As Winston Churchill said, “There’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." We all, as owners, take great pleasure when our horses are looking their best and work hard to achieve it.
There are several key nutritional ingredients that can help build healthy coats in horses. These include:
Protein: Hair is primarily composed of a protein called keratin. Insufficient protein intake can result in coats that do not lie smoothly, as well as brittle, slow-growing coats.
Zinc: This mineral is key in hoof and coat health. Zinc is required for the manufacture of the melanocytes that give bays, blacks, and chestnuts their colour.
Biotin: A vital co-enzyme to assist in the forming of keratin from key amino acids. Insufficient biotin can lead to thin and brittle hair.
Methionine: A primary sulfur-bearing amino acid that, along with cysteine (which Methionine can synthesize), are essential ingredients in keratin.
Vitamin A: One of the carotenoids essential to all keratinised tissue. Supplementation is required for horses not on fresh pasture.
Vitamin E: Benefits of Vitamin E as an antioxidant are well documented. It is also an essential nutrient for renewal of keratin.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Essential nutrient in the formation of supple and strong membranes including hoof wall microtubules and laminae (as well as neurological function).
Combining Sound Advice Biotin Trace and Flax/Linseeds will supply optimal amounts of zinc, biotin, iodine and omega 3s.
The source of protein and vitamin E (and lysine for topline) we recommend is soy bean meal, available in most produce stores as Pryde's Protein Pack, or ask for full fat soy meal, which (in a less fancy bag) can often be cheaper..
Soy bean meal is also high in methionine. Oats are a good source of methionine. Methionine is also high in chia and flax/linseeds.
An example combination for your horse to build a healthy coat that includes all the above nutrients:
1 cup soy bean meal
1 cup whole oats
2 scoops linseeds
1 scoop Sound Advice Biotin Trace
Good quality lucerne chaff or hay,
as well as access to fresh pasture (for vitamin A).
Hair and hooves are made from the same building blocks, so adding these feeds/supplements will also help with optimal hoof health.
This is an example for coats/hooves specifically. If your horse has other issues, see previous (and future) emails for supplements that address other horse health matters. Of course, every horse is an individual. Contact us about your specific needs.