<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=332465044330223&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

The Spry Steed’s Guide to Horse Nutrition Supplements

Table of Contents

Just like how bodybuilders can see some major gains from taking supplements when they go to the gym, horses can also benefit from taking nutritional supplements.

With tons of horse nutrition products on the market, however, it can be tough for equine owners to know which products to use and which to skip. After all, they want to keep their steed healthy and quick on his feet!


This guide explores horse nutrition supplements and their benefits. Plus, it goes over some common types of equine nutrition supplements and what ingredients to look for when choosing them.

What are Horse Nutrition Supplements?

Before we dive into which supplements are best for your horse and which horse nutrition supplements to avoid, it pays to know what these actually are. Horse nutrition supplements are nutrients that are added to a horse’s diet to make sure your horse gets the adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. In many cases, supplements fill in the gaps in an inadequate diet to ensure your steed is getting all the nutrients it needs.

Sometimes, horse owners give their steeds nutritional supplements in an effort to keep their horses healthy in old age or help them recover from illness. Other times, however, these are simply added to help boost horse immune systems, prevent nutritional defects, and ensure your animal is feeling his best!

Some horse supplements extract their vitamins and minerals from organic sources through refining processes that guarantee the quality of their properties, while other brands prefer to obtain their products through chemical synthesis or fermentation.

TRI-ACTA and TRI-ACTA H.A. for Equine are horse joint supplements that use 100% natural ingredients—that already occur in your horse’s body—with no fillers. This ensures that your horse won’t have an allergic reaction to the supplement, and also means you need to feed them less (more bang for your buck 🐎).

The ingredients in TRI-ACTA for equine include glucosamine, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and Chondroitin Sulfate. Additionally, TRI-ACTA H.A. adds Hyaluronic Acid, which helps lubricate articulating joints, and minimize friction and resistance to shock in weight-bearing joints.

The latter is better for horses that have already experienced or are currently experiencing joint issues, are under a heavy workload, or are older. On the other hand, TRI-ACTA is suitable for all horses as a proactive approach to horse nutrition.

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Equine

Our maximum strength formula is perfect for horses that are ageing, experiencing arthritis and stiffness, are in training and competition, or under a heavy workload.


Should You Give Equine Nutrition Supplements to Your Horse?

Although nutritional supplements for horses aren’t a substitute for a balanced diet, they can be a great addition to a horse’s diet. These supplements contain ingredients that some horse diets may be lacking, including:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Electrolytes
  • Proteins
  • Fiber
  • Amino Acids
  • Fats
  • Grains
  • Water

Just remember that regardless of your reason for adding horse nutrition supplements to your steed’s diet, it’s important to consult your vet first. He or she can help come up with a supplementation program that will identify the unique nutritional deficiencies of each horse.

Otherwise, you could actually run the risk of those supplements doing more harm than good. For example, too much vitamin A can lead to issues such as:

  1. Bone fragility
  2. Epithelial exfoliation
  3. Teratogenesis

By consulting your veterinarian, you can make sure that your horse is getting exactly what he needs without going over the top.

Benefits of Equine Nutrition Supplement

Most people might think that horses engaged in strenuous activities, such as racing or high level competitions, are the only ones that need to supplement their diet with equine nutrition products. The truth is, however, any equine can benefit from the addition of nutritional supplements to their diet.

Moreover, besides just racehorses who need supplements for horse training, there are horses with special situations who may benefit from equine nutrition products:

  • Old horses
  • Pregnant and lactating mares
  • Foals or young horses (especially orphans that can’t gain the nutritional support that would typically be provided by their mother)
  • Horses that are sick or recovering from surgery or injury
  • Stallions
  • Horses on a special diet

Regardless of whether or not your horse falls into one of these categories, there are plenty of different benefits horses can get from taking supplements. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

1. They Can Boost Breeding

Stallions and mares in heat achieve better results in fertility, pregnancy, reproduction, and foaling at term when supported with horse nutrition supplements. In fact, some studies say that protein and energy intake should be increased by 25%, vitamin A and D levels by 40%, and vitamin D by 100% for horses trying to reproduce.

