12 Important Vitamins and Minerals for Horses

March 26, 2021

Is your horse receiving the full spectrum of loose minerals and nutrients needed for optimum health and performance? Though we all want to provide our horses the best possible feed and nutrition, sometimes they still experience mineral and vitamin deficits that cause negative health consequences.

According to this Rutgers University article, nutrition is frequently a cause of disease or poor performance in horses, and deficiencies can result in clinical problems. So let's talk about 12 common nutrient deficiencies in horses, what causes them, associated symptoms, and how to resolve deficiencies with Redmond Daily Red. But first, what are nutrients and how do horses obtain their daily store?


What are Nutrients?

Nutrients are compounds essential to life and health. They provide energy, the building blocks for repair and growth, and help regulate chemical processes. Horses need six main classes of nutrients: water, fats, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Most vitamins are found in green, leafy forages, while vitamin D is obtained from sunlight. Minerals are found in water, soil, rocks, and plants. They’re necessary to maintain body structure, electrolyte balance, nerve conduction, and muscle contraction in horses.

What Causes Nutrient Deficiencies in Horses?

Numerous factors increase a horse’s risk for nutrient deficiency. Let’s look at six of the most common.

  • Caloric deficiency. Insufficient calorie intake, or not eating enough, is the most obvious way horses may become nutrient deficient.
  • All-hay diet. Hay satisfies horses urge to chew and provides essential nutrients, but because it’s dried, this AAEP article notes even high-quality hay may not provide all the nutrients horses need.
  • Deficient soil. Intensive farming practices have left many soils depleted of life-giving minerals and nutrients. That means crops grown in these soils, and which we feed our animals, are also deficient.
  • Stall confinement. Many horses spend time in trailers, stalls, and paddocks. We limit horses’ access to sun exposure and diverse forage when we pull them from their natural habitat of pastures and prairies.
  • Copious sweating. High-performance horses can lose up to 3 to 4.75 gallons of sweat with intense exercise. That sweat also contains critical nutrients and equine electrolytes.
  • Pregnancy. Pregnant mares’ nutritional needs change during pregnancy, requiring more nutrients to support fetal growth.

12 Common Vitamin and Mineral  Deficiencies in Horses

According to the Merck Vet Manual, horses most often become deficient in these 12 essential trace minerals and vitamins. Also listed are the symptoms horses may exhibit when deficient in each.

  1. Salt: Deficiency may cause pica, weight loss, tiring easily, dehydration, and muscle spasms.
  2. Phosphorous: Deficiency may cause pica, muscle weakness, and trembling.
  3. Potassium: Deficiency may cause muscle weakness, fatigue, and exercise intolerance.
  4. Magnesium: Deficiency in horses may cause nervousness, excitability, or muscle tremors.
  5. Zinc: Deficiency may cause low insulin, insulin resistance, dull coat, poor hoof, or bone diseases.
  6. Iron: Deficiency in horses may cause anemia.
  7. Copper: Deficiency may cause a dull coat, poor hoof, weak ligaments and tendons.
  8. Selenium: Deficiency in horses may cause white muscle disease and rhabdomyolysis (tying up).
  9. Vitamin A: Deficiency may cause night blindness, watery eyes, bone and muscle growth defects, a dull coat, reproductive problems, and increased susceptibility to disease and infection.
  10. Vitamin E: Deficiency may cause muscle weakness, typing up, impaired immune function, reproductive failure, and neuromuscular disorders.  
  11. Vitamin D: Deficiency may cause reduced bone calcification, stiff and swollen joints, stiff gait, and irritability.
  12. Thiamine: Deficiency may cause confusion, weakness, weight loss, incoordination, and gait abnormalities.

So how do you ensure your horse receives the full spectrum of vitamins and trace minerals needed to feel well and thrive? Start with a quality feed program and add a natural horse mineral supplement like Redmond Daily Red.


Nourish Horses with Daily Red Loose Mineral Supplement

We believe Redmond Daily Red has the edge when it comes to vitamin and mineral supplements for horses. It’s completely natural, unrefined, and delivers a broad spectrum of minerals and vitamins—including 11 of the 12 vitamins and minerals horses most often need. Here are Daily Red’s health benefits:

  • Natural Trace Minerals. Includes 63 trace minerals for horses naturally found in unrefined Redmond sea salt. (See a full mineral analysis here.)
  • Fortified Mineral Formula. Includes a boosted horse minerals package—including zinc, manganese, copper, iodine, selenium, and cobalt—to enhance antioxidant function, improve immunity, digestion, energy, muscle, tissues, and joints. (See our fortified mineral analysis here.)
  • Vitamins for Vitality. Added vitamins A, D and E support vision, reproduction, strong bones and joints, healthy nerve and muscle function, and a robust immune system.
  • Excellent Hydration Aid. Contains essential equine electrolytes that trigger thirst and encourage drinking.
  • Mined in America: 100% of our mineral salt is mined in central Utah from an ancient Jurassic Era sea deposit.

Redmond Daily Red supplement plays an important role in providing horses the essential trace minerals and vitamins lacking in many forages. With Redmond, you’ll feel confident your horses are receiving the best source of nutrients available. Nourish your horses and help them thrive with Redmond Daily Red.


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