When horse owners think about joint supplements, one popular ingredient they look for is HA (Hyaluronic Acid). Unfortunately, finding the best product for your horse is not as cut and dry as seeing Hyaluronic Acid listed in the ingredients.
Certain horses do best on low sugar (ESC) & starch grains / concentrates, such as those with metabolic concerns, ulcers, PSSM etc. Horses with metabolic conditions should strive for feeds with combined sugar and starch under 10%. For these horses, owners turn to feed companies to help provide them with safe options. Almost every grain company offers a low sugar and starch option. Some may market them as “Low Carb”, “Low Starch”, or simply “Safe”. Can owners rely on the information printed on the front of these bags? The sad answer is No.
The Journal of Equine Veterinary Science just published a review article titled “The Dietary Components and Feeding Management as Options to Offset Digestive Disturbances in Horses”. I know not everyone enjoys diving head first into a seven page study like I do, so I thought I’d give you the Cliff Note version.
Trace minerals; the amount a horse needs to consume is so minimal it’s hard to imagine they have any effect over such a large animal. Yet deficiencies in two trace minerals; copper and zinc can be very noticeable.
The best technique to sample your horses hay is to use a mechanical coring probe made specifically for this purpose. Probes are able to sample a cross-section of the bale (end to center) and the serrated tip allows collection of both coarse and fine particles. When using a hay probe is not an option, the next best method is hand pulling from the center of multiple bales.