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Can You Have Too Much of a Good Thing?

If you walk into a barn and see that one horse is on five supplements, one horse is on three supplements and one horse is on no supplements, you might think it’s easy to guess who’s oversupplemented, who’s undersupplemented and who’s just right. But it’s not that simple. There are a lot of factors that go into determining whether or not your horse needs supplements, and if so, which ones.

Let’s start with his diet. Your horse should be eating 1-2% of his body weight in forage every day (for a 1000 lb horse, that’s up to 20 pounds!).

On top of that, you should be adding the minimum amount of grain he needs to maintain his weight and performance levels. Keep in mind that over half the horses in the United States are overweight or obese. So unless your horse is in strenuous work or is a very hard keeper, he probably doesn’t need a full serving of calorie-dense grain.

However, when you cut down the fortified grain serving to decrease the calories, you’re also cutting back on your horse’s vitamin and mineral intake. That’s where adding a vitamin/mineral supplement can help.

SmartLytes® Pellets

As Low As: $13.73
(305 reviews)
One mineral to be keenly aware of is salt. All horses need at least an ounce of salt per day, and most aren’t getting enough from their diet alone. Adding an electrolyte that contains NaCl (sodium chloride), like SmartLytes® Pellets, is a great way to ensure your horse has what he needs.

Once you have the basis of your horse’s diet squared away, you can consider whether he needs other types of supplements for proactive support, or to help address particular issues. These types of supplements can cover joints, hooves, skin and coat, calming, digestion, gastric support, insect control, respiratory health and much more. As long as you’re choosing from different categories, you probably won’t run into a lot of overlap of active ingredients. But if you’re ever unsure the SmartPak experts are always just a call or click away!

In the Mix

Use your horse’s hay and grain as a guide for the basis of his program, then add supplements to target his individual needs.


As Low As: $24.50
(82 reviews)

No Grain

• Add salt and Accel.
• Add other supplements as needed.

Partial Serving of Grain

• Add salt and SmartVite EZ Keeper Grass or SmartVite EZ Keeper Alfalfa, depending on your horse’s hay type.
• Add other supplements as needed.

SmartVite EZ Keeper Grass Pellets
(172 reviews)
SmartVite EZ Keeper Alfalfa Pellets
(12 reviews)

Full Serving of Grain

• No vitamin/mineral supplement required.
• Add salt and other supplements as needed.

The help you need, the way you want.

Not sure where to start?
The Supplement Wizard can help

Prefer a personal touch?
The SmartPak experts are real riders with specialized equine health training, and they’re always just a call or click away.

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Posted in Blogs, Health & Nutrition

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4 comments on “Can You Have Too Much of a Good Thing?
  1. laura says:

    I would like to talk with someone about my horses diet if at all possible. Would like to know if I am feeding him properly or not. I am not going to put everything here until I hear back to be sure someone is interested in helping me. Thank you. Look forward to speaking with you soon.

    • SmartPak SmartPak says:

      Hi Laura – Thank you for your question! One of our supplement experts will be emailing you today to follow up with you and help answer any questions you may have. Thank you for reaching out!

  2. Rachel Ann Lanter says:

    We are looking for something to help our haflinger. He gets very loose stool when we go trail riding. Is there anything to help that? It’s the only time it’s loose otherwise nice firm turds.

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