While feeding loose mineral has been a long-time practice for cattle farmers, it has become a beneficial staple for many horse farms as well. Loose mineral is convenient for us, and easy to consume for our horses. More importantly, it helps your four-legged friends avoid these common, detrimental issues.
1) Mineral Imbalances
Depending on what you feed your horse, the ugly truth is that he may not be receiving everything he needs from his diet. Receiving optimum vitamins and minerals is crucial for animals on pasture, especially growing weanlings or foals. Mineral imbalances can cause problems in health, development, soundness, behavior and performance.
An easy, convenient way to ensure your horse is getting what he needs and is safe-guarded from imbalance is by feeding a loose mineral, such as Vitalize® Equine Free Choice. The loose mineral is palatable and can be fed either free choice in pasture or as a top-dress on grain.
2) Harmful Effects of Weather Changes
Weather changes affect the mineral composition of grass, which can cause a harmful imbalance to our grazing animals. Imagine this: you haven’t had rain in weeks (if you live in KS, this is quite relatable). Then, after a period of drought, the weather drops 20 degrees, rains 3 inches and the grass grows rapidly—yay! But, there will also be a spike in the grass’s potassium levels paired with a decline in calcium, magnesium, and sodium. When our horses eat this altered grass, it creates the “perfect storm” for colic, laminitis, abortions, allergies and many other ailments. This is a prime reason we need free-choice mineral available to our horses to help them regulate such imbalances in a quick, efficient way.
3) Licking the Ground
Have you ever seen your horse licking the ground? He may be trying to tell you something! Sometimes horses naturally turn to Mother Nature to find the minerals they are missing. However, this can be detrimental to his health and put him at a higher risk for parasites or, if in a sandy region, sand colic.
Vitalize Equine Free Choice Mineral contains 25 vitamins and minerals, including biotin and zinc for health hooves and coat, and our proprietary, natural prebiotic—Amaferm®—which is research-proven to support digestive and immune health, increase nutrient absorption of feed,and helps control body temperature during the hot summer months. For those familiar with Vitaferm® HEAT®, our cattle body temperature regulation supplement, the Vitalize Free Choice Mineral is a similar product that may help alleviate the effects of heat stress and anhidrosis in horses.