Jini’s Equine Supplement Regimen

horse-lookingDTI’ve written a lot about individual vitamins and minerals that horses need on this blog, and about probiotics and low-sugar hay. Lately I’ve been asked by a number of different people to pull everything together into one list – so here it is!

I approach equine supplementation from a different angle than most horse owners – because I’m also a health writer and I formulate supplements for humans. One of my human supplements is an elemental diet shake that contains over 40 different ingredients and sells into 60 different countries. So when I’m looking at health and supplementation for horses, I go a lot deeper into source materials, co-factors and the form of each substance, than your average horse owner.

Thus far, I’ve spent about 3 months researching pretty intensively into equine nutritional requirements; minimums versus therapeutic doses, and also testing different things on my horses. Because, at the end of the day, you could have a fantastic supplement, but if your horse won’t eat it – because of the smell or taste – then there’s no point in purchasing it.

In this article, I’m just going to give you the straight list of what and how I feed and supplement my horses – which is a bit of a story, so stay with me! The WHY and research behind each item comprises an entire eBook of information, so let’s not go there just yet.

So, for the last year, in addition to 24/7 access to low sugar/starch hay in slow feeders, our horses also received these supplements:

1st Version – Equine Supplement Regimen jini-supp-final

Dr. Hermen Geertsema’s Total Equine Feed – 1 cup (this just acts as a decent quality, low sugar base to add all the supplements to)
1 tablespoon seaweed powder
1 tablespoon himalayan or Redmond’s salt
1 dose Natren Equiflora probiotic
2500 mg magnesium
1200 IU natural vitamin E
3000 IU vitamin D3
3/4 cup Jini’s Hoffman’s Supplement Mixture, loosely scooped (see recipe below)

*All dosages are given per 1100 lb (500 kg) horse. And are added to the feed bowl in the order given.

I would often add a scoop or two of Wendals Herbs or loose dried herbs to the feed dish, or perhaps a Majesty’s Bio+ Hoof Wafer, depending on what each horse needs. Both these companies produce excellent quality supplements – and yes, I spent hours researching this too!

hoffmansNow let’s talk about Hoffman’s Horse Minerals for a little bit… After searching all over the USA, Canada and the UK for about 3 months, Hoffman’s was the best combination multi-vitamin/multi-mineral for horses that I could find.

I also queried the company (and their manufacturer) extensively about certain elements and they were extremely courteous, sincere and never once got pissed off with the number of questions I was asking! They also provided me with solid documentation for certain decisions they made, that I wasn’t quite convinced about. Like the amount of Vitamin A in their product. After much to-and-fro I have to say that I still think their Vitamin A level is a bit high, but certainly not high enough to cause any issues. The amount I give my horses (after adding the other ingredients to the Mixture) puts it at a level I feel good about.

When I purchased Hoffman’s Minerals for that first year, I bought the large bag and also 1 of the large tubs (as shown in the photo). This way, I could get the cost savings from buying the large bag, but I got the ease of daily scooping from the tub with a snap-on lid. The tub is also handy to mix up each new batch of Mixture.

WHY did I mix other things into the Hoffman’s Minerals? Because only 1 of my horses will eat it as is – top dressed onto her feed. The others just leave it at the bottom of the feed dish. I have heard this complaint from many other Hoffman’s users. Plus, it’s an excellent way to get the good fats/oils into my horses!

Jini’s Hoffman’s Supplement Mixturejini-mineral-mixture

24 cups Hoffman’s Horse Minerals
8 cups whole flaxseed
4 cups raw sunflower seeds
5 cups cold-pressed safflower oil
2 cups cold-pressed sesame oil
2 cups dark molasses (optional, or reduce as desired)

Mix all ingredients together well (takes a lot of stirring!) in the Hoffman’s Minerals tub and keep the lid on tight to prevent denaturing of ingredients.

If your horse will eat the Hoffman’s Horse Minerals straight – then go for it! And just drizzle some cold-pressed flax oil over top to get in the good fats.

