How Important Is An Equine Vitamin For Your Horse
When it comes to an equine vitamin there are probably two groups of people. The first group are the ones who think it is important to supplement your horses diet to make sure it is receiving all the vitamins and nutrients for optimal health, then you get the second group who think all you need is for your horse is a natural diet without any equine vitamin supplements. Some of the considerations about a natural diet is what the quality of the feed is and also what sort of variety it is receiving. You might think that the feed you are giving your horse it good but are you sure that it is getting all the nutrients and vitamins and minerals out of it. It may also depend on your horse’s situation as to whether it needs an equine vitamin. Is it a hard working animal, do you have a mare in foal. How sure are you that there are any deficiencies in the feed you have. I guess one of the hardest thing’s to do is to know whether an equine vitamin is needed at all.
You will find quite an array of supplements that are available on the market today with all of them offering roughly the same thing so deciding if your horse needs them and what brand could be quite difficult. The other reason you need to consider an equine vitamin is that there might not be a wide enough variety in their natural diet, as years ago they could have been grazing in the open countryside with lots of different plant material. If you are feeding your horse on hay and other feed from crops then the chances are high that the crop has been fertilized and also the problem of over production from the field which could mean a reduction of trace elements and minerals in the soil. This is why it is important to consider the use of an equine vitamin to make sure your animal is in top condition.
Different Types Of Equine Vitamin
Lets now look at a few of the main vitamins and minerals that can aid in the health of your horse.
Vitamin A is an important element to ensure that your animal has healthy eyes good skin and hooves.
Vitamin B group is made up of a number of sub categories and we will now discuss the main ones. The first we will look at are:
Vitamins B1 and B2: Both of these work towards a balanced metabolism. Basically there are two sides to the metabolism one side is where the body is using all the nutrients and the other is where the body is repairing and building up the stores. It is necessary to keep both of these in balance, an equine vitamin will aid in this.
Vitamin B6: This vitamin helps in the formation of antibodies to make sure that the immune system is functioning at optimal levels. It also aids in the carrying of oxygen in the blood and is important for the metabolism of the carbohydrates, fats and proteins as well.
Vitamin B12: This must be present if the formation of new red blood cells is to occur They also help to keep the nerve cells healthy.
Vitamin C: Helps in the repair and growth in the tissues of all parts of the body. Some areas that it helps are the tendons, ligaments and blood cells as well as the healing of any wounds. It can also help in the elimination of free radicals.
Folic Acid: Aids with the formation of red blood cells as well as helping with the metabolism.
Minerals: These are an essential component of your horse’s diet as they serve as co-factors to the vitamins and other food sources. What that means is without the minerals the other vitamins can’t do their job properly. Some of the essential minerals that are required for good health are magnesium, potassium, iron, iodine, manganese and zinc. All of these can be found in an equine vitamin.
Fiber: It is the parts of plants that are not digestible, these are found in hay, grains and also in fresh grasses. This fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy.
Biotin: Helps with the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It also helps your horse have a healthy coat and good for maintaining strong hooves.
Vitamin D: This vitamin is important in the processing of calcium and phosphorus which helps to maintain strong bones. There are numerous sources of Vitamin D the most obvious being the sun. If that is not possible you can also get it from hay which has been in the sun or an equine vitamin.
Vitamin E: Is an antioxidant that helps to reduce the damage of tissue from free radicals and in turn helps to keep the immune system at peak levels. It also helps in the transport of oxygen in the blood as well as aiding in healthy red blood cells.
The Right Equine Vitamin For Your Horse
As you can see it is very important to have an understanding about the nutritional health for your horse and whether an equine vitamin might be of any use. You need to determine what sort of a lifestyle your horse leads and whether it is a hard working horse or if it is out to pasture. Other things to consider if an equine vitamin is necessary is the age of your animal as the older it gets the more likely an equine vitamin will be required. If your horse is of breeding age you want it to be in peak physical condition. To determine if an equine vitamin is needed one way is to get your feed analyzed to see what the nutrient content is. This way you will get an idea of what type of equine vitamin that is the most suitable for your circumstances. You could also get your vet to do tests, that way they will prescribe the right equine vitamin for you. In the end we care about our animals and want to make sure they live the best life possible.