed. Their coats are shiny even in the middle of winter and their hoof quality has improved greatly. Its super easy too, just put it in a mineral feeder and leave it alone.
ADM makes a protein tub with GROSTRONG added to it as well that I have heard good things about.
edited to add. It costs me thirty five dollars for three horses, three month supply.
Goopy eyes this time of year screams Vit A deficiency. If it goes away when the green grass comes in, this is almost certainly the cause. They also can be at risk for rain rot and lice due to the same. I supplement vit A from about November till the grass comes in as Vit A goes out of the hay in about 2 to 4 months after baling and should be supplemented.
The other cause can be sticking their heads into round rolls and also allergies to grass and weeds out foraging. But this time of year, Id bet a dollar it was the Vit A.
Cattle injectable 5 cc over feed once a week for a couple weeks to get their levels back up will do it. The goop should go away fast.
Someone suggested Soybean oil up there, I would suggest you NOT feed soybean oil, hears a good explanation of some of the ups and many of the downs of soybeans.
Dangers of Soy in Horse Feed
I actually spent a lot of time looking through choices in supplements for my mare and the vet that I consulted suggested avoiding soy based products (so I did a little research) and the above is pretty much a summary of what I found too. I found a seaweed based product that she seems to love (with seaweed you do have to be careful of iodine toxicity but the product only has 9mg per dose).
Please be careful what you are looking into in the way of supplements I spent a lot of time researching for my pony.
I'd suggest maybe using Finish Line Total Control, which has a flax seed base. It's one of the few that does not have a soy base.
It's on the expensive side, but I would recommend Lifeforce. Lifeforce Horse Supplement Testimonials
Thanks guys, great tips!
Yep, I'll really be looking into all of them. I've fed a few different ones throughout the years (smart paks, free choice, etc) and wanted to hear what others thought.
I agree with you Trinity, Vit A is needed. They do not have rain rot or lice, two of them are newish and I've kept a close eye on them! They are all in really good shape but I know I need to get the geldings perked up.
Has anyone tried Purina's Free Balance 12:12? That one is looking really good, lots of A.
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