I often get asked if I carry a “natural” vitamin/mineral supplement for horses – which I don’t at this point. I often refer owners to several of the locally prepared supplements which are all pretty standard formulations, and all contain reasonable ingredients. However, if one actually takes the time to look at their current feeding ration, many horse owners might be surprised to find out that they are over feeding vitamins and minerals every day. This is both costly, and could be unhealthy for your horse.
Most commercially prepared feeds, including Genesis, contain some added vit/min in them. This is mainly to balance rations for those needing extra nutritional support (breeding, growing, higher level performance etc.), those with poorer quality hay, or even those in areas with mineral deficiencies in their soil, like here on Vancouver Island. Interestingly, with the exception of selenium, all of the nutritional reports that I have generated for clients indicated quite a bit of over supplementation of vitamins and minerals in their horses’ daily diet. Like us, horses actually get most of their nutrients from the basic feeds around them. Below is a compilation of some common vit/min for adult horses at maintenance, including amount required to maintain daily health and some of their common sources. When looking at the values, keep in mind that some vit/min will pass through the body when unused (like Vitamin C), but others, the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, are stored in the body for long periods of time and generally pose a greater risk for toxicity when consumed in excess. So, we should all take a closer look at our supplementation to see if it is appropriate, and if we are feeding in excess of what our horses truly need.