Whether you are raising foals and yearlings or trying to keep high-performance or elderly horses at their best, you know that feeding them grass or hay only goes so far. Your horses need the right blend of macro and micro-nutrients, staying within healthy limits without triggering any harmful side effects. That can require you to do some shopping around for the optimal blend of feed and feed supplements.
After years of steady adoption, more and more equestrian enthusiasts and veterinarians are trying seaweed as part of their nutritional regimen. Though there is some hesitation from pockets of the community about using equine seaweed supplements, more experts recognize substantial benefits to using the right amount of organic kelp for horses as a feed supplement.
One nutrient which can be difficult to tell if your horse is receiving too much or too little is iodine. Whether you’re dealing with deficiency or iodine toxicity, the outward symptom is an enlarged thyroid, making it tough for anyone but experienced equine vets to make the right diagnosis. If their professional opinion is that your horse is suffering from a deficit, you can bring your steed back to healthy levels by using brown seaweed as iodine supplements for horses.
In general, seaweed is an excellent source of iodine, though the exact amount can vary between species and individual plants. For example, brown seaweed like Ascophyllum nodosum can have anywhere from .48 mg/g to .71 mg/g of iodine within the organic matter itself. Since the average adult horse (weighing about 500 kg) requires about 3.5 mg a day, brands like Tasco® can help deficient horses replenish iodine levels quickly and carefully.
Much of your horse’s overall health depends on proper balance through their gastrointestinal (GI) tract. From the foregut to the hindgut, there’s a variety of microorganisms, ranging from yeast and bacteria to protozoa and fungi, that call your horse home. The majority of them are pretty benign with a smaller percentage of harmful organisms. In fact, some can aid in the digestion process or even help to limit the spaces in which harmful bacteria can grow, but only if those beneficial microorganisms have regular prebiotics to thrive on.
As a rich source of prebiotics, brown seaweed can help to improve your horse’s overall performance. The right supplement can supply a horse with the means to more easily digest soluble fiber and access more of the bioavailable minerals found in feed and forages. Plus, seaweed can help to create a stronger immune response, allowing your horse to stave off harmful microorganisms like Salmonella and Clostridium difficile in the GI tract.
It’s important that breeders, ranchers and owners take precautions to provide their horses with the right amount of iodine. Though a precise amount of this trace-element can rectify deficiencies, over-supplementation can result in iodine toxicity, which manifests as thyroid malfunctions, goiters and other negative health effects.
Working with a vet or equine nutritionist, you can find the right balance of organic kelp for horses. If you use a product like our nutrient-dense Tasco® for Horses, you can supplement feed in a way that harmonizes with horses’ dietary needs without major health risks.
Ready to learn more about the benefits of using organic kelp for horses? See how our Tasco® for Horses products can simplify your search for highly nutritional feed supplements.