Holistic Horse Health: Don’t forget the Vit C in your horse feeding program

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:

Summer allergies
Slow wound healing
Tension or irritability
Stocking up
Lung problems or summer colds

Whole food sources or Vit C include:

Acerola fruit
Aloe Vera juice
Senna leaves
Red Raspberry leaves
Barley grass
Red Clover tops
Pumpkin seeds

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

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