IMPORTANT: The only thing you have to watch out for with the regimen above, is to make sure your horse is not getting too much iron. Iron has to be in the correct ratio with zinc and copper, or it contributes to laminitis, insulin resistance and equine Cushing’s disease. Now, the Total Equine feed has iron in it, and the Hoffman’s has a high iron level in it – both are balanced in the correct ratios with zinc and copper within each product. BUT you need to also get your hay tested and if the iron content is high in your hay (which it often is) then you need to also add extra zinc and copper to this Supplement Regimen. According to Dr. Getty in Feed Your Horse Like A Horse, the zinc level should be similar to the iron level (but iron should be not more than 5x the zinc level), and zinc should be 3-5 times higher than copper, to establish the correct absorption ratio.

So this supplement regimen worked well for about a year, until we got our hay tested! And sure enough, as Dr. Getty suggested, the iron level in our hay was 9x higher than zinc, and so completely out of balance with the zinc and copper. At that point, we switched from feeding Hoffman’s Minerals to feeding only our low-sugar hay with the supplement that Dr. Getty recommends to balance hay-fed diets, called HorseTech High Point Grass vitamin/mineral supplement.

High Point Grass comes in both loose powder and pellet form; the amounts of each vitamin/mineral are different in each – but always in the correct ratio. Since we are not feeding any other grain, beet pulp, or pellet feed, we would not have anything to sprinkle the powder form onto. So we went with the pellet form, which has an alfalfa base.

We also continued to drizzle extra cold-pressed oils over top, along with extra magnesium, salt (the High Point Grass only contains approx. 1 teaspoon of salt, which is not enough to balance our pasture grass) and then seaweed powder and the Natren probiotics 2-3x/week as they are more potent than the probiotic in the High Point Grass supplement.

JINI’S FINAL EQUINE SUPPLEMENT REGIMEN

HorseTech High Point Grass vitamin/mineral in pellet form
1/2 tablespoon Himalayan or Redmond’s salt
2500 mg magnesium
Cold-pressed sesame, or safflower, or flax oil drizzled over top – as much as horse will eat, up to 1/4 cup

3x/week also add:
1 tablespoon seaweed powder
1 dose Natren Equiflora probiotic

*All dosages are given per 1100 lb (500 kg) horse. And I would still add a scoop or two of Wendals Herbs or dried loose herbs as needed, from time to time to assist in liver function, detox, respiration, etc.

However, I do want to point out that even though the Hoffman’s would not have been good for our horses long-term (because of the high iron content), it still provided a pretty noticeable improvement from where they were previously. Here are just a couple of examples of the dramatic effect Hoffman’s Minerals with the probiotics, oils, vitamin E and flax can have on a horse in just a few months…

This mare is pregnant – she is not receiving Hoffman’s Minerals, or any other supplements. She has been free foraging on 200 acres for six months:

amalia-clinton

The same mare after 4 months of Jini’s Equine Supplement Regimen, low sugar hay 24/7 in slow feeders and a few hours a day of pasture turnout. Note: She has not even been brushed yet (proof: you can see the dirt patches on her!):

amalia-after-supps

amalia-run

This gelding from the same herd (was free foraging on 200 acres, then schedule-fed hay for 2 months):

spoo-before-supps

The same gelding after 4 months of Jini’s Equine Supplement Regimen, 24/7 low sugar hay and few hours of grass turnout per day. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but his mane has both thickened and gotten a lot longer:

spero-run

Pretty darn gorgeous, I’d say!

SUMMARY: So if you’re NOT going to get your hay tested to determine the iron level, then it’s probably best to feed HorseTech’s High Point Grass supplement, to be on the safe side – add extra magnesium, oils, seaweed, and salt if required.

But if your hay tests fine for the iron/zinc/copper ratio, then you may prefer to feed the Hoffman’s Minerals and you can mix it as shown above with the oils, salt, seaweed, flax, Vitamin E, and raw sunflower seeds, if you wish.

If you are in the UK, this is the best local supplement I found – excellent quality ingredients, they do not add any iron, and the zinc and copper are in the correct ratio: Thunderbrook Equestrian Base Mix.

 

Jini’s Equine Supplement Regimen

9 thoughts on “Jini’s Equine Supplement Regimen

  • August 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm
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    I enjoy what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever
    work and reporting! Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my own blogroll.

