As temperatures drop and winter approaches, you might take a break from training and conditioning your horse. You’ll need to adjust his feed to reflect the reduced athletic workload, but should you continue feeding him supplements through the winter?
Taking a winter off from feeding supplements may sound appealing; after all, it can simplify your feeding regimen and save you some money. But is it worth it when you consider what those supplements do for your horse?
Why Supplements Matter Year-Round
Some supplements offer year-round benefits to your horse. Dietary supplements, joint supplements and more may help to prevent health issues or injuries. Even though your horse may not be in active training or competition, there are still many ways that he can benefit from supplements through the winter.
For instance, Un-Lock supports muscle function and health in your horse, helping to prevent cramping. It also contains amino acids, electrolytes and essential vitamins. Even if your horse isn’t actively competing, he can still benefit from this performance muscle formula. You can administer Un-Lock before or after a hard workout to support your horse’s muscle function and help reduce his risk of cramping. The vitamins this supplement contains can contribute to your horse’s overall nutrition, and the electrolytes can help encourage your horse to drink, even in the cold weather.
Assess Your Horse’s Health Needs
Be sure to consider your horse’s individual health needs. For instance, it’s important to support your horse’s respiratory health year-round. When you close up the barn for winter, the limited air circulation can aggravate heaves and other respiratory issues. If your horse is prone to colic, then keeping him on a digestive support supplement is well worth the investment, even over the winter.
Remember, too, that the winter weather can affect your horse’s health. Keeping your horse on a joint supplement like Flexify-HA can support joint health and may alleviate the discomfort that comes with being turned out on frozen ground or spending long hours in his stall. Consider how your horse care routine changes in the winter and whether supplements may support your horse through those changes.
Watch For Over-Supplementation
As always, it’s important to watch out for over-supplementation. Avoid feeding multiple supplements that address the same issue, and only feed your horse supplements that serve a need. It’s always a good idea to consult with your vet or an equine nutritionist when you design your horse’s supplement program to make sure that ingredients don’t conflict and that you don’t over-supplement your horse, which could be potentially harmful.
There’s no right answer as to whether you should stop or continue feeding your horse’s supplements through the winter. It depends on the types of supplements you’re feeding, your horse’s health and your budget.
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