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Nutrition and Weight Management

Modern feeding practices have drastically changed the equine diet. Horses once roamed freely from water source to water source, consuming ample vitamins and minerals from forage. Today, modern equine feeding practices have greatly reduced quality pasture time and increased the amount of grains and concentrates in the diet. As a result, horses often have an imbalance of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids compared to pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in abundance in most commercial feeds and oils such as corn oil.

Nutritional Solutions to Support Your Patients

See our recommended Platinum Protocols for common equine conditions and injuries.

Condition Products Protocol
Cachexia
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Equi-Whey
  • Healthy Weight
Administer 1-6 scoops of Platinum Performance® Equine BID in addition to hay and feeds. Administer 1 heaping scoop of Equi-Whey and up to 100 mL Healthy Weight BID.
Weight Gain
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Healthy Weight
Administer 1-2 scoops of Platinum Performance® Equine and 50 mL of Healthy Weight 1-2 times daily to promote weight gain. Can be used as a top dressing on Platinum Performance® Equine or feed.
Weight Reduction
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Beta Lip-Ox®
Decrease calories from hay and grain, increase work if possible and administer 1-2 scoops of Platinum Performance® Equine BID. For horses that are depositing excessive fat over the rump and in the ligamentum nuchae, administer 1 level scoop of Beta Lip-Ox® BID for 2-3 months.

SID = 1 time daily, BID = 2 times daily, TID = 3 times daily.​

The Science Explained

Nutrients Beyond the NRC- Designing the Ideal Ration

Supporting Equine Weight Management with Nutrition and Supplementation

Supporting the Overweight Horse

  • Minimize grains and concentrates that promote inflammation and excess calorie intake. Instead feed a high quality forage diet. This will support the horse's overall health while helping to avoid development of Laminitis, Insulin Resistance and Equine Metabolic Syndrome.
  • Supplement with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and amino acids to help the horse better utilize calories. Also include L-Carnitine, which transports fatty acids into the mitochondria in the cell where it can be broken down for energy, helping to facilitate the utilization of fat for energy.

Adding Weight the Healthy Way

  • Feed as close to a natural diet as possible, focusing on high quality forage supplemented to meet each horse's individual needs. This will help the horse better absorb, metabolize and utilize the calories they are consuming. Avoid adding grains and concentrates that promote inflammation and cause the digestive system to function inefficiently.
  • Supplement with a healthy flax oil. Flax oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, in contrast to pro-inflammatory corn oil that is high in omega-6 fatty acids.

Maintaining an Ideal Weight by Improving Feed Efficiency

A study conducted at the UC Davis Center for Equine Health showed that supplemented* horses consuming a hay-based diet gained a significant amount of weight without a significant increase in their energy intake.

  • 87.5% of the horses that completed the study gained a significant amount of weight (p<0.05).
  • It was found that the supplemental micronutrients, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids included in this supplement* likely improved the feed efficiency in the horses in this study.

*Platinum Performance® Equine formula


Managing Equine Metabolic Syndrome

The predominant recommendations for the prevention and treatment of equine metabolic syndrome are calorie restriction and increased exercise. While weight loss often improves insulin sensitivity and glucose regulation, supplementation with certain nutrients can help support normal healthy levels of glucose and insulin in metabolic horses.

Researchers at the University of California at Davis measured insulin and glucose responses of horses consuming meals of alfalfa and oat hay before and after 6 weeks of supplementation*.

  • Fasting blood glucose concentrations were significantly lower after the supplementation period.
  • Peak serum insulin concentrations were 44% lower after the supplemented meal as compared to the non-supplemented meal (data not shown).

*Platinum Performance® Equine formula

Science Behind the Supplements

White Papers

Improve Digestive Health and Get the Most from Your Feeding Program

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Improving Feed Efficiency with Proper Supplementation

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Maintaining and Optimizing Gut Health

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The Natural Diet: Feeding for Health

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Nutrients Beyond the NRC

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Need an Advisor Consultation for Your Clients?

Answers, Recommendations and Support

Our Advisors are trained experts in equine nutrition who can answer tough questions, but most importantly, they care deeply about the health of your patients and are dedicated to providing your clients with the best service possible. Call today 800-553-2400.

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