|My little supplement selection :D|
I've recently been seeing a lot of articles and blog posts (especially Hay-Net's one) about feeding and supplements that horses have, and it got me thinking if what I am feeding Vallu at the moment is too much? Or if he's not getting too much, then is it totally worth feeding all of these supplements?
Vallu's feed mainly consists of Spiller's Horse & Pony Cubes and Dengie's Hi-Fi Lite chaff. The Horse & Pony Cubes are the best for horses like Vallu because they have lower levels of cereal starch to "help reduce the risk of over-excitability" and "well help you keep things calm and controlled" Yes please :D The feed also has some magnesium in it (4g per kg according to their website) - but in very small levels. Apparently it also contains "an excellent vitamin and mineral formulation support package for long-term well-being," Dengie's Hi-Fi Lite is ideal for horses and ponies that are overweight and prone to laminitis. Not that Vallu is prone to laminitis but he certainly doesn't need any extra calories. "Naturally low in sugar and starch, alfalfa is proven to aid digestive health, improve hoof quality and give a lovely bloom to the coat."
I've blogged several times about why I am feeding Vallu Chia seeds, which you can read about HERE and HERE. Chia has vitamins A, B, B1, B2, B3, B9 and B12, vitamin C and E, calcium, phosphorus and iron, so basically a whole bunch of goodies... In a 100g of Chia seeds there is 400mg of magnesium, something which we have been feeding Vallu for ages, so it goes well with the MgB12. As I've said, I really like this product and the effects it has on Vallu. His winter coat is a lot better this time; and now that he is starting to change to his summer coat, normally he gets a lot of rubs but now he's coped so much better. I don't have to hide him under the rugs all the time :D Also his rugs haven't totally destroyed his mane, and the only thing that has changed is Chia.
The daily magnesium requirement for maintenance has been estimated at 0.015 g/kg body wt based on limited studies. If Vallu weighs around 800kg (probably more to be honest) he'd need 12g of magnesium a day... And vitamin B12 is essential for growth and a healthy nervous and digestive system.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that has the ability to stabilise cell membranes, thus helping to protect the cell from the detrimental effects of excess free radicals. Studies have also indicated the beneficial effects this vitamin can have on the horse’s performance, due to its support of oxygen delivery to the lungs. Vitamin E and Selenium are both of vital importance to natural growth, fertility and optimum muscle function... So it sounds important, but I can't really find anything of the suggested daily amount, apart from one scoop.
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring non-toxic molecule which is essential in the production of cartilage, joint fluid, tendons and ligaments, and there have been published scientific research which has shown that glucosamine has a significant part to play in equine joint health.
Looking at this, the only thing I might consider taking out is MgB12 because of the Horse & Pony nuts and Chia seeds containing magnesium, but I think the other supplements are important.
What do your horses eat?