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If you are a caring horse owner who is invested in making sure that your stable of horses get the supplements they need, it can be sometimes frustrating to deal with a horse that is particularly fussy about taking their medicine. A horse which might happily go after your lunch can turn surprisingly finicky when you are trying to add powdered supplements to its food; so how can you make sure that your horse gets these important nutritional supplements?
If your horse is not going to have its stomach upset by sugar, consider making the powder part of your horse's sweetfeed. A small amount of molasses mixed into your horse's feed can both increase your horse's appetite and disguise the taste of the supplement. By mixing molasses into the feed, you can also make sure that the powder sticks to the food rather than being blown away or being left at the bottom of the container or feed bucket.
While sweetfeed is considered the easiest way to make a horse take its supplements, you'll find that this is not necessarily appropriate for all horses especially those with disorders that require monitoring of their sugar consumption. In these cases, mix the horse's daily supplement with a small amount of vegetable oil and then pour this mix over the horse's feed. The vegetable
oil hides the texture of the supplement powders; it also means that the powders will better stick to the food which means your horse ends up consuming more of the supplement.
Is your horse having some issues eating the powders in question? Try reducing the amount. Begin with a very small amount of supplement in the horse's feed, and then over the next few weeks, add a little more every day until the desired amount is reached. This can help the horse get acclimatized to the taste of the supplement, and it can help the horse learn to ignore the difference in the taste. Remember that even getting the horse to eat a little bit of the supplement is a victory.
According to a UK study, fenugreek was rated as the top preferred flavor for horses. Mix a small amount of this natural herb with the supplement. The strong flavor and texture of fenugreek should cover up the flavor and texture of the supplements.
If you want to make sure that your horse takes its supplements, you'll find that there are definitely methods which should help. Equine supplements are essential for your horse's well-being, and even finicky horses can be coaxed into taking them. Remember, if one method doesn't work, try the next!
As with every other part of your equine care, please consult with your veterinarian.
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