7 Best Horse Supplements

horse supplements

A concentrate is a mixture of grains and minerals used to supplement the diet of a horse or pony. Concentrates may contain just one or several combinations of ingredients designed to improve a horse’s condition, whether for weight gain, growth, energy for work, or overall health. Here’s a look at the most common supplemental feeds for horses.

In the wild, our horses’ ancestors roamed vast tracts of land and grazed a wide variety of plant species. 

Today, the domestic horse is much more restricted, grazing in much smaller areas and consequently eating a less varied diet. This can have a detrimental effect on the welfare of our horses. In modern, relatively crowded pastures, horses are at greater risk of becoming infected with parasitic worms. They also miss out on the benefits of the many micronutrients they get from the greater variety of plants in wild pastures.

Beet pulp

Beet pulp is a popular addition to the diet of many horses. They are a good source of carbohydrates and can be fed wet or dry. Many owners like to feed it wet, especially in winter, to give their horses a little extra moisture. It is a good feed for underweight or hard-working horses. Molasses is often added to pelleted beet pulp to bind it together and make it more palatable. Shredded beet pulp is also available.

Cooked corn

Corn is a good source of carbohydrates for your horse. It is considered a « spicy feed, » but this is not true. It is often found in pelleted feeds. Corn kernels are tough. Therefore, for a horse with dental problems, this type of cracked corn may be easier to chew. Corn is often mixed with other cereals, such as oats or barley.

Large pelleted concentrate

This pelleted concentrate is for adult horses. Most pellets are a mixture of grains, such as oats or barley, corn, vitamins, and minerals, and molasses is often used as a binder to improve flavor.

Sweet feed mix

This is a tailor-made sweet feed mix. The owner, who has a large number of horses, specifies what he wants. The feed is supplied in sacks or by truck filling a large container. This special feed contains oats, corn, molasses, and a mineral supplement. Many feed manufacturers make their sweet feed for owners who only need small amounts. One caution with sweet feeds in hot, humid climates: if the molasses content is high and the feed sits too long, it can begin to ferment or mold.

Whole oats

Whole oat grains have been the standard feed for horses for decades. Oats can also be purchased crushed, ground, rolled, steamed or triple cleaned. Cleaning removes dust and weed seeds. Some people believe oats are more digestible if they are ground or rolled. Often, owners see what looks like whole oats in the feces and assume that the horse cannot digest the outer hull and the oats have gone straight through. However, if you examine the feces a little more closely, you will see that there is nothing left of the inside of the oats and only the husk goes right through. There is also the possibility that shredding or rolling may cause the grains to spoil more quickly and lose nutritional value.

Hay cubes

These cubes are highly compressed timothy hay. The hay is dried, crushed, pressed, and then sold by the sack. Some people substitute some of their horse’s hay for hay cubes, and they are useful if your horse cannot tolerate even a small amount of hay dust. These cubes are very hard and, although the horse’s jaw is very strong, there is a risk of swallowing them. Soaking and crushing the cubes is one way to avoid this problem.

Granulated feed

This feed has been formed into small pellets especially for foals, although the pellet size is also suitable for adult horses. Pellets are usually a mixture of grains, corn, and supplements. The grains are usually steamed to make them more digestible. Molasses is usually added as a binder to make the feed taste good.

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