The Importance of Horse Supplements for Optimal Health


horse grazing through fence - the importance of horse supplements for optimal health

The wellbeing of your horse is going to be important to you as a horse owner. Not only are they a financial investment, but horse owners also tend to care deeply for these amazing creatures.

For those reasons, understanding the importance of horse supplements for optimal health will likely be of interest. Providing preventative care for your specific horse breed and their individual healthcare needs is a topic we’re passionate about, and we think you probably are, too.

The Importance of Providing Horse Supplements

Establishing a healthcare program for your horse will better ensure their wellbeing. Regardless of whether your horse is a high-performance competitor or more of a family pet; equine health is important for their lifespan and quality of life overall.

Although horses can receive all their nutrients the ‘old-fashioned’ way—through high-quality hay and by grazing on high-quality pasturefor many horses, this does not end up being a sustainable diet.

Supplements are an easy and affordable way to combat any lack of nutrition or difficulty absorbing nutrition that a horse might have. In addition, horse supplements can help sustain energy, build a more robust immune system, and aid in producing a healthy coat for your horse season after season.

Equine Supplements for Optimal Equine Health

Before investing in equine supplements, it is important to understand the needs of each specific breed.

Different horse breeds have different needs and health concerns. Each individual horse will also have their own nutritional requirements based on factors such as their age, overall health, level of activity and fitness, primary job and even their geographical location. So, uncovering which horse supplements will benefit each horse individually is important.

Thus, understanding optimal equine health is important before introducing equine supplements as a way to provide effective care for your horse. Your vet and/or equine nutritionist can help you determine what supplements your horse might benefit from.

Types of Equine Supplements & Their Role

carriage horse eating bucket of grain by sidewalk - the importance of horse supplements for optimal health

In addition to horse supplements for individual needs; understanding the types of equine supplements and their role will also help horse owners narrow down their purchasing decisions.

Here are some of the most popular equine supplements on the market.

Copper and Zinc Horse Supplements

Copper and zinc are micronutrients essential for proper functioning of many enzyme systems. They play a part in the formation of connective tissues, keratin and collagen, which are vital for healthy hooves, hair and skin. For more information on the most important nutrients for horses, check out How Nutritional Imbalances Affect Hoof Quality

Zinc plays an important role in improving the immune system, and aids in wound healing, better stress tolerance and fewer infections.

Copper aids in utilizing iron, and it can also assist horses with allergies, as it is able to lower the concentration of histamine in the body. Copper also helps to keep the central nervous system running correctly and efficiently.

Magnesium Horse Supplements

Magnesium is an activator of many enzymes involved in energy production. Magnesium horse supplements assist in calcium and potassium uptake, also playing a role in the formation of bones and overall metabolic health.

Calcium Horse Supplements

Calcium is a necessary mineral responsible for bone formation and muscle contractions. A lack of calcium may result in a weaker skeletal structure of a horse, putting added strain on their body overall. Calcium horse supplements are an easy and effective addition to your horse’s feed in order to combat deficiencies, should your horse not be getting enough calcium in their regular diet.

Joint Care for Equine Health

MSM promotes and maintains optimal joint health and function. MSM contributes to healthy joints because, as a form of sulfur, it adds to the benefits of glucosamine.

This horse supplement can also relieve the pain of strained muscles and over-extended joints, and can lessen inflammation and muscle spasms, as well.

Glucosamine for Equine Health

To help maintain joint health through nutrition, one of the most powerful supplements is glucosamine. Glucosamine maintains musculoskeletal health, provides building blocks for healthy joints while improving joint function.

The amino sugars found in glucosamine are incorporated into the structure of body tissues. They’re also involved in the formation of cartilage, tendons, skin, eyes, bones, ligaments and heart valves. Glucosamine also plays a role in mucous secretions of the digestive, respiratory and urinary tracts.

Glucosamine horse supplements stimulate chondrocytes to produce more collagen and proteoglycans. The more glucosamine there is, the more collagen and proteoglycans there are, and the more water can be absorbed. The end result is healthier cartilage, with glucosamine working at the cellular level to reinforce natural repair.

Overall, glucosamine horse supplements help to:

  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Reduce Joint Pain
  • Lubricate Joints
  • Protect Cartilage


When seeking horse supplements, be sure you are adding the right supplements into their diet. Be sure that you are doing your research and that you are reading the ingredients on the label, as well.

Also, consult a veterinarian to confirm your decision or to help you arrive at the right equine supplements to assist in your horse’s overall health! If you have other animals, remember that they'll likely benefit from supplements, too, and How To Choose The Best Vitamin Supplements For Your Animals will provide you with more info on that topic. 

By contributor

Feature image: Rainer Maiores; Image 1: Rahul Bhogal


We asked 10 pro farriers to give their top tip for starting a farrier business. Sign up to our newsletter to check them out!

*indicates required

Next Post Previous Post
Equine Health,Feature Article
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url