Other nutrients that horses in heat may need include Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These acids directly affect sperm production in male horses, which can lead to better chances of your mares getting pregnant.

Pregnant mares are more likely to have successful pregnancies and foaling with the right amount of proteins, fats, and minerals (mainly A, D, and E). During the horse’s third gestational period, these vitamins can play a big role in how healthy the foal turns out.

As a result, introducing supplements with these ingredients in them into the diet of breeding or pregnant horses can help lead to better fertility and healthier babies overall!

2. Supplements Boost Work & Sports Performance

If you’ve got a racehorse or a working horse, you might find your steed also benefits from the boost of energy and good nutrients that comes with taking horse supplements.

Nutritional supplements for horses can lead to an increase in daily energy and the replacement of vital components that are lost in high-performance work.

Of course, the amount of supplements your steed will need depends on the amount of work or racing that the animal does. To help understand the workload of your horse, here’s a breakdown of light to very heavy work for the animal:

  1. Light: occasional rides, shows, and training programs.
  2. Moderate: School horses, frequent horseback riding, training, shows, and fieldwork.
  3. Heavy: Fieldwork, polo, shows, and high-performance training for competition.
  4. Very heavy: 3-day test, high-performance competitions, racing, or endurance

Horses engaging in very heavy or heavy performance may require an additional boost of energy or extra muscular support, which can be provided through supplements. However, even horses who engage in light work and sports activities can benefit from horse nutrition supplements.

3. Horse Nutritional Supplements Support the Prevention of Diseases

One of the main benefits of introducing horse nutritional supplements to your equine’s diet is that it can support the prevention of disease. Just like how humans take vitamin C to help avoid colds, horses can benefit from supplements to prevent common conditions such as equine colic and infectious diseases.

Horses that take supplements starting at a younger age may be able to prevent unpleasant diseases later down the line. For example, equine joint supplements provide mobility and flexibility by protecting collagen and connective tissue. This can help horses avoid things like arthritis as your horse gets older.

4. They Can Help Your Horse Recover from Injuries

Introducing horse nutrition supplements to your steed’s diet isn’t just important for preventing disease. It’s also important for helping recovery in the event of a horse injury.

Supplements can help provide strong building blocks that support a horse’s natural healing function. When the horse’s body has all the nutrients it needs the chances of making a full recovery increase.

A few types of recovery supplements that can help horses include:

  • Glucosamine for horses helps support joint lubrication
  • Dimethylglycine and lysine are omega-3 fatty acids that help support recovery after exercise
  • Selenium and vitamin e are additional omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation
  • Electrolytes replace minerals lost in sweat

Common Types of Horse Nutrition Supplements

Currently, the market offers a wide variety of equine nutrition products that promise to improve the general condition of your horse. However, it’s important to know how and when to use these supplements in order to achieve the desired effect. You can typically find equine nutritional products in a variety of types, including:

  • Oral syringe
  • Powder
  • Liquid
  • Granulated

Once you’ve figured out which form of supplement you’ll be using, you’ve got to figure out what the right type is for you. Some supplements offer a single concentrated compound, such as vitamin B, while others offer an array of nutrients to support certain functions, such as a multivitamin.

To make it easier to figure out which supplements are for you, let’s go over a few of the most common types of horse supplements out there.

Vitamin and Mineral

Vitamins and minerals are some of the most important nutrients for equines, and they need a balanced supply of them since any deficiency or excess can have serious consequences on the animal's overall health. Vitamin requirements (as well as those of other nutrients) change according to:

  1. Age
  2. Weight
  3. Productive or physiological status
  4. Stress
  5. Sickness

However, it’s important to know that vitamins can be water-soluble (vitamin C, B group vitamins, etc.) and fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, E, and K). Water-soluble vitamins are less toxic as they’re eliminated in the urine and aren’t retained by the body in case of excess. On the other hand, care must be taken with the dosage of fat-soluble vitamins, which are retained in body fat and cause a toxic effect in case of excess.

