With hundreds of horse supplements available, reading the ingredients can make more sense than the fancy supplement names and bold claims. Check out these five ingredients and take one step closer to becoming a feed room expert with the help of our friends at SmartPak.
No. 5 Mushrooms for immune function
Mushrooms have been used medicinally in people for thousands of years. The reason the fungi are so powerful is because they all contain a polysaccharide called beta-D glucan, which has been proven to support immune function. Since they grow in soil, they also contain minerals such as potassium, zinc and copper.
The three most seen mushrooms in both human and horse supplements are Reishi, Cordyceps and Turkey Tail.
- Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) – Known for promoting calmness and supporting the immune system.
- Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) – Known for increasing endurance as well as supporting kidney and endocrine function.
- Turkey Tail (Tramates versicolor) – Known for antibacterial properties and supporting the bodies’ response to inflammation.
Mushrooms might be one of the newest marketed horse supplement ingredients that can benefit rodeo horses or ones traveling to a lot of futurities, as the stress of traveling can negatively impact their immune system and allow diseases to sneak in.
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No. 4 Devil’s Claw for stiffness
Similar to mushrooms, Devil’s Claw has a long history of being used in natural medicine. The plant is native to South Africa and is part of the sesame family.
Devil’s Claw helps address inflammation associated with normal aging and exercise. It has been effective on swelling and supporting rheumatic discomfort. This is the perfect horse supplement ingredient for horses that are stiff from trailering, or aged horses that may have arthritis or old injuries.
No. 3 Magnesium for calmness
Magnesium is a necessary mineral that supports neurological, enzymatic and insulin function.
A horse deficient in magnesium may experience muscle tremors due to improper nerve signaling. Fatigue, nervousness and blood sugar irregularity are other symptoms of a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium supports the bodies’ neurological connections, leading to better sleep. This means that it could help your barrel horse rest in between runs and recover more quickly, plus it keeps their brains sharp when the money’s on the line.
No. 2 MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) for healthy airways and recovery
MSM is an organic sulfur compound. Because horses and other animals cannot break down pure sulfur, MSM is the route to gaining sulfur’s benefits. MSM is used in the body to repair DNA and protect cells.
Because of its rebuilding properties, MSM helps address inflammation associated with normal aging and exercise. MSM supports natural repair of connective tissue and joint cartilage.
No. 1 Vitamin B12 for energy
Vitamin B12 (also called Cobalamin) is a vitamin that works in the nervous system, bone marrow and liver.
Because bone marrow is where new red blood cells are formed and the liver filters out old red blood cells, Vitamin B12 supports the process. More red blood cells in the body mean more transporters for oxygen, boosting energy. This ingredient can help your horse have more energy for the run home from the third barrel.
Vitamin B12 also helps break down fats and amino acids in the body, which can stimulate appetite in horses.