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Natural Horse Vitamins and Minerals

Below is a list of vitamins and minerals with a short description of ways in which they can be beneficial to your horse.

Natural Horse - Vitamins

  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
    Used to fight infection and help with snake bites.

    Available forms
    Powdered and injectable.
    Available from for approx $14 per pound.

    As a preventative: 20g twice a day for an adult horse
    With an active illness or infection: 20g four times a day for an adult horse.

Natural Horse - Minerals

  • Magnesium

    Useful in horses and ponies with cresty necks and fat deposits as the magnesium helps break them down. In a normal diet the ratio of calcium to magnesium should be 2:1. Horses can suffer from a magnesium deficiency if the diet contains too much calcium in relation to the magnesium.

    Available forms
    Organic or chelated (those found in foods, such as magnesium gluconate and magnesium asparatate) and inorganic (found in the soil, such as magnesium sulfate and magnesium oxide). The organic forms are more readily absorbed.

    Human feed grade quality magnesium is available from for around $9 per pound or you can get an animal feed grade - which is not as pure as it is only guaranteed at 56% magnesium - manufactured by Pestell (called either CalMag or BayMag) from your feed store. I personally use Pestell's CalMag and it is around $15 for a 25kg bag.

    Start with approx 3 grams per day for a small pony and up to 12 grams for a large/heavy horse for the first three weeks when you should see signs of changes in the fat deposits. Then the dose can be halved for 6 - 8 weeks and once the fat has normalized then a maintenance dose should be calculated based on hay/grass analysis.

  • Salt and Iodine

    Horses need to have salt available to them at all times. In the summer they need it to replace the salt lost through sweating and in winter they need it to ensure they drink enough water to prevent colic.

    Loose salt is best as it is hard for the horse to get enough salt from a salt block and salt blocks often contain other minerals that are detrimental to the horse when consumed in the large quantities needed to get the correct doseage of salt.

    Iodine is also very important for the horse so I use iodized table salt directly into their feed bucket - that way I know they are getting enough salt. Also by providing 2 oz of iodized salt you will ensure that the daily requirement for iodine is met.

    At least 2 oz a day in summer (can be up to 3-4 oz if working hard in hot weather) and at least 1 oz a day in winter.

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Copyright© 2008. All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these pages is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment for their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.
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