Formula 4 Feet mentions 6 must-have nutrients for a healthy horse. This includes protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins and minerals. For the sake of this article, we’ll focus on the minerals and which ones are a must in an equine’s daily diet.
Minerals are needed by the body in very small amounts to trigger the thousands of chemical reactions necessary to maintain good health and bodily functions. Many of these chemical reactions are linked, with one triggering another. If there is a missing or deficient mineral anywhere in the chain, this process may break down, with potentially devastating health effects.
Classified as either microminerals or macrominerals, horses need them for the reasons mentioned above.
Microminerals, also known as trace elements, include chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc. They are categorized as such because the horse only needs small doses of them per day, often in milligrams or even less.
Macrominerals on the other hand are major elements that must be present in larger quantities. This includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, chlorine, potassium, sodium and sulfur.
Horses need calcium for the same purpose that humans do. It’s meant to nourish and take part in the growth, development and repair of teeth, bones, joints and ligaments. Phosphorous, like calcium, is another macromineral that must come in abundance. Apart from also contributing to bone health, it also improves equine digestion, hormonal balance, energy extraction, protein formation, cellular repair, optimized chemical reactions and proper nutrient utilization. Magnesium, the last of the trio, is necessary for the transportation of calcium and phosphorous throughout the body.
In order to promote balance in cellular fluids, acid/base levels and muscular activity as well as aid in the elimination of waste and toxic substances, chlorine is also a necessary ingredient in the equine diet. Potassium on the other hand enhances muscle strength, helps conduct electricity within the body, regulates metabolism, and balances water distribution in cells.
Another necessary macromineral says Formula 4 Feet is sodium which aids in normalizing fluid levels, so horses don’t become dehydrated, blood volume and blood pressure. It helps our muscles contract and is needed to send nerve impulse throughout the body. Lastly, there’s sulfur which regulates the function of several organs and makes us 0.15% of an average horse’s total body weight. It is essential for the development of bones, cartilage, tendons and the healthy growth of the mane.