How To Determine What Nutrients Your Horse Needs

Almost anyone who took high school biology will remember that all organisms need nutrients in order to carry out life processes. The things humans need to carry out those processes are the same for horses, wolves, and dolphins, and they are: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids (fats), vitamins, minerals, and water. As horse owners, we want to make sure our animals are getting optimal nutrition. But factors such as age, weight, status, and workload means that you can’t feed every horse the same.

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Kylee J. Duberstein, Ph.D., Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia, & Edward L. Johnson, Ph.D., Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, coauthored an article in 2009 (revised and republished in 2012) to help people understand the basic principles of horse nutrition. In it they referenced a database created by the National Research Council (NRC) that suggests equine nutritional requirements for horses based on age, weight, status and workload of your horse. The database then calculates the inputted numbers to determine what specific nutritional needs the horse may require.

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Once you know what nutrients your horse needs, you can then select supplements that will benefit your horse. Keep in mind that care must be taken when researching nutritional information using a database like the one referenced above because overconsumption of certain vitamins or minerals can lead to toxicity.


Thankfully, Horse Guard Inc. has horse nutrition down to a science. When looking for specific nutritional needs, we make your search easy, grass horse nutrients as you can search our website for supplements based on activity level, specific health needs, or even specific vitamins or ingredients. In the event you’re uncertain regarding any of our products, simply contact our Equine Nutritionist, Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella, with any questions or concerns you may have. You’ll quickly learn why, with over 35 years experience, Horse Guard Inc. offers the highest quality equine nutritional supplements on the market.

About Horse Guard

Ty is the Marketing Director for Horse Guard. A Cal Poly graduate, Ty has been handling and competing with horses her whole life. Ty values her horses health and truly believes she is feeding and marketing the best equine supplements on the market. View all posts by Horse Guard

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