Feed & Nutrition

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Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that is an essential nutrient in equine diets. Vitamin E functions largely as a biological antioxidant in the equine body, protecting tissues from the oxidative effects of free radicals. Free radicals are a natural outcome of cell metabolism but they can become excessive during conditions of hard work or injury.

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Whether or not to give supplements to horses has always been the topic of lively and enduring conversation. But, there is a growing community of riders and horse owners who choose to provide their horses with the supplemental balance of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements to help with health issues and augment the well-being of their animals.

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Given the extreme weather in many parts of Canada in the summer of 2017 – hot and extremely dry in the west; rain and flooding in other areas - hay supply for the coming winter has been a top-of-mind concern for many horse owners.

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Early diagnosis of Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) is an important area of study, especially considering one of the first signs can be laminitis, a serious and sometimes life-ending condition. Catching EMS in its initial stages can facilitate early intervention with an appropriate exercise and diet plan to reduce the chances of laminitis developing.

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When Pasture is Too Much of a Good Thing - The horse has evolved as a grazing animal, hence, pasture plays a pivotal role in equine nutrition. Reported intakes of fresh pasture by horses can range from 1.5 to 5.2 percent of body weight per day. With such a large intake of pasture possible, can horses overconsume? What components of pasture grass can cause problems if taken in at excessive levels?

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Laminitis and insulin-resistance (IR) are troublesome conditions in and of themselves, so it is all the more frustrating that they tend to travel together. So while fresh, rich springtime grass beckons winter-weary horses, the insulin-resistant ones must stand resigned and glum on the wrong side of the fence as their well-intentioned owners toss them last year’s browning hay.

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Colostrum - you know it as the mare’s first milk. It is a complex fluid, rich in nutrients and immune-regulating compounds, all designed to give the newborn foal the immune support he needs to thrive. Unlike humans who are born with an initial level of immunity, newborn horses do not benefit from any placental transfer of immunoglobulins; therefore, they must consume colostrum in the first few hours of life in order to survive.

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