Vitamin & Mineral Supplements for Horses: Comparison
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Comparing Vitamin & Mineral Equine Supplements
A horse may need vitamin and mineral supplementation for several different reasons, including when feeding a high-grain diet, or low-quality hay, if a horse is under stress (traveling, showing, racing, etc), prolonged strenuous activity, or not eating well (sick, after surgery, etc.). Severely stressed horses may benefit from the vitamins B-complex and Vitamin C during periods of high stress.

Minerals are required for maintenance of body structure, fluid balance in cells, nerve conduction, and muscle contraction. Only small amounts of the macro-minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and sulfur are needed daily. Sweating increases the horses need for sodium, chloride and potassium, which is the reason for supplementing with electrolytes if a horse is sweating a lot.

An important category of vitamins and minerals are antioxidants, which include vitamins C & E, selenium, zinc, and others. Nature supplies antioxidants to protect us from the destructive effects of environmental free radicals. Free radicals are caused by ultra-violet rays from the sun, x-rays, exposure to pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and more. What's more, free radical damage accumulates with age, so they are especially important for your older horse.

Check out the following charts to see which supplements your horse may need.

  Liquid 747 Equi-Shine Ultimate Accel Vita-E & Selenium Crumbles
Mfgr Tuttle's Equi-Shine Vita-Flex Farnum
# Servings
(up to)
1 gal
=128
25 lbs
=67
5 lbs=80*
10 lbs
=160
20 lbs
=320
30 lbs
=480
2-1/2 lbs
=160
20 lbs
=1280
Adult Serving Size 1 oz 6 oz 1 oz 1/4 oz
Form L PL PW C
Pro/
Prebiotics
    Yes  
Vitamin A
(I.U.)
21,240 52,500 6,250  
Vitamin B1 (mg)     14  
Niacin (mg) 2.95 4.35 31  
Biotin (mg) 0.03 0.003 0.5  
Folic Acid (mg) 0.026 0.135 5.0  
Other B Vitamins Yes Yes Yes  
Vitamin C (mg)     31  
Vitamin E (I.U.) 41 1,125 250 313
Thiamine mg 0.69 70 14  
Selenium (mg)   2.9 0.25 0.5
Magnesium (mg) 195 1,513 580  
Vitamin D (I.U.) 2,124 6,750 1,250  
Iron (mg) 468   161  
Copper (mg) 2.34 170 12.5  
Zinc (mg) 14 510 37.5  
Cobalt (mg)     0.6  
Iodine (mg)   3.3 0.6  
Phosphorus (mg) 170 6,804 858  
Manganese (mg)   450 31  
Chromium        
Calcium (mg)   16,585 2,500  
Omega 3 Fatty Acids   Yes    

C=Crumbles
G=Granules
L=Liquid
PL=Pellets
PW=Powder

*Based upon adult maintenance or non-training dose. Doses/values may vary for foals or horses in training.

 
Mfgr Vita-Flex Farnam Farnam Equi-Shine Equi-Shine Equi-Shine Finish Line
# Servings
(up to)
4 lbs
=64
1 gal
=128
3 lbs
=48*
7 lbs
=112
20 lbs
=320
6 lbs
=24*
7 lbs
=56*
4 lbs
=128
15 oz
=30
Adult Serving Size 1 oz 1 oz 2 oz 4 oz 2 oz serving 1/2 oz 1/2 oz
Form C L PW PL G PL PW
Pro/
Prebiotics
             
Vitamin A
(I.U.)
  25,000 50,000 35,000 35,000   2,600
Thiamine (mg)   30 25 25 25   160
Niacin (mg)     250       340
Biotin (mg)   0.02   0.625 0.625    
Folic Acid (mg)   7   2.5 2.5   5
Other B Vitamins   Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
Vitamin C (mg)             500
Vitamin E (I.U.) 1000 35 50 375 375 2500 0.2
Selenium (mg) 1 0.65 0.02 2 2    
Magnesium (mg)   20 25 453 340   220
Vitamin D (I.U.)   3,500 500 4,000 4,125    
Iron (mg)   300 200 272 563   106
Copper (mg)   36 8 113 111   0.1
Zinc (mg)   110 40 340 340   0.4
Cobalt (mg)   2   3.40 3.7   17
Iodine (mg)   0.25 2 1.36 1.40    
Phosphorus (mg)     850 4,536 4,536    
Manganese (mg)   39 20 295 284   4
Chromium              
Calcium (mg)     1,418 8,618 7,796   2,100

C=Crumbles
G=Granules
L=Liquid
PL=Pellets
PW=Powder

*Based upon adult maintenance or non-training dose. Doses/values may vary for foals or horses in training.