    Reply
  • April 5, 2016 at 11:42 am
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    Hi Jini,

    Thanks for the great post — I’d be curious to get your take on this feed, which I feed to my horse who is healthy but has been diagnosed with ERU (he also gets an herbal tincture daily and 2 scoops of aniprin). We do a hay/grass diet and then I use a bit of this feed to get supplements and the aniprin in, along with sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

    CoolStance Copra – http://www.stanceequine.com/product-coolstance-copra Looked good but I’m considering switching to the High Point based on your article, but would like to see what you think of this one from a nutritional perspective.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • April 6, 2016 at 11:54 am
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      Hi Elyse, most of the ‘ideal ranges’ for the vitamins/minerals researched for this article come from the work of equine nutritionist, Dr. Juliet Getty. Combined with referencing the Merck Vet Manual and a few other University equine research sources. So – as Dr. Getty sells the High Point feed on her website, and at a discount over buying straight from the manufacturer – I would contact her with your question and get her to assess the CoolStance product for you.

      You could ask her something like this, “I’m thinking of buying the High Point feed, but I’m not sure as my horse is currently on CoolStance and doing well. Could you please tell me why I should buy High Point rather than CoolStance?”

      The other thing you could do is compare the ingredient list of the two products and then just double-check the zinc/copper/iron ratio as outlined in this post.

      Please let us know what you find out…

      Reply
        • April 6, 2016 at 10:45 pm
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          Awesome – glad you’re enjoying it!

          Reply
      • July 17, 2019 at 6:41 pm
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        Dr. Teskey in his “decomplexicating eq nutrition” blogs/ course recommends “Cool Stance”,, it is dried dessicated coconut, nothing else . I looked into buying it at Country Feeds in Langley, it was selling for about $75.00 /44 lb bag., last checked for it in Sept /18. I don’t know the nutrient components tho.

        Reply
  • April 12, 2017 at 6:41 pm
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    VACCINATION?

    I just received this question from a reader, so thought I would post our exchange here in case anyone else is wondering…

    QUESTION: “Hi there….I first have to thank you for your valuable, informative website. I have 2 rescues; one an elderly blind POA with PPID, and the other an Arab/Andalusian whom I have been playing at liberty with for a year. I haven’t had horses in my life for 30 years. The learning curve is steep, but oh so rewarding.

    Our vet is coming in a few weeks. She wants to vaccinate for West Nile. I definitely will NOT do the blind PPID pony, but I wonder what you would do? I don’t do Big Pharma myself, but I see the value in a tetanus shot, but seriously question the need for West Nile. I searched your blog before writing to you, but didn’t see this aspect of horse care addressed. Thanks so much for all that you offer.”

    ANSWER: You’re very welcome and so glad you are enjoying the blog 🙂

    I have researched vaccination thoroughly – my article (for humans) was published in magazines in the US and Australia and is also on the National Vaccine Advisory Council website AND I do not vaccinate any of my animals or children.

    Recently, my dogs required a rabies vaccine to cross the border – and my holistic vet gave them a homeopathic vaccine and filled out the forms as if she’d given them the drug one. Yay!

    There is a very good book, “Holistic Horsekeeping” by Madalyn Ward DVM which has lots of great info on why she doesn’t like to vaccinate horses and what you can do instead. She talks directly about West Nile too. She says:

    “When a patient of mine contracted West Nile (verified through titers), we were able to stop the progression of symptoms within 12 hours and restore the horse to normal health within 48 hours using several homeopathic remedies.”

    Hope that helps, and what a wonderful adventure you’re on! Perhaps I’ll do a longer post specifically on vaccination in the future.

    Reply
  • October 25, 2017 at 1:26 pm
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    I was reading your comments on Hoffmans feed. I have been feeding there Hay saver as a Hay saver. It’s quite unfortunate that this company won’t list the Sugar content in this product ” on the bag ” ! They seem to have listed everything else but failed in mentioning it contains over 20% sugar. This high of sugar is not recommended for horses that have metabolic problem or for ones that have a founder problem.
    Where I purchased it they sold it as No sugar product. I wanted to let people know to be careful when feeding all these types of grains and hay products. Never assume only what the label says. Contact the company directly if you can as this can really set the problematic horses that are trying to get treatment way back. I’m quite dissapointed with the product and wouldn’t personally use it after the lack of information on the packaging.
    Just thought I’d share, as I feel it’s important to some people to know this.

    Reply
    • November 1, 2017 at 8:11 pm
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      Thanks so much for letting us know – that’s a pretty important piece of info to leave off the label/package!

      Reply

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