Vitamins are needed in much smaller amounts than other nutrients, but they are just as important, with each vitamin having a different role to play in the horse’s body.
Depending on your horse’s diet, a multivitamin supplement may or may not be needed. If your horse has access to high quality grazing or hay it may be receiving a sufficient balance. Some commercial feeds formulated for the appropriate stage of life or activity level can provide the needed additional vitamins.
However if straight feeds are being fed, targeted supplementation, such as Aviform’s Ultravits EQ, can be given.
It has also been widely researched that the horse’s capability to apply nutritional vitamins diminishes substantially with age. Also, broodmares, youngsters and horses recovering from illness or experiencing stress often require supplementation.
Decreased vitamin content in horse feed can be caused by several factors.
• Some vitamins are sensitive to sunlight, heat and oxidation (especially vitamin E & A) • Hay stored for 1 year or more • Hay that has been rained on
The Most common vitamins added to horse feed:
• Vitamin A – important for reproduction • Vitamin E – a natural preservative/antioxidant helping optimum function of the reproductive, muscular, circulatory, nervous, and immune systems • Vitamin H – Biotin which helps improve hoof and hair quality
Minerals important to the horse are:
• Iron • Copper • Phosphorous • Calcium • Magnesium
Iron helps the blood carry oxygen to the body cells, whilst Phosphorous and Calcium helps bones and teeth form properly
To minimize the risk of a harmful imbalance or excess, learn the nutrient values of your horse’s current forage and feed before choosing a supplement.