Keeping Your Horse's Overall Health Tuned Up

Good Nutrition: Keeping Your Horse's Overall Health Tuned Up.

If your car or truck is running low on fuel, do you stop and fuel it up? Sure you do! How about oil? It is crucial for the health and longevity of your car to ensure that the oil level and other fluids are adequate when running your car. If there isn't enough oil and fluids in your car, it is prone to breaking down, causing a lot of wear and tear on the vehicle.

high performance horse and car

When it comes to our horses, the situation is the same and the overall health of our equine companions is extremely important to us. As their caretakers, it is our responsibility to ensure that all of our horse's needs are taking care of. Proper nutrition plays a large part in your horse's health and is the most important responsibility that a horse owner has. Other responsibilities include providing fresh, clean water, regular deworming and vaccinations, and routine farrier work. However, Proper nutrition is the basis to the overall health of the horse.

The best analogy for basic nutrition for a horse is that of a car. In order for a car to run properly and most effectively certain fluids must be added to the engine. Carbohydrates, protein, and fat from hay and concentrates fed to a horse act very similar to gas in a car. These nutrients provide the horse with energy sources so the horse is able to function and maintain an ideal body condition. Much like different types of cars, the horse's energy requirements depend on the workload, body mass, age, and metabolic rate. Likewise, a Prius has very different fuel requirements than that of a one-ton pick-up.

horse grain

Oil in a car is a critical component to a vehicle as well, as is vitamins and minerals to a horse. These essential nutrients are the basis to your horse's health. Although hay and concentrates provide the energy, if adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals are not provided in the diet, then your horse will have added stress to his/her body. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can affect all aspects of a horse; reproduction, performance, immunity, and overall health.

In order to ensure the overall health of your horse, provide them with a vitamin and mineral supplement, like Horse Guard, Mega-Dose, or Trifecta. Adequate amounts of these essential nutrients will allow them to perform better, and fight off disease better. Take care of your horse as you would your vehicle and help them to live a longer, healthier life.

Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

Kelsey J. Nonella, Ph.D. is an equine nutritionist who was riding horses before she could walk. Her love for horses drives her to help educate people on what their horses’ needs in order to have happy, healthy horses. Kelsey went to Cal Poly receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science and then onto West Texas A&M, where she got her Masters and eventually her Doctorates in Equine Science. At A&M, Dr. Nonella did extensive research on Selenium within horses. Click here to view her research. Kelsey’s colleagues have mentioned her as one of the United States equine Selenium experts.

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