The power of nutrition in its natural form.
Horses that are stabled have up to 4 times lower levels of antioxidants than those out at grass.[i] Daily your horse faces attacks from different factors which can all contribute to free radical damage. Free radicals are harmful- an overabundance can lead to cells being attacked and damaged thus leading to disease. Antioxidants help limit the damage done by free radicals by neutralizing them, antioxidants are often provided in the horse’s diet from vitamins, minerals & plant extracts.
Free radical damage can come from,
Toxins & chemicals
Lack of antioxidants.
Start by looking at your horse’s diet and determining if he has an adequate intake of basic antioxidants- vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, copper, vitamin C (horses make their own but in times of stress etc. need more). Know the difference between synthetic and real vitamins & minerals some are listed below. Whole foods generally have much higher nutritive value because their level of processing is much lower and in regards to the whole food, we also obtain not only natural nutrients but also naturally occurring cofactors which aid in nutrient assimilation, utilization and even have medicinal benefits. An example, a whole food label would not list synthetic or chemical names, but simply state as an example; alfalfa, green spinach, spirulina blue green algae, carrots, oats, barley. The manufacturer may have a list of nutritive value, stating this, but the ingredients are whole foods[ii].
Horses that need antioxidant boosting.
Most horses could do with the addition of antioxidants into their diet, especially during the winter months when fresh grass is limited or unavailable.
Muscular cramping or pain
Poor muscle bulk
Rely on the power and value of food.
1.You can plant different varieties of herbs and grasses in to your pasture for self-medicating purposes or forage daily for branches, herbs, berries (hedgerow feeding).
2. Most horses benefit from being feed wholefoods that are rich in antioxidants. Sprouting seeds for your horse and adding them into the diet will contribute to high levels of antioxidants as sprouted seeds are bursting with vitamin & minerals. Go to www.equineherbalist.ie to find out more about sprouting for your horse, my eBook ‘Seeds to Feed’ is available on my website which has everything you need to know about sprouting seeds as feed.
3. You can add herbs into the horse’s diet, a great way to do this is by using herbal teas where the water is absorbing the antioxidants you then dampen down your horses feed with the herbal tea. Research suggest that by dampening feed You can help reduce the risk of both choke & colic. I have taken the guess work out of what herbs to use and what the benefits are, by formulating an equine herbal tea called ‘rejuvenate’ which targets the gut, immune system, heart, lymphatic system, metabolism, hoof and provides high levels of antioxidants. one month’s supply of this tea is available to buy at my online shop at www.equineherbalist.ie
Nowhere in nature are vitamins and minerals found isolated. You will never find a carrot with just calcium present ~ What will be present are cofactors, which are the rest of the team including other minerals, vitamins, antioxidants. Antioxidants provide the nutrients needed to protect white blood cells and surrounding cells from damage.
Common Synthetic Vitamins to Avoid:
Toxicity with minerals are only documented using synthetic minerals not wholefoods.
Look for clues on your vitamin’s label that offer insight into the origin of the vitamin.
• Vitamin A: Retinyl Palmitate
• Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride
• Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavin
• Pantothenic Acid: Calcium D-Pantothenate
• Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
• Vitamin B12: Cyanocobalamin
• PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): Aminobenzoic Acid
• Folic Acid: Pteroylglutamic Acid
• Choline: Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
• Biotin: d-Biotin
• Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic Acid
• Vitamin D: Irradiated Ergosteral, Calciferol
• Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate (Synthetic vitamin E does not come from a natural food sources and is generally derived from petroleum products).
NOTE: The “dl” form of any vitamin is synthetic.
Organic minerals = derived form a living source such as a plants.
Non-organic = minerals from non-living substances such as rocks, salts, petrol, sand, chalk etc.
Only plants can transform inorganic minerals into organic minerals, in nature no minerals are found in isolation.
Minerals listed should be at least be listed as chelated.
Doing your own research on the minerals used in your equine feed maybe an eye opener for you, take copper sulfate for instance it makes a great drain cleaner!!
Keep it real.
 Tom Schell, D.V.M Nouvelle Research, Inc. Horse journal- guide to equine supplements and nutraceuticals by Eleanor M Kellon