Get the balance right

Written by Alexandra Wesker on 22 August, 2016

As published in Horse Magazine, November 2015 issue.

If you give more than one feed supplement to your horse, you could be doubling up on ingredients says equine nutritionist Alexandra Wesker.

“This one is for energy. This one is for his coat. And this one is for digestive health…” you may be thinking as you sprinkle powder and pour liquid into your horse’s feed bucket.

Many owners provide multiple feeds and supplements for a variety of reasons. For example, the horse may have a specific medical issue, such as arthritis. Or, the owner feels a supplement is needed to calm the horse down, to help develop muscle, or support beneficial bacteria in the gut.

In general, supplements are great for meeting nutritional requirements – if you know what it is you need to target – as they tend to be more specific than other manufactured feeds.

However, the more products and supplements you give, the more likely it is the ingredients will overlap. Not only could you be wasting money by doubling up, you may be feeding more than the recommended levels of certain substances.

Although individual ingredients in supplements may have health benefits, doubling up on some things is not necessarily good and may have harmful effects. Another thing you need to take into consideration is that if you feed several supplements for the same purpose, you may not be able to tell which one is having the desired effect.

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categories: nutrition, behaviour, weight, training, recovery, breeding, veterans
tags: supplements, nutritional-requirements

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