Joint Supplements

Just like humans, horses wear out their connective tissues, collagen, joints, ligaments, and muscles over the years or with frequent use. That’s true regardless of whether you’ve got a fearless racehorse or a happy farm pet!

While it’s true that signs of joint discomfort may be more noticeable in horses enjoying their golden years, it’s never too late to introduce preventive solutions to support healthy joint issues in horses.

TRI-ACTA is a great choice as it contains 100% active ingredients with no fillers or additives. It contains preventative and therapeutic levels of Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM. For horses under a heavy workload, dealing with an injury or on the senior end, TRI-ACTA H.A. has the addition of a highly therapeutic form of Hyaluronic Acid, which helps normalize the supply and viscosity of the joint fluid.

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Equine

Our maximum strength formula is perfect for horses that are ageing, experiencing arthritis and stiffness, are in training and competition, or under a heavy workload.


Hoof Care


A horse's hooves are a good indicator of balanced nutrition because poor hoof condition (e.g., cracks, abscesses, bruises, breaks, and shoe loss) can be a clear physical sign of nutritional deficiency. Worse yet, when hooves start to weaken, this can be a gateway for pathogens to invade the hoof wall and infect other tissues, causing major problems.

Special equine nutritional supplements for hoof care must provide balanced amounts of calcium and phosphorus to support the walls. Just remember that an excess of these or an imbalance between the two can also cause the opposite effect, as an excess of phosphorus in the diet interferes with calcium absorption.

Besides calcium and phosphorus, these basic equine nutrition supplements should provide sufficient amounts of amino acids such as lysine, vitamins, and minerals such as zinc. And it has even been shown that biotin may improve hoof problems if given in moderation for a few months or years.

Weight Gain

Older horses, lactating mares, horses recovering from diseases, metabolic disorders, foals, and competition horses need to regulate their weight with hypercaloric nutritional supplements to help them regain their body mass quickly and safely.

If the horse's muscle energy reserves have been depleted, this equine nutrition supplement should provide ingredients such as omega 3, dried grains, flaxseed meal, calcium carbonate, propionic acid, natural tocopherols, etc., to help the horse's energy supply.

In addition, hypercaloric horse nutritional supplements give a boost to the health of the animal's skin and coat.


Horses are animals that are easily frightened, whether that’s due to noisy places, hormonal changes, or environmental conditions such as sunlight, pollen, wind, dust, or others.

The good news is that nutritional support to the equine nervous system can actually help them feel more relaxed and control reflexes and instincts caused by stress.

Calming equine nutrition products promote relaxation and mental alertness without drowsiness by introducing active ingredients such as magnesium, L-tryptophan, and thiamine.


Very warm climates, exercise, or strenuous work day after day can cause your horse to lose valuable electrolytes through sweating. And, just like the isotonic drinks consumed by a human athlete, some nutritional supplements seek to replenish this loss of water and salts by introducing calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and chlorine to the body.

Adding these electrolytes back into your horse’s diet can help you maintain superior horse health, especially if you’ve got a hardworking steed who spends his days on the race track or training for competitions or events.

Muscle Care

Last but not least are muscle supplements. Another consequence of regular and intense work is the stiffness of muscles due to their acidification by lactic acid.

Some supplements are able to neutralize these residues and recover muscle tone in horses prone to this type of problem. They can even help horses struggling with tying-up syndrome.

This type of dietary supplement contains vitamin C, E, and B carotenes that enhance the antioxidant activity of muscle cells and provide rapid recovery after intense exercise.

Ingredients To Prioritize & Avoid In Equine Nutrition Products

As you’ve probably gathered from the different types of horse supplements out there, different ingredients have different effects on your horse’s body. When it comes to choosing equine nutrition products for your horse, you’ll need to know which ingredients to focus on and which to skip.

