Many people are well aware of the importance of vitamin supplementation for humans and take vitamins on a daily basis. Today, we are here to discuss the equally important matter of assuring vitamin supplementation for race horses.
According to the Kentucky Equine Research group and Equine News, vitamins are necessary for the growth, maintenance of tissues, good bodily function, and optimal athletic performance for horses.
Here are some important things to know about vitamins. First, vitamins fall into two categories, fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.
What are fat-soluble vitamins for horses?
Fat-soluble vitamins are exactly what they sound, they are absorbed with fat that is taken in with diet, as well as stored in the body’s fat.
Thus, it’s important to keep in mind that these vitamins can accumulate in the body if too high of levels are consumed. Examples of fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
While most horses who are healthy, eat high quality feed, and spend regular time outdoors wont’ require any extra vitamin supplementation, it is important to monitor levels of these fat-soluble vitamins in consultation with your veterinarian.
Many horse feeds also include some degree of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin D, so be sure to read the label of the feed you provide to assess the types and quantity of vitamins your horse is already being exposed to with their daily diet.
There are also ways to get vitamins naturally in other types of food. For example, vitamin A is naturally found in carotenes which are high in quantity among green forage.
Due to the breakdown of carotene by the oxidation process of sun curing hay, hay might not allow for sufficient amounts of vitamin A. However, high quality alfalfa hay that is an early bloom could do the trick.
Level of physical activity should also be considered when thinking about vitamin needs and supplementation. Race horses may need greater amounts of vitamin A than less active horses.
Vitamin D, really a hormone, can also be sufficient with enough exposure to sunlight. The body produces the vitamin D from a reaction in the skin and horses with regular sunlight exposure typically don’t require any extra vitamin D.
However, vitamin D is extremely important because without it calcium and phosphorus cannot be absorbed and a mineral deficiency can occur.
Vitamin E, an antioxidant, protects a horses’ cell membranes from damage. Unlike other fat-soluble vitamins, it is actually not harmful in excess amounts.
Vitamin E supplementation can be useful for horses that engage in strenuous training regimens. Vitamin E can help support the immune system and reduce the risk of muscle damage that is common among race horses.
Wheat germ, Lucerne, or a purchased supplement product all work for horses that could benefit from additional vitamin E.
Interestingly, vitamin K supports the coagulation of blood. Some race horses with intense training and performance schedules could benefit from additional vitamin K, up to 20mg per day. That is it for fat-soluble vitamins, let’s move on to water-soluble vitamins.
What are water-soluble vitamins for horses?
Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body in the same way or to the same extent as the fat-soluble vitamins already discussed. Instead, water-soluble vitamins are synthesized in the body, often in the liver, or the microbiome of the large intestine will produce the vitamin.
Examples of this are vitamin C, which is synthesized from glucose in the liver, and the B-complex vitamins which are produced in the large intestine.
Due to these difference, in some cases high levels of the vitamin need to be ingested in order to have an effect on the blood level of that specific vitamin.
For example, vitamin C is not well absorbed by a horse’s body so if supplementation is necessary, the feed or other supplement must be given in rather high doses to meet the blood-level goal.
Vitamin B-complex supplementation is also often indicated because dietary habits can impact the microbiota in the gut and intestines, particularly for those race horses that eat high amounts of grain.
Attention to race horses’ behavior and performance can be extremely important when determining how best to supplement their diets. Keeping data and then sharing it with their Veterinarian and/or a nutritionist who specialized in race horses can be key to ensuring their ongoing health and performance.
For example, some research from the Kentucky Equine Research group found that low levels of selenium was associated with cribbing among horses studied, as opposed to normal controls who were not cribbing. Thus, micronutrients can play a really important role in various physiological processes. Feed analysis from an expert may be useful in determining the needs of your individual race horse.
Where Can I Buy Vitamins For Race Horses?
The best place to buy racehorse vitamins is online from Racehorsemeds.com. The company is an international supplier for all your veterinary products to maintain the health of your horse and to maximize the performance of the equine athlete.
Racehorse vitamins is one of Racehorsemeds’ best-selling items and is shipped all over the world.
Racehorsemeds accepts all major credit cards and even accepts BitCoin as a form of payment. In addition to Racehorse vitamins, Racehorsemeds’ user-friendly online store offers a number of supplement choices ranging from Calming Products and Sedativesto Joint Supplements and even Performance Supplements.
Racing supplements are part of horse racing. Racehorsemeds.com is an international supplier of veterinary products to maintain the health of your racing animal and to maximize their performance.
For more information about horse racing and other animal racing supplements, visit Racehorse Meds. Racehorse Meds is you trusted veterinary supplier of vitamins and supplements for horses, camels, alpacas, greyhounds, and pigeons.
Visit their Twitter page for the latest flash sales and special offers.