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Glossary of Ingredients

Arginine

Arginine is an essential amino acid for horses. It plays a role in the animals immune function, wound healing and improving blood flow. Arginine is also a building block for creatine. Creatine assists in building and maintaining strong, healthy muscles. Arginine also aids the body in making protein. Protein is specific to hoof strength and foot function.

Biotin

Biotin is a member of the B-vitamin family. It is essential to the growth of strong, healthy hooves due to its role in collagen formation. Numerous research studies have shown that long-term, daily supplementation of Biotin improves the growth rate and hardness of hooves. This is especially true in horses with poor quality hoof horn, soft, brittle or chipped hooves.

Calcium

Calcium is of great importance in a horses diet. Calcium makes up 35% of the bone and is important for maintaining skeletal soundness. Horses require calcium for proper bone growth and maintenance.

Calcium to phosphorus ratios are important. An ideal ratio is approximately 1:1 to 3:1. Pregnant and lactating mares, growing and exercising horses may benefit from daily supplementation.

Copper

Copper is a trace mineral required for proper production of normal connective tissues including tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone. Zinc and copper should be supplemented at a proper ratio. Recognized ratios are 3:1 to 5:1, zinc to copper. Copper is a nutrient specific to hoof wall strength and foot function.

Cysteine

Cysteine is an amino acid that aids in forming a strong hoof wall. As collagen is formed, in the hoof wall, cysteine aids in the increased formation of strong collagen twists, which result in a stronger hoof wall. Cysteine is an important ingredient for quality hoof supplements.

Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid for horses. Lysine is a limiting amino acid, meaning that if it is not present in adequate amounts it will limit the body’s ability to make protein. Protein is specific to hoof strength and foot function. Lysine is a required amino acid for all ages of horses.

Methionine

Methionine is an essential amino acid for horses. Methionine may be the second limiting amino acid, after lysine.

If it is not present in adequate amounts, it may limit the body’s ability to make protein. Methionine is found in high concentrations in the hoof and hair. Methionine should be present in a quality hoof supplement.

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are sources of soluble fiber that serve as food for the probiotics or “good” bugs in the large intestine. Prebiotics enhance the growth and activity of important and beneficial digestive tract organisms. Horses that are ‘tough keepers”, underweight or in heavy training will benefit from supplementation of prebiotics.

Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms fed, to help promote healthy digestion and immune function. These “good bugs” aid in the breaking down of food that the body can’t or has trouble doing so. Supplementing, or re-colonizing, with probiotics helps maintain healthy digestion especially in horses that are under stress, post antibiotic protocol, post worming and aids foals that have diarrhea.

Selenium

Selenium is a trace mineral that works synergistically with vitamin E. Selenium and vitamin E aid the body’s antioxidant system to trap free radicals in horses that are exercised heavily and those that have certain medical conditions. Selenium is a nutrient specific to hoof strength and foot function. The recommended daily maximum supplementation is 5mg per day.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for eye health, bone growth, reproduction, immunity, and normal skeletal development in young growing horses and exercising horses that are remodeling bone. Horses must satisfy their vitamin A requirement entirely from their diet or by supplementation. Only horses on fresh green pasture are likely to meet that minimum requirement. Horses on grass hay, horses with no access to pasture, or horses that are exercising or breeding probably need supplementation.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B family (B-complex vitamins) are especially important for horses who are not eating normally (“off their feed“), are under stress (possibly from heavy exercise and training, illness, injuries, transportation, post surgery) and aged horses. B-vitamins include Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Pyridoxine (B6), Folic Acid (B9), and Cyanocobalamin (B12). Choline, Biotin, Inositol and others are sometimes referred to as B-vitamins. Research suggests B-vitamin supplementation may be beneficial to stabled horses with little access to fresh pasture, heavily exercising horses, pregnant and lactating mares, horses with GI conditions that may interfere with normal gut flora, and any periods of stress.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is beneficial to the production of connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage. It is also an antioxidant that works in conjunction with vitamin A and vitamin E. Vitamin C supplementation is generally not needed as adequate amounts are normally manufactured by the horse’s liver. However, horses that are aged, have “heaves”, are diseased, and under endurance exercise may benefit from dietary supplementation.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps the horse to manage and use calcium. It is assumed that horses make all of the vitamin D, that they need, simply by exposure to sunlight. However, horses kept indoors for prolonged periods of time, horses fed poor quality hay, very young foals or exercising horses that are remodeling bone may need supplementation.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, along with selenium and vitamin C, enhance the body’s immune system and is an antioxidant that is essential to proper muscle cell function. Horses that do not have access to grass, regardless of activity level or age, should receive vitamin E supplementation. Horses must satisfy their vitamin E requirement entirely from their diet or by supplementation.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism and liver function. Horses with chronic liver conditions, or with disturbances of the gastrointestinal microorganisms such as colic, diarrhea or prolonged antibiotic treatment may benefit from vitamin K supplementation.

Yucca Schidigera

Yucca schidigera is an herbaceous plant native to the Southwest and Mexico. It is widely used as a feed additive for animals. Yucca schidigera is a 100% natural flavoring agent that horses love. Active components of Yucca include steroidal saponins and phenolics. Steroidal saponins have beneficial anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory effects. Phenolics are anti-oxidants with anti-inflammatory capabilities..

 

Zinc

Zinc is micro mineral involved in connective tissue formation, carbohydrate metabolism and immune system function. Zinc is important for healthy skin, healthy hoof growth and hoof strength. Zinc and copper should be supplemented at a ratio of 3:1 to 5:1, zinc to copper.

The following information is intended for general education on dietary supplementation.

For specific dietary recommendations, a qualified veterinarian should be consulted.

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