Most horse owners understand the importance of protein in a horse’s diet. Most understand that protein is used for growth and the repair of muscle and tissues. Few however can tell you what protein is actually made of.
Protein is made up of Amino acids much like a wall is made of bricks. There are 22 Amino acids that constitute protein in your horse. A horse needs all 22 to build proteins in his body. Horses get these Amino acids two ways; they make them in their body or they get them from their food.
Of the 22 Amino acids there are 10 that are called essential. The essential Amino acids come from food. Essential Amino acids must be provided in the diet because the horse cannot manufacture them on their own in the digestive tract. The importance of providing these essential Amino acids can be better understood when we look at the jobs they do: