This month’s article for you is about supplements. I know that I’ve written about it before, but its just so important to know what you are feeding, why you’re feeding it and whether current research actually supports its use (this goes for human supplements as well!).
So many horse owners get lured into feeding supplements that claim to benefit performance (joint supplements), assist in calming their horses (hormonal mare or nervous horse anyone?), or help to aid in digestion (probiotics).
I have no problem with supplements that actually contain proven, biochemically appropriate ingredients. What do I mean by that? Every animal has a different digestion mechanism and different inherent biochemistry. What works in our human bodies does not necessarily work in a horse, a dog a cat etc. At the very least you might be wasting your money and at the worst you might be feeding something that is actually toxic to your horse. On top of that, the supplements industry is not regulated, so what is advertised to be in a product might not really be there in the appropriate concentrations (or even at all – see this link as one recent example). The bottom line is that you need to do the research to see if there is any solid evidence that the supplement will work for horses. Don’t waste your money on something without good scientific backing – after all, supplements can be quite expensive!