Combination Supplements for Horses

Combination supplements claiming to support joints, gut health, coat quality, and more might make feeding time easier, but do they work?
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Combination Supplements for Horses
As convenience and a desire to support our horse’s entire well-being have become increasingly popular, combination products have, indeed, been on the rise. Not only are these products convenient from the standpoint of fewer containers in the feed room, but there is less chance of someone forgetting to give one of multiple supplements or giving the wrong amount. | Photo: Jennifer Whittle/The Horse

Q.I’ve notice there are a lot of combo supplements for horses these days. In the past, I remember manufacturers combined a couple things, such as a mineral supplement and a joint-support product. Now, though, I see ones that manufacturers claim target multiple things—joints, hooves, digestive tract, mineral needs, etc.—with one product. We used to need multiple individual supplements to cover all these aspects of equine health. Do combination supplements really work?

—Via e-mail

A.This is a great question! As convenience and a desire to support our horse’s entire well-being have become increasingly popular, combination products have, indeed, been on the rise. Not only are these products convenient from the standpoint of fewer containers in the feed room, but there is less chance of someone forgetting to give one of multiple supplements or giving the wrong amount. Instead of one scoop of product A, two scoops of B, and half a scoop of C, horses only need the recommended number of scoops of a single supplement

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Clair Thunes, PhD, is an equine nutritionist who owns Clarity Equine Nutrition, based in Gilbert, Arizona. She works as a consultant with owners/trainers and veterinarians across the United States and globally to take the guesswork out of feeding horses and provides services to select companies. As a nutritionist she works with all equids, from WEG competitors to Miniature donkeys and everything in between. Born in England, she earned her undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University, in Scotland, and her master’s and doctorate in nutrition at the University of California, Davis. Growing up, she competed in a wide array of disciplines and was an active member of the U.K. Pony Club. Today, she serves as the district commissioner for the Salt River Pony Club.

One Response

  1. I think the bigger question is, does your horse really need all these supplements? Or does feeding these expensive foods just make us feel good? I would think a vet’s analysis of your horse would be productive in narrowing down exactly what supplements would be beneficial.

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