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 significantly depleted over the years, and why we need a balanced mineral solution to help provide our horses with an effective nutritional foundation.
Here's a thought. Imagine randomly removing 50% of the nuts and bolts from your car, then trying 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 our 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.
Our EquiVita range is milled for us by Premier Nutrition, who are committed to manufacturing safe, compliant feed independently audited by, and certified to, UFAS, FEMAS, BETA NOPS, and ISO 22000, so you can be confident in the product you receive.
- 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&S' 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&S - excludes Biotin, suitable for the Mallenders/Sallenders horse.
- EquiVitaY - our Youngstock range
- VitaComplete - combines our EquiVita range with all the options below, plus 100g daily micronised linseed, and 10g daily certified organic and unrefined salt as a convenient 3-in-1.
The Options - to suit every horse, in every season, across all our ranges
- Tailored for winter/hay support (Plus), probiotics (ProB), the Plus and ProB together with mycotoxin removal (Ultra), and our top-of-the-range MAX
- 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.
- ProBPlus - our Plus and ProB options together, so ideal for winter and/or if there's hay in the diet.
- Ultra - includes the Plus, ProB & MycosorbA+ mycotoxin binder.
- MAX - our Ultra with Spirulina and Turmeric.
Plus - Great Savings!
All built into the Online Shop prices:
*5% saving on 3kg
*10% on 5kg
*15% on 10kg
*20% on 20kg
*And ... free UK Delivery within the GB Mainland on orders 10kg-plus.
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 should provide all the nutrients that a horse needs. However, after decades of soil-depletion and chemical treatments, it's now well known that our UK soil and grasslands are deficient in many of the essential micronutrients, i.e. minerals, vitamins, sodium (via salt), EFAs (the essential fatty acid omegas) and amino acids. And the seasons affect the chemistry as well, with further denaturing of certain vitamins and the omegas in the winter, as well as in the drying/curing process of grass to hay, so if we're feeding hay all year round this means our horses will be deficient year-round.
This 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 at certain times of the year 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. Our 'Plus' range comes to the rescue - it includes 10g daily 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 due to the drying/curing process of grass to hay.
- If you want to include a probiotic to your horse (definitely recommended! See our Microbiome page for all the reasons why), 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 the Yea-Sacc and Rosehips/Vit.E.
- If you’d like to include everything mentioned above, then it’s our 'Ultra'; the Yea-Sacc , the Vit.C (Rosehips)/E, and we include a daily 10g of Alltech's Mycosorb A+ mycotoxin binder, added in as the complete one-stop solution.
- Finally, meet the Full Monty. If you want our Ultra with the Spirulina and Turmeric included, then it’s our 'Max' 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. Or, if you want to include a probiotic (recommended), then opt for our EquiVita-ProBPlus, which for the record is our best seller.
New to minerals?
For new starters on minerals, I always suggest to start with our 1kg trial bag – any new-to-minerals 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, with the omega-6 in balance with the o-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. https://equinatural.co.uk/p/linseed-micronised.
The recommendation is to 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.
Finally, a quick word on salt
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, and 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; obvious for summer hydration but for winter too - horses drink far less water in winter so we need to help encourage them to do so. It really is a no-brainer to add a quality 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. This is one reason why I prefer to add in coarse salt nibs; the other is that my connie, Murphy, hates the taste of salt so I have to sneak it in via coarse salt, so there's no overwhelming taste of salt for him.
We therefore don't include salt in our EquiVita range.
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 seriously good prices compares to the supermarkets, in our Individual Items page in the Online Shop.
So, if it's not good to blend salt into a mineral blend, why are we including salt in the VitaComplete?
Good question! But here's what we do to ensure our VitaComplete range isn't affected:
- Our entire product range is hand blended to order - nothing sits on any shelf - so you get it as fresh as can be to guarantee purity, 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.
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