Nutrient Requirements for Horses: Fortified Feeds and the need for Supplementation-Optim-Equine

Nutrient Requirements for Horses: Fortified Feeds and the need for Supplementation

The vast majority of racehorses, performance horses and breeding stock are fed fortified feeds or balancer rations, which are designed to meet the daily nutrient requirements of horses. These nutrient requirements were established by the National Research Council (NRC) and last updated in 2007. The NRC provides the known nutrient requirements for horses by weight, age, workload and reproductive status. Nutrient requirements are based on ‘the minimum amounts needed to sustain normal health, production, and performance of horses’ based on available research.

There is a vast difference between SUSTAINING NORMAL HEALTH and being in OPTIMAL HEALTH. The requirements also do not take into account elevated nutrient requirements the body may have during states of illness, injury, inflammation, poor gastrointestinal health or undue stress. Without these increased requirements being met, the restoration of health and optimal healing becomes extremely challenging. Add to this the depletion of nutrients due to interactions with conventional pharmaceuticals and/or increased excretion due to the action of such medications.

This is where strategic nutrient supplementation becomes extremely valuable. Knowing which nutrient(s) to use; what dose to use and how long for; drug and nutrient interactions; factors which influence absorption; and the most bioavailable forms of nutrients are just some of the many important considerations.

Do yourself and your horse a favour. OPTIMise their health, wellbeing, recovery and performance

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