Grand Meadows Cares Series: What’s Stable In Your Stable Of Horse Supplement Ingredients? And Does It Matter?

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by Nikki Alvin-Smith

If you are currently feeding pelleted or liquid supplements to improve your horse’s health then you are probably not aware of the importance of utilizing supplements with certain stabilized ingredients over less potent and hence less effective unstablized components.

The reality is that any processing will compromise the nutrient value and possibly also its accessibility for proper ingestion of many foods, including of course the benefits of the vitamins or minerals they contain.

As you scan the shelves or webpage for just the right product to fix the current health problem or prevent one in your equine partner, it’s worth doing more than just scanning the label and reading the promotional messaging.

Let’s assume for now that the product you’ve selected is labelled accurately and actually does contain the amounts of the ingredients claimed and contains nothing nefarious to ‘fill in’ or improve palatability (look for a brand that is audited with the National Animal Supplement Council {NASC} stamp to be sure). Taking the time to read the ingredients is a smart start.

Ingredients that are unstablized will not likely be differentiated, but those that are stabilized will almost certainly be identified as such.

 The 3 Enemies of Vulnerable Unstabilized Ingredients

Heat, light and oxygen are the three major enemies to the highly desirable stabilized ingredient. So straight away you can figure out that feeding a liquid supplement means adding water which in turn means adding oxygen from the moment it is manufactured. While we love the convenience of liquid supplements the reality is that getting an accurate dose is likely a diminished reality as time progresses and the oxygen enemy invades the product. This shakes down to mean that shake it as you might, the bottle is emptying its value the longer it stays in the shelf.

Let’s also hope that the shelf where you store your precious supplements isn’t a window shelf or in an area subject to heat or light. While manufacturers are alert to the damage both factors can cause to the potency and even safety of their products and take excellent measures to try and safeguard the finished products from these negative effects, the dastardly enemy has likely already struck especially if the product is pelleted.

Let’s take your favorite joint supplement as a prime example. To pelletize a supplement steam is usually used to force a premix through a die. Sounds O.K. doesn’t it, and the pellets are seemingly robust and easy to dish up. But what compromises are you making in using a pellet over a powder, and does it matter? Yes, because a powder likely hasn’t been as heavily processed. There are many nutraceutical ingredients that are substantially reduced in their effectiveness by heat. A good example is Vitamin C.

There are considerations where certain extremely vulnerable ingredients such as the primary source of valuable Omegas many horse supplement manufacturers use, flax seed, are necessarily heat stabilized to prevent them from turning rancid or interacting with certain other minerals contained in the product.

It’s Not A Mix And Match Situation

Many horse owners seek to remedy every horse health issue they experience by throwing more money at the problem than perhaps is prudent and administer a myriad of supplements all at once which the poor horse has little option but to eat alongside his daily grain ration.

Discerning horses may wiggle pellets around the bucket trying to leave them off the menu, hence the sustained prevalence and popularity of liquid supplements. Powder is harder for the horse to avoid ingesting, though in some cases horses have been shown to actually choose certain supplements over others if they are able to choose. Which brings up another question.

Do horses know what is good for them? If the deer that graze our hay farm as the only organic one in the valley and are never seen grazing any other farm in the area, I’d say animals are smarter about what they eat than we think. But that’s a discussion for another day.

But should we as discerning and dedicated horse owners, be hitting the supplement bottle or myriad of horse supplement buckets this hard and all at once? Are certain products contra-indicated for use with others?

After all, consider how carefully (hopefully) the formulation of a single horse supplement product is researched and developed. The combination of ingredients is optimistically of reliable and known provenance and are of excellent quality before the combining process begins.

The manufacturer has expectantly formulated the final supplement they assemble and exacted some form of quality control after its production. The antioxidants that act as formula preservatives have also presumably been proven to work effectively with the particular ingredient they are specified to protect.

Now let’s take all that intelligent effort and make our own concoction or blend of a bunch of them and throw it in a manger. Perhaps not the best idea ever but certainly an expensive one.

If you want to use a combination supplement that addresses several equine issues at once it might be better to use one that is originally formulated to be a ‘complete’ supplement.

Supplement Choices Seemingly Limitless – What’s A Horse Person To Do?

The best and least expensive and most importantly safest route to buying supplements is to simply do your homework. Buy brands that stand behind their products with accurate labelling, incorporate top quality ingredients based on research backed protocols and explain their methods of manufacture openly and will spend the time with you answering any questions you may have.

Look for the audit NASC seal of approval. It matters. Otherwise, you are trying to select the most beneficial and effective supplement in the marketplace at a disadvantage. The racehorse hasn’t even loaded in the gate at the race never mind shown its abilities on track to be a winning choice.

Just because a supplement is expensive does not mean it’s the best one to select. In fact, many more reasonably priced horse supplements actually do more than just save you spending hard-earned dollars, they also do a better job doing what they say they’ll do.

Your horse can’t be that best of all consumers, an educated one. But you can!

PLEASE NOTE: AHP members ~ Please share this content. Kindly include Grand Meadows URL and author’s URL wherever published. Please advise use so we can share your platform too. Feel free to contact Nikki Alvin-Smith for further information and high res photos.

 About Grand Meadows: Founded in 1989 by visionary Angela Slater, Grand Meadows is a leading horse health product and equine supplement manufacturer driven by the guiding principle of providing affordable, extremely high-quality science-backed horse products to help ensure horses look and feel their best.

For the past 35 years the company’s mission has been honored and developed further, by President Nick Hartog, who among other accomplishments is one of the founding members and current board member of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), an organization that has a profound impact on the safety, transparency, and legitimacy of the animal supplement industry.

Grand Meadow products are widely used and trusted across the entire horse community from Olympic medal winning competitors and successful horse racing trainers to backyard horse owners. Their equine supplements are highly regarded for their excellent quality resourced ingredients and completely accurate labelling and effective formulations. Learn more at

Grand Meadows, Orangegrove, CA
Media Contact:
Tel: 607 434 4470

About Nikki Alvin-Smith:
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Grand Meadows, Orangegrove, CA

Media Contact:

Tel: 607 434 4470