Here's a mind-boggling statistic - 50 years ago, carrots had 75% more magnesium than today.
Just one example of how our soil nutrient levels have changed over the years, and why we need a solution to help provide our horses with an effective nutritional foundation.
Now here's a thought - imagine randomly removing 50% of the nuts and bolts from your car, then try to drive it. How far do you think you’d get? Some might just about rattle and roll, but imagine the stress on your car engine. Chances are, you wouldn’t risk even putting the key in the ignition.
In human world, if we’re eating the standard western C.R.A.P. diet (Carbs, Refined, Artificial, Processed), health nuts report that our own machinery is missing a staggering 80% of our essential nuts and bolts. Just as our car won’t function properly, neither will our body, which is why such a high percentage of the western human race is so sick.
Put simply, we need all of the essential components for the body to work properly. And not unsurprisingly, it's the same for our horses.
FACT - Our UK grasslands are deficient in many of the essential minerals, and way too high in others.
FACT - Changes in the chemistry of grass cause changes in the chemistry of the horse, with many chronic health conditions being due to unbalanced micronutrients.
FACT - Most alleged behavioural issues will resolve by feeding minerals balanced to our known UK forage deficiencies.
Introducing our EquiVita
- A carefully balanced multi-mineral nutritional solution specific to our UK grasslands.
- Balanced to the NRC guidelines based on known UK forage deficiencies, which means it provides the correct ratios of the deficient minerals and micronutrients to balance the equine dietary requirements.
- No fillers whatsoever, just the composition your horse needs, based on the known deficiencies and NRC guidelines, to nutritionally balance the diet.
- Includes as standard: * Lysine * Magnesium * Phosphorous * Bioplex Copper & Zinc * Brewers Yeast * Biotin * Methionine * Organic Selenium *
(Please note our 'M' range (for the Mallenders/Sallenders horse) excludes the Brewers Yeast and Biotin as these are known keratin producers)
- Our standard EquiVita range, ideal for all-round maintenance.
- EquiVitaA - includes Spirulina Algae for added potent nutrients.
- EquiVitaT - includes Turmeric for joint and inflammatory support.
- EquiVitaM - excludes Biotin, suitable for the Mallenders/Sallenders horse.
- EquiVitaNursery -includes our EquiVitaNM (Nursing Mare) and EquiVitaY (Youngstock).
- VitaComplete - combines our EquiVita range, micronised linseed (100g daily) and certified refined salt (10g daily) together as a convenient 3-in-1.
The Options - each range is tailored to include winter/hay support (Plus), probiotics (ProB), mycotoxin removal (DTox), or the whole lot together (Ultra) :
- EquiVita-Plus - adds back in the Vits C and E, two superior natural antioxidants, which are depleted both in winter grass and the drying/curing of grass to hay, so if there's hay in your horse's diet you'll need the 'Plus' option.
- ProB - with 10g added Yea-Sacc 1026 probiotic.
- DTox - with 10g added MycosorbA+ mycotoxin binder/fungal moulds.
- DToxProB - with both Yea-Sacc & MycosorbA.
- Ultra - includes the lot - the Plus, ProB & DTox options.
- MAX - our Ultra with Spirulina and Turmeric.
* All options also apply in our VitaComplete range.
Plus ... Great Savings
- 5% saving on 3kg - 10% on 5kg - 15% on 10kg - 20% on 20kg
- And ... Free UK Delivery on orders 10kg or £80.00 and over.
Which EquiVita to feed?
As I mention in our Feeding our Horses/Why What We Feed Has To Be Right page, ultimately a horse’s natural diet of fresh grass and hay provides most of what they need, although it’s well known that our UK soil and grasslands are deficient in essential micronutrients, i.e. minerals, vitamins, sodium (via salt), amino acids and so on, with further denaturing of vitamins and the omegas in the winter, as well as in the drying/curing process of grass to hay.
Which means, in a nutshell, we need to add in the missing nuts and bolts to their grass, and especially if there’s hay in the diet, which is usually the case for most horses here in the UK.
So which EquiVita to feed? Here’s a snapshot on the purpose of the options:
- Come late autumn/winter, Vitamin C & E levels deplete in the grass as growth slows. Thus, our 'Plus' range includes 10g Rosehips to provide a maintenance level of naturally sourced Vitamin C, plus 2000iu Vitamin E to compensate for the winter grass deficiency and replenish these important antioxidants into the diet. This version is also useful during summer months if a horse is on restricted grazing or a mainly hay diet, where again, the Vits.C & E levels will be diminished.
- If you like to feed a probiotic to your horse (definitely recommended! See our Microbiome page), choose our 'ProB' range. This includes a daily 10g measure of Alltech’s Yea-Sacc 1026 strain. For winter months, or again if there’s hay in the diet at any time, go for the 'ProBPlus' which includes both Yea-Sacc and Rosehips/Vit.E.
