Are you overfeeding supplements to your horse?
Did you know that it could be damaging to the horse’s health?
We have been called recently by customers who have been baffled by “experts”. They have been happily feeding Oxydane for example, their horses are doing brilliantly and then a yard visit by a feed or supplement company causes consternation. They have been told to make changes, they feel uneasy and so pick up the phone to us. We asked our clinical team to put together some information to help.
Here it is.
Horses only require a certain number of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and trace elements per day to support their overall health and well-being. When you look at your horse’s feed regime in each individual case you must include the total amount of feed consumed in one day. This means hard feed, turnout and hay.
No matter what you feed your horse, putting aside the supplements for the time being, your horse will be receiving a wide range of nutrients which include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and trace elements. The next time you consider increasing your supplement make sure you understand that your horse is receiving nutrients just from a naturally fed diet. Supplements are used to top up, they are not the be all and end all, what you feed your horse is the primary concern when it comes to supporting the horse’s overall health and well-being long-term. Depending on the equestrian discipline the amount of feed being fed will certainly increase or decrease and supplementation may do the same. But remember that over supplementing a horse is highly dangerous.
This is where a formula like Oxydane becomes vital, because Oxydane contains mineral tissue salts instead of your standard simple minerals. It is not necessary to feed high levels of these minerals at all, as they are what are termed as mineral compounds almost bordering on being homeopathic. If anyone reads information about homeopathy or natural therapy, you will certainly understand enough to appreciate that homeopathy is all about supplying the animal or human with low rates.
Oxydane is a superior product in so many ways, firstly it contains only oral grade ingredients which are suitable for human consumption and is manufactured in a HCCAP certified facility where some of Australia’s top brands for the human health industry are produced. No Hi Form product is produced in a standard animal feed/supplement facility because we believe that if it is not suitable for us to consume, why is it okay to feed to our horses?
Oxydane is a high-performance formula that contains a balance of mineral tissue salts, a broad range of amino acids, vitamins, trace elements and specific organic herb extracts. This is a true natural therapy formula which uses the 5 nutrient groups, the products work synergistically to achieve outstanding results. It is not necessary to feed high doses of this product unlike other supplements in the market the feed rate is very low. You may ask the reason for this; firstly, the product does not contain any fillers, binding agents, artificial colours, or flavours, it is a pure 100% active formula. Naturally, nothing will be absorbed at the hundred percent rate, but we know that the products absorption and utilisation rate is exceptionally high and runs around about 85 to 95%.
Always take into consideration what your horse is being fed and remember that supplements should be used to bridge the gap. In simple terms supplements should simply play a supporting role.
To be absolutely accurate and know precisely what you are feeding, horse owners need to have soil testing, hay testing, and understand the nutritional intricacies ofthe premix feed that you might be giving your horse. Now this is a very costly exercise and really in many ways is probably not necessary unless your horse has a major health concern such as EMS for example. In these cases, it is often very important to know at least the feed test results of the hay you are giving your horse. Horses with EMS do very well with hays that are low in sugar and starch but also contain a good level of protein. Things like cold pressed linseed oil can be very beneficial for these horses too.
The next time someone suggests that you have your soil tested please be mindful that adding in certain trace elements such as copper can cause a significant health issue with your horse. Horses do not require high levels of these trace minerals. Adding extra copper to a horse’s diet can be potentially very dangerous, this is just one example of overfeeding a trace element, iron and selenium are other examples.
If you do have your soil tested or your pasture tested, you must also consider what else your horses are being fed. All hays, feeds and pasture contain trace elements. It might be worthwhile looking at the NRC for a guideline only on the levels that a horse requires per day per body weight based on the workload. It is an American publication, but it has been the guideline for a very long time. However, every horse is biochemically unique which means you must always take into consideration each individual case.
There is no one size fits all with any horse, it’s no different to human health. There are guidelines for human health recommended daily intakes but at the end of the day it is the individuality that must be considered as the priority.
Written by Antoinette Foster Dip Nut nutritional therapist, medical herbalist and product formulator copyright 2021