Micro-Phase is recommended for:
- Easy keepers eating little to no fortified feed
- Easy keepers on restricted grazing routines
- Horses and ponies in light work consuming all-forage diets
- Horses and ponies fed plain grains or unfortified feeds
- Horses and ponies on restricted diets due to obesity issues
- Senior horses or ponies that need a little extra nourishment
- Horses and ponies of any age or stage that would benefit from additional vitamins and trace minerals, including broodmares in late gestation or nursing, yearlings, hard-working performance horses, or horses with special needs
Which horses will benefit from additional vitamins and why?
Horses that are training and competing vigorously
Hard-working horses require higher levels of many vitamins, especially those vitamins that serve as antioxidants (E, C, and beta carotene, a source of vitamin A). Antioxidants counter the effects of oxidative stress caused by heavy work. For many of these horses, pasture time is limited due to heavy competition schedules and other management concerns, decreasing access to natural vitamins.
Horses with limited access to fresh green grass and/or those eating poor-quality hay
Vitamins quickly lose potency once grass is cut and cured for hay, and they tend to continue to degrade over time when stored. For example, there is a 9.5% loss of vitamin A activity in hay every month. The level of vitamin E in hay drops 70% within the first week of being cut. Horses maintained on hay or processed fiber sources are prime targets for deficiencies.
Horses in high-stress situations, such as frequent travel and relocation
Additional vitamins are needed to support a vigorous immune system and counter the effects of digestive tract stress that accompanies traveling. New environmental conditions, changes in diet, and off-schedule feedings often disturb the delicate balance in the hindgut and inhibit the synthesis of necessary vitamins.
Yearlings and two-year-olds
Vitamins play an important role in the rapid bone and muscular growth seen in young horses. They also support the immune system and play an integral role in the proper energy metabolism that fuels growth. Young, growing horses may require higher levels of vitamins than mature horses.
Last trimester pregnant or lactating mares and breeding stallions
Mares in late pregnancy and lactation are literally eating for two. Nature will deplete a mare’s resources to meet the needs of her fetus or foal, so adequate supplementation is necessary to protect both the mare and her foal. Stallions on a demanding breeding schedule will need additional vitamins to support adequate energy and fertility levels.
Horses recovering from an illness, surgery or traumatic injury
Additional vitamins are needed to support healing of tissue and bones. Possible digestive tract disruptions can reduce the amount of vitamins synthesized by good bugs (microbial population) in the hindgut.
Horses receiving long-term antibiotic therapy
Antibiotics can disrupt the population of good bugs in the hindgut, which synthesize vitamin K and the B vitamins. These vitamins may need to be replaced until the microbial population can recover.
When deciding if vitamin supplementation is right for your horse, take the time to carefully review his or her diet and lifestyle. Modern management practices often lead to the need for supplementation. Discuss your horse’s situation with your veterinarian or equine nutritionist to avoid unnecessary supplementation.