- If you think there’s a risk of fungal moulds and wish to add a mycotoxin binder to the feedbowl, our 'DTox' range includes Alltech’s Mycosorb A+ to help combat harmful forage moulds and toxins. For Mycosorb and Yea-Sacc combined, choose our 'DToxProB'. For winter detoxing, there’s our 'DToxPlus' which has Vit.C/E added in with the Mycosorb.
- If you’d like to include everything mentioned above, then it’s our 'Ultra'; the Yea-Sacc and Mycosorb, and the Vit.C (Rosehips)/E added in as the complete one-stop solution.
- Finally, if you want our Ultra and the Spirulina and Turmeric included, then it’s our 'Max'. It’s the Full-Monty - our 'Ultra' with Spirulina & Turmeric completing the full composition.
Generally, as most horses have a degree of hay in their diet, the EquiVita-Plus tends to be a mainstay to compensate for the deficiencies in the Vit.C and E. Thereafter, you can upgrade accordingly if you want to add a probiotic – EquiVita-ProBPlus, which for the record is our best seller, or mycotoxin support - EquiVita-DToxPlus - and so on.
New to minerals?
For new starters on minerals, I always suggest to start with just a 1kg bag – any horse will tell you that minerals are notoriously unpalatable, so it’s best to start with a pinch in the feedbowl and work your way up, unless you want ‘the look’ where they think you’re trying to poison them. Took me 2-weeks to get our Carmen on the full measure, but then she’s a meticulous TB Diva, whereas my three natives gobbled it down without batting an eye. However, for fussy eaters, 2-weeks is generally the average time reported back from clients who have to take it slowly.
I mentioned above that our grasslands are also deficient in the important omegas, especially so during winter, so it’s recommended to also add Linseed (micronised) which is super-high in omega-3. I absolutely swear by it - it’s a staple in my feedroom and I can’t recommend it highly enough for condition, coat shine, joint comfort, and itchy skin to name a few. It’s also a gut superstar, especially for our colicy-risk horses, as it’s high mucilage content coats and soothes the GI tract wall and the food bolus for ease of transit.
Feed 100g/day summer, and 200g/day winter, although for horses with loss of weight/condition you can easily double this. If there’s high hay content in the diet, the omegas naturally denature during the curing process, so feed as per winter rations.
We sell linseed in smaller volumes for clients wanting to try it: https://equinatural.co.uk/p/linseed-micronised. However, you can also purchase it in 20kg bulk bags from Charnwood Milling, cheap as chips for just £21.50 (plus delivery): http://www.charnwoodmilling.co.uk/mail-order/Horse_Food.html
Looking for a Custom-Made Mineral Solution?
If you have your own formulated feed plan from an accredited analysis, we may be able to blend it for you.
Bear in mind that we’re not able to convert an analysis to a feedplan, so in order to make you your bespoke mineral blend you’d need to get this done first. ForagePlus will do this for you, and I know many UKNHCP trimmers can offer this service as well. There will be a cost for creating your feedplan but once your analysis has been translated to the elemental levels of the mineral/vitamin composition that you need, we can then make up your blend to your formula.
Contact us for details.
Finally, a quick word on adding salt separately
It's essential to feed salt in the diet for so many important reasons; apart from keeping body fluids in balance and providing essential natural electrolytes which play a key role in normal nerve/muscle/kidney function and blood sodium levels, sodium is also needed to balance potassium levels, both in grass and in the body, especially in hot weather.
Sodium and chloride (salt) are the major electrolytes lost in sweat, followed by potassium, so we need to feed around 20-25g salt daily to cover a baseline requirement. If you prefer to feed electrolytes, make sure this amount of salt is included in the composition.
Salt also encourages drinking water; obviously for summer hydration but for winter too - horses drink far less water in winter so we need to help encourage them to do so. So we know how important it is to add salt into the feedbowl.
However ... as the biochemist team at Alltech have advised us, the problem with blending salt into a mineral/vitamin mix is that salt attracts moisture - it's a natural dessicant (drying agent) so the risk is that it will denature much of the composition. This means that a mineral mix blended with fine salt will not only lose its essential structure, but also shorten the shelf-life.
We therefore don't include salt in our EquiVita range.
This means you need to add your own. Add a generous heaped tablespoon of salt into the feedbowl, double if in hard work or sweating. We do a range of certified unrefined sea salts, certified by the Soil Association, as well as Himalayan rock salts, available in bulk at great rates, in our Individual Items page in the Online Shop.
So why are we including salt in the VitaComplete?
A couple of reasons:
- Our entire product range is hand blended to order so you get it as fresh as can be to guarantee purity, which means there's no extra shelf time added to the Best Before date, hence lessening the time-risk of degrading the mix.
- We use 'coarse' salt, not 'fine' salt Fine salt has a much higher dessicating effect than coarse as it saturates into the entire mix; coarse salt nibs don't, which means much less risk of the dessicating effect. Fine salt also makes the whole product taste salty, and I speak from personal experience when I say not all horses enjoy the taste of salt. My connie, Murphy, won't eat anything that tastes of salt so the only way I can get it down him is to sneak it in via coarse salt nibs.
For our full EquiVita range, including our BSA Client range, see our ONLINE SHOP