Filling a Need? (Supplements)
Do your homework and consider your horse's entire nutritional picture before adding supplements.
When was the last time you stepped into a feed room that didn't contain a wide array of buckets, bottles, and tubs of supplements? There might have been a time when horses were fed on hay and oats alone, but these days we're much more likely to be feeding a balanced diet and adding a whole lot of "bells and whistles." Supplements have become more the rule than the exception.
Part of the appeal is that supplements offer an unparalleled level of flexibility. Your horse might by necessity be fed the same grain ration as all of the other horse residents in his barn, but with supplements you can customize his diet for his individual needs. While your horse might benefit from a joint supplement to address his arthritis and minor aches and pains, his ribby neighbor might be putting on weight now that a supplement is helping calm his gastric ulcer. And the temperament of the mare across the aisle has mellowed thanks to a herbal preparation designed to address hormone swings. With a formulation for virtually every problem a horse owner can think of–and more being introduced all the time–there's no question that supplements are here to stay.
A Study on Supplements
Does that mean, however, that you need to incorporate supplements into your feed program? Not necessarily. In fact, a recent survey of the riders of upper-level three-day eventers competing at the advanced three-star level indicates that some performance horses might be significantly
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