The below table breaks down a few different ingredients which can be particularly beneficial in horse nutrition supplements.





As one of the most widely used ingredients in the treatment and prevention of joint problems of all kinds, Glucosamine is used to support performance horses, old horses, and horses whose cartilage has been affected.


A good horse nutrition supplement contains chondroitin as one of its active ingredients. Chondroitin is a glycosaminoglycan that predominates in the cartilage of adult horses and prevents the action of enzymes that destroy cartilage and tissues.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

MSM helps to reconstitute sulfur levels thus promoting wound healing and regeneration of joints and cartilage tissue.

Hyaluronic acid

As a major component of synovial fluid, hyaluronic acid lubricates joints by preventing friction between bones and protecting the cartilage surface, and improves movement and function of limbs in high-impact sports and in old age.

Vitamin A

Plays an important role in vision, cell differentiation, reproduction, embryogenesis, and growth. As well as the reinforcement of the immune system. However, Vitamin A should be administered in moderation.


Plays an important role in cell growth and contributes to the good condition of the skin, coat, hooves, and mucous membranes.

Echinacea, Vitamin C

Very useful in times of illness, as it increases the immune system defenses and prevents future diseases.


Slows down the production of free radicals (highly reactive and unstable elements that can damage the body) in racehorses and improves the respiratory system of stabled horses or horses with allergies.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Improves the stability of the horse's intestinal microbiota, allowing it to absorb more nutrients from the feed and avoid intestinal problems of any kind, especially equine colic, a frequent problem in horses.

Electrolytes (Potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium)

The physical work performed by horses makes them prone to dehydration and loss of electrolytes, so it’s always important to try to replenish these essential salts for proper vital functioning.


While the above ingredients are excellent for horse health and maintaining your steed’s capabilities, there are some ingredients which can have the opposite effect.

This next table shows a few of the ingredients to avoid, and also explains why these aren’t such good picks.




Animal by-products (Fillers)

A nutritional supplement that uses animal by-products is padding or bulking the product with animal waste such as feet, heads, beaks, intestines, and even hydrolyzed feather meal, ingredients that sometimes don’t contain the promised percentage of protein and only function as a way to deceive the consumer.


This ingredient is a synthetic and inexpensive form of similar vitamin B12.


Unbalanced consumption of starch may exceed the digestive capacity of the small intestine, leading to alteration of the intestinal microbiota and colonization of pathogens causing colic, diarrhea, and infusions.


An excess of sugars that don’t correspond to a horse's nutritional needs can lead to hyperactive and moody behavior and can even cause loose stools, colic, and even laminitis in horses.

Additives (e.g., monosodium glutamate)

Some additives used for the preservation of the product may represent a risk to the horse's health in the short or long term, causing allergies, nausea, and other symptoms.

Artificial colorings (Orange yellow, tartrazine, etc.)

Artificial colorings of any kind are totally unnecessary in the supplement and don’t contribute anything useful to the horse's diet.

Flavor enhancers (e.g., monosodium glutamate, guanylate, inosinate)

The continued consumption of these chemical substances can generate short or long-term consequences and secondary symptoms, allergies, intolerances, etc.

7 Top Equine Nutrition Supplements By Type

If you’re ready to get into buying some equine supplements, you’ve come to the right place. Although there are numerous companies on the market that claim to have the best horse nutrition supplements, we’ve rounded up 7 of the top supplements to be aware of.

Let’s go over each of these supplements as well as what they’re used for and why they’re so handy.

Integricare TRI-ACTA and TRI-ACTA H.A for Equine Joint Health

Integricare TRI-ACTA and TRI-ACTA H.A for Equine Joint Health

TRI-ACTA and TRI-ACTA H.A. are joint supplements that contain 100% active ingredients in a concentrated dose. These supplements contain the following active ingredients:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin Sulfate
  • MSM
  • Hyaluronic Acid

These supplements help relieve inflammation, improve mobility, and prevent future problems by accelerating the formation of new joint tissues in equines. In addition, MSM acts as a powerful antioxidant and has a special addition of hyaluronic acid that helps to lubricate the joints.

