Horses can manufacture Vit C but during extreme stress it is a good idea to supplement the diet anyway. For instance, we have been having extreme heat and drought in Texas. I have been seeing numerous conditions that are benefiting from Vit C supplementation in the horse feeding program.
Vit C is most often thought of for prevention of colds and flu symptoms in the winter but I have always used it during the summer as well. Maybe this is in part due to the harsh summer conditions we can have in Texas. Vit C is depleted during stress as the adrenal glands are the largest users in the body. Second to the adrenal glands in Vit C consumption is the brain. I have certainly noticed my thinking being affected by the extreme heat.
Vit C is a powerful antioxidant that is water soluble so it works inside the cell against some of the most destructive free radicals. Vitamin A and E are fat soluble and only work outside the cells.
You should add Vit C to your horse feeding program if you are seeing such problems as:
Slow wound healing
Tension or irritability
Lung problems or summer colds
Whole food sources or Vit C include:
Aloe Vera juice
Red Raspberry leaves
Red Clover tops
Whole foods are always best but horses may not readily accept the sour flavor of some high Vit C foods. I prefer Vit C products that include other bioflavnoids such a rutin. My favorite product is Citrus C/Q. This product includes many whole food sources of naturally occurring Vit C such as rosehips and acerola. I have not had any problem with horses eating it and it is a good one to have on hand when you need to include Vit C in your horse feeding program. Madalyn