Nutritional Minutes

Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I

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Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I There are three different types of carbohydrates utilized by horses: simple sugars and starches, rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, and structural carbohydrates. This part of our series will deal with simple sugars and starches. What are carbohydrates and why are they important? Carbohydrates are substances made up of the elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). Various forms of carbohydrates are made through... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Put the Bloom Back in Your Horse’s Coat

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Does your horse struggle with dull, flaky hair coat? Are his mane and tail dry and brittle? The quality of your horse’s hair is based in part on his genetic makeup, but nutrition can also play a role. Nutrients affect hair quality Protein: Skin and hair need protein. Proteins are made up of different amino acids and each amino acid has a purpose. Protein deficiency is rarely seen, but your horse may be lacking certain amino acids that affect hair... Read More »

Category : Health & Management | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Vitamin E and Equine Motor Neuron Disease

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What is Equine Motor Neuron Disease? Equine Motor Neuron Disease (EMND) is a degenerative disease of the motor neurons located in the spinal column and brain stem. Motor neurons are the nerves responsible for signaling muscles to contract and move. The motor neurons of horses with EMND become damaged. The damaged neurons send incorrect signals to the muscles and affect the musculature of the horse. Symptoms associated with EMND include: A constant... Read More »

Category : Essential Vitamins | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

The Trouble with Fructans

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What is a fructan? Fructan is a type of sugar found in cool-season grasses. Instead of being digested in the foregut, fructan passes into the horse’s hindgut, where it ferments and causes the production of lactic acid. If too many fructans are consumed at one time, high levels of lactic acid can accumulate and cause the pH of the hindgut to drop. Even small changes in pH can negatively affect the delicate microflora that live in the hindgut and aid in... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Protein Demystified

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It's all about amino acids Protein is a major component in most tissues in the horse. Proteins are made up of individual amino acids that join together to form chains. The length of the protein chains varies from protein to protein, as does the combination of amino acids making up the chains. When horses consume proteins in their diet, the proteins are broken down and absorbed as amino acids. These amino acids are then circulated in the blood and... Read More »

Category : Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics | Valuable Nutrients

Selenium: How Much Is in Your Horse’s Diet?

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FDA sets safe level for average horse The FDA has set a daily recommended level of selenium for an “average” horse at a total of 3 mg per day. This is a very safe level of selenium consumption and well below the maximum tolerable or poisonous limits. (See Nutritional Minute, Part I – Selenium.) When determining if your horse’s diet contains adequate selenium, you can use this average as a good reference point but since each horse is an... Read More »

Category : Macro & Micro Minerals | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

More Mighty Minerals

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Minerals are inorganic compounds that serve both as components in body tissue and as catalysts for various body processes. They play a critical role in a horse’s health and well-being. Minerals are broken down into two categories: macrominerals and microminerals. Macrominerals are those required by the horse in larger quantities. They are measured in the diet in grams per kilogram (g/kg). Microminerals are required in smaller quantities and are... Read More »

Category : Macro & Micro Minerals | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Mighty Minerals

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Minerals are inorganic compounds that serve both as components in body tissue and as catalysts for various body processes. Calcium and phosphorus are perhaps the most recognizable macrominerals. As with all minerals, they are vital to your horse’s well-being. Calcium (Ca): Makes up 35% of bone structure Supports proper muscle contractions Plays a role in blood clotting Phosphorus (P): Makes up 14% to 17% of bone structure Supports... Read More »

Category : Macro & Micro Minerals | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Myths and Facts about Protein

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Myths MYTH: Protein is a good source of energy for mature horses. BUSTED: Of the three dietary energy sources—carbohydrates, fats and protein—protein is the hardest for horses to turn into energy. It is inefficiently utilized and produces more heat during metabolism than carbohydrates or fats. A feed high in protein may not be high in energy. Energy is what mature horses need most to perform at optimal levels. MYTH: The higher the crude protein... Read More »

Category : Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics | Valuable Nutrients

The Vitamin E Controversy

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One human study showed that high doses of vitamin E might be risky; does this mean our horses are also at risk? What you need to know: Equine nutritionists and veterinarians feel that vitamin E can be beneficial to horses under certain conditions. Understanding why vitamin E is needed, when it is important to supplement vitamin E, and how to determine the correct supplementation level will protect your horse from both over- and under-supplementation.... Read More »

Category : Essential Vitamins | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

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