Do Working Horses Need More Selenium Than Pasture Horses?

Do Working Horses Need More Selenium Than Pasture Horses?

Customer:

“Your product Horse Guard seems to indicate that you feed 2 oz no matter what the weight or type of use the horse is doing? It is my understanding that the more a horse is used the more sel & vit E they need. My horses all weigh 1100+ lbs. How can you feed 2 oz to an 1100 lb team roping horse and 2 oz to an 800 lb pasture ornament and not be under supplementing one and over supplementing the other? Or even the same 1100 lb horse when he is being ridden 3-4 times a week team roping vs when he is not being ridden at all. Especially given that the organic selenium is supposedly absorbed more readily than the inorganic (such as MegaSel)”

Answer from Equine Nutritionist, Del Johnson:

There are a lot of things to be addressed here but let me answer the questions that you pose directly about selenium.

Your product Horse Guard seems to indicate that you feed 2 oz no matter what the weight or type of use the horse is doing”

When fed as directed on the package Horse Guard is fed at 1 ounce per 500 lbs body weight. So a 500 lb horse would get 1 ounce and a 1000 lb horse would get 2 ounces.

“How can you feed 2 oz to an 1100 lb team roping horse and 2 oz to an 800 lb pasture ornament and not be under supplementing one and over supplementing the other? Or even the same 1100 lb horse when he is being ridden 3-4 times a week team roping vs when he is not being ridden at all.”

In this case you are correct – the two horses that are being worked would get the same selenium formulation. We have no research that indicates the difference in the requirements for horses under stress of exercise and those at rest. We do feel that the horse that is not being ridden would require less than the horse that is being ridden hard each day. Still it is good nutrition practice to provide both horses with the level of .3 parts per million selenium (3 mg per day for a 1000 lb horse) There are two reasons: First the horse that is not being worked hard could come under other forms of stress that would increase his requirement for selenium. For example challenge of disease etc. Second the higher selenium level is far from toxic selenium which would be more than 20 mg per day.

Especially given that the organic selenium is supposedly absorbed more readily than the inorganic (such as MegaSel).”

Research indicates that organic selenium is not absorbed more readily but is retained better in the body and functions more efficiently.

About Tania Crawford

Lindsey is the Office Manager at Horse Guard, Inc. She has a deep love and Passion for horses. View all posts by Tania Crawford

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