There are all kinds of supplements on the market to help keep your pony healthy as can be all year-round. So, let’s take a look at some of the options available and what they’re for – you might just learn something new!
Mares’ natural breeding cycle can make their hormones tough to handle at times, so hormonal supplements can make a really big difference to their quality of life. The breeding season usually starts around March or April, so the spring’s a great time to start supplementing a mare. Most hormonal supplements contain herbs and chamomile to help soothe a moody mare.
Loads of ponies are fed digestive supplements to help them get the most out of their feed and keep their guts healthy. Ponies sometimes struggle with changes in turnout, grazing quality and feed, which all affect their gut health. Digestive supplements usually contain pre- and probiotics, which help protect the stomach from excess stomach acid and make sure there’s a healthy amount of bacteria in the pony’s gut.
Keeping your pony’s skin and coat healthy is really important to his overall wellbeing – in fact, the skin is the largest organ in your pony’s body! Skin supplements usually contain lots of vitamins and minerals, as well as methionine, which is an amino acid. These help rebuild the cells in your pony’s body so he can heal and grow new tissue. They might also contain vitamin C and methysulphonyl methane (MSM), which is also found in joint supplements.
Sweat it out
During the summer your pony will likely sweat during his work, so it’s mega-important to replace all the minerals he’s losing. Electrolytes help make sure the cells in your pony’s body have enough water in them, and they help his muscles work, too. Sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium are the main electrolytes, so if you choose to supplement make sure the product you pick contains all of them!
It’s best to feed electrolytes daily, rather than just before or after your pony gets particularly hot and sweaty.
For more info on supplements, check out the September issue of PONY mag!