Supplements can come in a variety of forms, but the most common are powder, liquid and pellets. They should be easy to mix in with a bucket feed to ensure that the whole measure is ingested.
What do supplements do?
Broad-spectrum supplements provide vitamins and minerals that might be missing or lacking in your horse’s diet – for example, if he is on restricted grazing or doesn’t receive a balanced bucket feed. More specific supplements provide extra targeted nutrition with particular ingredients that are known to offer support in a specified area.
Supplements should not be confused with medication, but rather can be used to support a healthy horse. For example, hoof supplements can promote healthy hoof growth, while respiratory supplements can support the respiratory system to keep it operating in a healthy way.
To protect horse welfare and ensure a level playing field, if you take part in affiliated competition, such as under the rules of British Dressage, your horse may be tested to ensure he has not ingested any controlled medications or banned substances. The use of supplements is at your own risk so extreme caution is recommended.
To help you make a safe choice and prevent accidental doping, look for companies that have UFAS (Universal Feed Assurance Scheme) accreditation and carry a BETA NOPS logo, which shows they meet the standard for the control of naturally occurring prohibited substances.