Welcome to the Nerd Herd Hero!

ENN-Nerd Herd 2015

I recently received an email from a client that is dealing with arthritis in the neck of his 6 year old TB.  He was asking if there was any nutritional support that might help his horse.  This is how I answered:

“With most arthritis cases, nutritionally you have to make sure they’re getting certain nutrients to aid the body with inflammation and bone health.

I always start with my hay and make sure it is tested and has a higher protein level so that I know my horse is getting proper amino acids.

If the horse requires supplementation with grain for energy try to use one that has the three essential  amino acids guaranteed in the guaranteed analysis.

These include lysine, methionine and threonine.
Most feed companies only guarantee lysine.

Other nutrients that are super important for bone health are phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur and the trace minerals zinc, copper and manganese.

Vitamins A, C and B are all really important for anti-inflammatory and connective tissue health.

After you are sure his diet is adequate you can look at joint supplements.  I usually tell my clients to use one that has all of the joint support ingredients (rather than just one) as you never know which one your horse will respond to.

So look for one that has HA,MSM, Chondroitin, and Glucosamine.

Herbal supplementation would include devils claw for reducing pain, Bromaline for anti-inflammatory and yucca for anti-inflammatory.

I really like Uckle’s Arthrigen because it has everything in it.”

Hope this helps!

The Nerd




What Does It Do?

B6 is essential for energy production, nervous system activity and for blood production.

B6 is actually three compounds, phosphorylation, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine (PALP) which are found in various enzyme systems for their functions in the equine body.

Although research has been very extensive, the multiple functions of vitamin B6 through PALP are still not yet fully understood; but over fifty enzymes are  known which depend on it.

Nutritional Requirements:

Many factors such as age, performance, and protein uptake effects a horses’ need for vitamin B6.  Although deficiency symptoms have not been identified, all the evidence suggests that the amount of vitamin B6 in feeds may not be sufficient for optimum performance at any age.

Active horses appear to require a minimum dietary level of B6 greater than 2.5 mg/kg. The aim should be a supplement of about 3 mg per kg of feed which therefore supplies an active, performance horse with 30 mg/day, a resting adult with 18 mg/day, mares and stallions with 12 mg/day and foals and yearlings with 3 to10 mg/day.

Where Does My Horse Get It?

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What Does It Do?

B2 is vital for protein and carbohydrate metabolism.  Riboflavin is a precursor to two coenzymes. Coenzymes are molecules that carry chemical compounds between two enzymes which transport many substances in the body. Being a precursor simply means that the equine body uses B2 to make the coenzymes. B also appears to have a role in fat metabolism.

There is a specific site in an area of the small intestine where dietary B is absorbed.  It binds to a carrier protein and then is transported to the liver, the adrenals, and other sites where it is built into the enzymes.

As with all water soluble vitamins excess B is withdrawn by the kidneys and excreted via the urine.

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The ABCs of Equine Nutrition; The Letter B


Wow!  There are a lot of topics in horse nutrition that begin with the letter “B“.  And those topics have a LOT of information!  Before we get into nutrients, toxins or any other nutrition topic, I would like to begin with a tool for you to use in determining your horse’s health. A way to help you see if your nutrition program is on the right track.  With that in mind we will start the letter B with Body Condition Scoring.

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