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A Quick Guide to the Best Summer Supplements for Horses

Summer brings a unique set of challenges for horse owners, from managing hydration to ensuring that your horse's skin and coat remain healthy under the harsh sun. 

This guide explores essential supplements that can help your horse stay healthy, energetic, and comfortable during the warm months - IF supplements are your thing. 

Note** Before reading, keep in mind that there are two types of supplements: performance and nutritional. I’m all for both, but it’s important to consult your vet or an equine nutritionist and find out what your horse REALLY needs. 

Now - read on!

Understanding Your Horse’s Summer Needs

With increased heat, horses lose significant electrolytes through sweat. Sunlight can degrade nutrients in their feed, necessitating supplementation to prevent deficiencies.

Horses are more susceptible to dehydration, heat stress, and sunburn in summer. The increased activity can also strain their energy levels and digestive system.

So what’s a horse owner to do? Well, get yourself some high-quality mineral sunscreen (for you and those white noses), and listen up.

Hydration Supplements

Electrolytes are vital for regulating hydration, muscle function, and nerve signals. Replenishing electrolytes is crucial in summer to prevent dehydration and support overall health.

Ask around at your barn for supplement recommendations. Horse people are always more than willing to let you know what they use, and if you can’t get any good info from the barn - ask your vet!

Coat and Skin Health

Products that contain omega fatty acids and vitamins can improve coat shine and provide UV protection. These supplements help maintain skin integrity and prevent sun damage.

Adding flaxseed oil or fish oil to your horse's diet can improve skin health and add a luxurious shine to their coat, making it not only beautiful but also more resilient to the elements.

Energy and Performance Boosters

Certain supplements can help maintain your horse's energy levels during the demanding summer months, supporting both muscle function and endurance.With that said, you should always know your horse - especially when it comes to heat. Sometimes enough is just enough. 

Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines for dosage, and consult with a veterinarian or reputable equine nutritionist regarding supplements that fit your horse's specific health profile and workload.

Digestive Health

Summer heat can disrupt gut health, leading to discomfort and nutrient absorption issues. There are supplements available that can help stabilize the digestive system and promote healthy gut flora.

Continuous access to fresh water and providing a diet rich in fibers can complement the use of probiotics, keeping your horse's digestive system regular and healthy.

Joint and Hoof Care

Joint supplements provide necessary nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin, which are essential for maintaining joint lubrication and hoof integrity during dry summer months.

Biotin-rich supplements can promote healthier hooves, mitigating the brittleness caused by dry conditions and reducing the risk of cracks and splits.

Immune System Support

Vitamin C, E, and selenium supplements can bolster the immune system, which can be compromised by the stress of heat and increased activity.

These nutrients not only support immune function but also aid in recovery and resilience, helping your horse cope with summer stressors.

Stress Management and Calming Supplements

Products provide natural herbs and minerals that help manage stress and anxiety, promoting a more relaxed demeanor. Incorporating herbs like chamomile and lavender can soothe anxiety and aid in relaxation, especially during unusually hot days.

Choosing the Right Supplements

Choosing a supplement can be a challenge. Evaluate your horse's age, health status, and specific challenges they face during summer to choose the most appropriate supplements.

Customizing your supplement choices based on individual health assessments and seasonal demands will make sure that your horse receives the optimal benefits.

Tips for Safe Supplement Use

Introduce any new supplement gradually and monitor your horse for any adverse reactions or allergies. Regular observation and consultation with a vet can help you gauge the effectiveness of a supplement regimen and make necessary adjustments.

Note* Some veterinarians aren’t well-versed in supplements. I really can’t stress working with a reputable equine nutritionist enough…AFTER you speak with your vet!

With Supplements, Less is More

Selecting the right summer supplements for your horse involves understanding their unique needs and challenges during the warmer months. By incorporating these targeted supplements into your horse's diet, you can ensure they remain healthy, energetic, and comfortable all summer long. 

Remember, always consult with your veterinarian AND nutritionist when adding new supplements to your horse’s routine to ensure they are a safe and beneficial addition. Don’t overload them, less is almost always more!

Our Favorite Supplement Brands

Purina - Known for a wide range of horse feeds and supplements, Purina offers products tailored to various health needs and life stages.

SmartPak - Specializes in custom supplement feeding systems and offers a broad range of supplements for joint health, digestive support, and overall wellness.

Farnam - A well-established brand offering products for joint health, fly control, grooming, and more.

Cosequin - Particularly known for joint supplement formulations that help protect horses' joint health during high levels of activity.

Equine America - Provides a variety of supplements, including those for hoof care, joint health, and digestive support.

Kentucky Performance Products - Offers targeted solutions like weight management, joint support, and electrolyte replenishment.

Manna Pro - Produces a variety of horse supplements including those for coat health, digestive care, and overall nutritional needs.

Absorbine - Known for their topical and liniment products, they also offer a range of supplements focused on muscle recovery and joint health.

Mad Barn - Recognized for their focus on nutritional science and innovative equine supplements, Mad Barn offers products that support digestive health, nutritional balance, and performance.


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