Excessive Supplementation


Feeding a general nutritional supplement and a hoof supplement (or any two supplements) at the same time is generally not recommended. Why? Because it is possible to reach toxic levels of some nutrients through excessive supplementation if the nutrients are duplicated. This is especially true if you’re feeding a supplement and a compounded feed when the nutrients in the compounded feed are unknown or not guaranteed.

If a horse has special needs (hard work, growth, joint, pregnancy, etc.), then you should consider adding the supplemental nutrients required for these activities. However, you must ensure that when you add the ‘special needs’ nutrients, they’re added in the correct ratio with each other.

Excessive supplementation of any nutrient, even if the nutrient is not toxic in high levels, requires your horse’s metabolic and/or organ functions to eliminate the nutrient from the body. This requires ‘metabolic currency’ from the horse and can prove an extra financial burden to you. So do a little homework to make sure you select the right supplements and don’t overdo it.


Dr. Frank Gravlee graduated from Auburn University School of Medicine and practiced veterinary medicine for several years before attending graduate school at MIT . During a three-year residency in nutritional pathology he received a masters degree in nutritional biochemistry and intermediary metabolism. In 1973, he founded Life Data Labs to determine equine nutritional deficiencies through laboratory testing, and developed individualized feeding programs to correct the deficiencies he discovered. After ten years of research, he launched Farrier’s Formula. www.lifedatalabs.com

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