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Get the Scoop on Supplements

By Emily Heggan Subscribe to RSS | August 10th 2012 | Views:

There are a lot of different types of equine supplements for almost anything imaginable. So here is the scoop.

Before you go out a pick just any old supplement talk to your vet or someone else who knowledgeable in horses to help you find the right supplement for your horse. There is a wide variety for all of your horse’s needs. Supplements help your horse’s overall health and can also target a certain problems or behaviors. Supplements can come in either a pelleted or powdered form and get mixed into their grain. Let's take a look at the top five most popular types of equine supplements.

Skin & Coat Supplements

If you want your horse to have a sleek and shiny coat, then Omega fatty acids are essential for his diet. These fatty acids support oil production in your horse's coat and perk up skin circulation. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as flax seed, are often key ingredients in skin and coat supplements. A healthy and shiny coat is more than just a sign of a well-groomed horse. Your horse's skin and coat is also a protective barrier against bacteria and infections. Skin and coat supplements provide important fatty acids from flax seed, rice bran and fish oil, to support skin health and create a show ring shine.

Multi-Purpose Supplements

Do you have a horse that is older or is just a good keeper? Well, this type of supplement is used for maintaining your horse’s current state; much like people when we take a daily multi-vitamin. These particular types of supplements provide your horse with vitamins and minerals that support hoof, coat and join support. These are good for providing your horse with the daily nutrients, as well as vitamins and minerals he needs to keep healthy. Multi-purpose supplements can contain vitamins A, C, D and E, which also have essential omega 3 or 6 fatty acids. Vitamins help your horse’s coat to shine and stay smooth and soft. Most multi-supplements can also contain glucosamine to help improve your horse's joint flexibility and lighten minor stiffness.

Calming Supplements

Do you own a horse that spooks often for no reason at all? Does he seem anxious, tense or ready to take off at the next noise he hears? A calming supplement may help to relax and get him focused. Vitamin B1 is the main and common ingredient in calming supplements. It is said that most horses with severe anxiety or irritability are believed to be lacking vitamin B1. Magnesium is often used for similar reasons. Soothing and calming herbs such as raspberry leaves are a natural way to help relax your horse's nervous and muscular system. Some calming supplements also have L-tryptophan, which is also found in turkey and why you are so tired after your big Thanksgiving feast. If your horse is tense, edgy and seems to be paying attention to everything else but you, then a calming supplement could make your riding more enjoyable.

Joint Supplements

Clicks and cracks are a sign that your horse might have some joint issues. Joint supplements are common for older horses or horses in a lot of work whether it is a show jumper or a reining cow horse. These supplements help horses with joint problems or ones that often come out stiff before or after work. If there is a lot of strain or stress on your horse’s joints it can cause inflammation and eventually loss of the cartilage. The ingredients in most joint supplements are glucosamine, MSM, and hyaluronic acid and all help to support joints. The ingredients in these supplements are either to help lessen joint stiffness, swelling, and inflammation or to prevent it. Whether joint stress comes from day-to-day wear and tear, poor conformation or strain on the muscles, a joint supplement can help.

Now that you have read up on some of the basic equine supplements, consult with your veterinarian or equine friend and decide what supplement would work best for your horse.

Emily Heggan - About Author:
Emily Heggan is a senior at Rowan University majoring in journalism. She currently competes in the 3' hunters with her horse, General, and enjoys writing about equestrian topics like horse supplies.

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