Hoof Supplements & Loose Salt
Hi to all!
I have recently acquired my first horse - a 15 year old Arabian mare. She is an easy keeper. I have done research on horse nutrition, but since this is relatively new to me, it has left my head spinning.
Currently, she is on grass and hay. I am supplementing her with Farrier's Formula daily and she has a salt block. I want to switch to loose salt, but have no idea where to start. Any advise is appreciated.
Also, with Farrier's Formula, do I need to supplement her with any additional loose minerals?
Thanks in advance!
Whether or not you need to supplement really depends on her nutritional needs. If you are feeding a good quality hay and grain that may just be all she needs. My 29 year old spent most of his life with a mineral block being his only supplement. When he got into his late teens I had to add sandclear to his diet and then last year I started him on a senior flex supplement.
My 7 year old however is on Smartsox, Farriers Formula, Adequan, and smartflex, not to mention smartcalm (mostly for the vitamin B)...
The other three horses in my barn aren't on any supplements... Although I think one of the mares may go on an arthritis type of something or other in the next year or so....
Hi there! You can add free choice to their feed, or you can have a dedicated bucket of free choice salt in her stall and/or paddock. You can get livestock free choice salt at any feed store, and it usually costs about $10 for a 40kg bag (at least at my feed store) :)
The Farrier's Formula website indicates it is to be fed with grain, which indicates to me that it is not a complete supplement. I would look into ration balancers for your mare.
FeedXL.com or such is an invaluable resource for working out diets & nutrition. It depends what the horse is getting from the hay/pasture as to what it may need extra. From my own analysis, I found that 'farrier's formula' wasn't appropriate for my horses - there were too many things that were still lacking/imbalanced, of which I'd have to find other supps for. I also know that my particular area/pasture is reasonably high in salt and very low in iodine, among other things, so I personally opted to provide straight rock salt for 'Justin' & the rest of what they need is provided in a pelleted 'ration balancer', with a little liquid seaweed emulsion on top for extra iodine.
Mudpie is on Farrier's Formula Double Strength, and I am extremely happy with it! It's helped his historically very unhealthy hooves become extraordinarily more healthy! It is not, however, a "complete" or "multi-purpose" supplement. Instead, it's designed to target hoof health alone. :)
Providing loose salt is relatively easy, and I personally recommend himalayan salt. Mudpie loves it, and I know that he's always getting the salts/minerals he needs. I provide it free choice, along with a standard red mineral block that he almost never touches.
If you're worried about your horse's diet having gaps, you can look into a ration balancer, or try to pinpoint her needs. :)
As for FF only targeting hoof health, I don't believe in this either, because hooves, hair & skin are but the external parts of the whole body:wink: Well balanced nutrition will influence the entire body, hooves & all, and imbalanced nutrition will be the same - inadequate for hooves & coat as well as the rest.
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Yeah, sorry for the way that sounded to you! From analysis of many different supps, it(the double strength one) does look like a good product & I think from memory does cover most bases, but just trying to explain why a 'one size fits' product or supplementing with whatever, without knowing what the horse is already getting is not the most appropriate approach IMO.
Usually if they get the correct grain percentage for their body weight, and they have grass or good hay they should be fine. I would go to Horse Supplements, Equestrian Clothing & Horse Tack - SmartPak and take the SmartPak Supplement Wizard - Find the best supplements for your horse Supplement wizard and see what supplements are recommended for your horse. Most horses do not need supplements. I give my horse Nu-hoof Magnesium, Lysine (for protein absorption and muscle development) I am also getting my horse Smart Digest Ultra. If you sign up for it you get $7,500 dollars in cash for a colic surgery if you provide SmartPak proof of proper vetting and dental care!!!! Go check it out it is awesome!
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