If you're one of the many horse owners who regularly feeds an equine supplement (or several), you'll be well aware of how expensive this can be. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself if your horse really needs supplements in its diet?

Generally speaking, most healthy horses won't as they'll already be getting all the nutrition they need from their hard feed and grazing. Providing you adhere to the feeding guidelines on the back of the food bag and your horse gets regular turnout, its diet is going to be complete enough without supplements.

However, if you already supplement or are considering starting, ask yourself - does my horse have a condition to treat? Is he particularly old or young? Is my horse on a diet and therefore not getting the recommended quota of hard feed? If you answer yes to any of these, chances are a targeted supplement could be beneficial to your horse.This also applies to horses that are convalescing, and those that are under hard work or stress.

Before introducing any new supplement, it is worth contacting your vet or equine nutritionist for advice. Every horse is different and what works for one horse might not be effective for another.

If your horse does require supplements, whether for its hooves, joints or digestion, don't settle for a supplement that doesn't appear to be working, just because you're used to feeding it. If you start to suspect it's no longer effective, switch your horse onto something different and persevere until you find a product that works. If you need any advice on choosing a suitable supplement, contact us and one of our E-SQPs will be more than happy to help.

Many horses have conditions that do necessitate supplements and VioVet stocks a wide range to choose from, including many of the leading brands like NAF, Equine America, Dodson and Horrell, Equilibrium, Maxavita, Global Herbs and Horse First, amongst many others.

If your horse is routinely stabled or is on a restricted diet and perhaps getting less nutrient-rich roughage, SimplySunshine from Equilibrium is a product containing all the goodness of summer pasture to help provide missing nutrients to horses with less turnout. NAF has also introducted Super Flex Senior to their wide range of supplements, which is specially formulated to support healthy joints in older horses and younger ones with active lives.

For horses with incomplete, nutrient-deficient diets or those that need extra, more targeted support, supplements can make a world of difference and are a worthwhile investment. If you think your horse could benefit from a supplement, albeit a multi-vitamin or area-specific product, consult your vet or contact us for more information.

Please comment below with any questions or comments, or email us for advice.

Written by: Hannah