3 Tips for Successful Supplementation
Perhaps you’re concerned about a deficiency in your horse’s diet, or maybe you’ve just heard of other horse owners supplementing and want to know more about it. How do you know when your horse needs supplements? How do you know what to give? Here are a few tips for successfully feeding horse supplements.
Know Your Horse’s Nutritional Intake
One of the primary reasons for feeding horse supplements is due to nutritional deficiencies in the horse’s diet. To determine whether this is the case, you have to know what your horse is getting. If you’re feeding hay, this means having the hay tested for nutritional content. Pasture is a little tougher, since you don’t know exactly how much your horse is eating, but you can still have pasture tested for nutritional content and estimate how much your horse eats. Don’t forget to add any grain or concentrates when calculating your horse’s total daily nutritional intake.
Another, much easier way to figure out your horse’s nutritional intake is to feed a complete feed, such as Sacate’s pelleted feeds. Feeding a complete feed is beneficial in that you can rest assured that your horse’s basic nutritional needs are being met, and no supplementation is needed for this reason.
Take into Consideration Any Special Circumstances
Sometimes supplementation is needed not because of any nutritional deficiency, but because of a special need the horse has. For instance, a horse with weak hooves might need a supplement to encourage stronger hoof growth, while an older horse might benefit from a joint supplement. There’s a supplement for almost any equine condition you can think of. You can even find supplements that purport to calm anxious horses!
These horse supplements go above and beyond the horse’s basic nutritional requirements to address specific issues that aren’t related to dietary deficiencies. Use caution, however. There isn’t much regulation over these supplements to ensure that you’re really getting what you’re paying for or that they do what they claim to do.
Discuss Supplementation with Your Vet
Before adding supplements to your horse’s diet for any reason, you should always discuss the decision with your vet. Your vet can talk to you about your horse’s nutritional needs and recommend a diet, or suggest resources for testing your hay or pasture. Your vet may also be able to caution you against certain supplements, or recommend brands they trust.
Taking the Guesswork Out of Feeding
It may seem difficult and overwhelming to make sure your horse’s nutritional requirements are being met, but it doesn’t have to be. Reduce or completely eliminate the need for horse supplements by feeding a complete feed, and rest easy knowing that your horse is getting everything he needs to stay healthy and strong. For more information about our pelleted feeds, contact Sacate Pellet Mills at 602-237-3809.