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Equine

Our maximum strength formula is perfect for horses that are ageing, experiencing arthritis and stiffness, are in training and competition, or under a heavy workload.


*Price starts at CAD $129.99 as of February 2023

Micro-Phase for Vitamins/Minerals

Micro-Phase for Vitamins/Minerals


Micro-phase is a vitamin supplement that exceeds standards in terms of quality. It provides the necessary vitamins and minerals to your horse’s diet in a low-calorie pellet.

Among the ingredients in this pellet are:

  • Vitamin A, E, D
  • Thiamine
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin B12

This supplement can also support horses struggling with equine metabolic syndrome, as it contains safe levels of protein and chelated minerals that facilitate digestion.

*Price starts at CAD $147.91 as of February 2023

Sho-Hoof for Hoof Care

Sho-Hoof for Hoof Care


Sho-Hoof nutritional supplements help horses develop strong, healthy hooves by containing one of the highest levels of methionine on the market.

In addition, they have the NASC quality seal, Veterinarian-Recommended approval, and the Happy Horse guarantee.

Among its most important components are:

  1. Biotin
  2. Zinc
  3. Methionine complex
  4. Omega 3

These supplements also contain a host of amino acids that guarantee hooves worthy of a race.

*Price starts at CAD $47.20 as of February 2023

Farnam Weight Builder

Farnam Weight Builder


Farnam Weight Builder is designed to maintain ideal weight in horses with caloric needs while promoting healthy skin and a glossy coat. Its natural fats are healthy and easily digestible, providing energy support to the horse.

In addition, it contains essential nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus, and helps your horse get back to a healthy weight without the risk of developing digestive disorders. It’s also free of unnecessary sugars and fillers for strict diets and also acts as a calming supplement to a lesser extent.

*Price starts at CAD $60.69 as of February 2023

ProKalm Horse Calming Supplement

ProKalm Horse Calming Supplement


ProKalm is an English brand of relaxing supplements that fuses amino acids and herbal components that combat stress, anxiety, and repetitive behaviors in all types of horses.

It’s perfect for "taking the edge off" because in only 30 minutes and up to 8 hours, it generates a feeling of calmness without the need to sedate and interrupt the horse's concentration.

Its active ingredients consist of:

  • L-Theanine
  • Lemon Balm extract
  • L-Tyrosine
  • Indian Ginseng

*Price starts at CAD $98.40 as of February 2023

Science Supplements Complete Electrolytes

Science Supplements Complete Electrolytes


Science Supplements uses an advanced microencapsulation technology that ensures that its star electrolytes (sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, and magnesium) are gently digested by the equine.

These supplements replenish in a balanced way the loss of salts during low and high-performance exercise.

*Price starts at CAD $64.84 as of February 2023

Muscle Aid Horse Supplement

Muscle Aid Horse Supplement


NutriScience is committed to maximizing the athletic performance of sport horses and ponies that need to build muscle, increase stamina, increase response time, endurance, recovery, and decrease body fat.

These supplements contain a number of core ingredients, including:

  1. Selenium
  2. Vitamin E
  3. Dextrose
  4. L-Carnitine Tartrate

*Price starts at CAD $103.88 as of February 2023


Horse nutrition supplements certainly don’t replace your horse’s regular meals, but they can be supportive of a good diet and exercise program. These supplements provide key nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, and may help prevent disease, improve injury recovery, and boost performance.

Today, there are a number of horse nutrition supplements on the market, including those designed for calming, muscle care, joint care, weight gain, and hoof care. The active ingredients in each supplement are what help determine its benefits for your steed.One top supplement on the market that can help support healthy joints and tendons is TRI-ACTA. TRI-ACTA Equine is a horse supplement that contains nutrients such as glucosamine and MSM to help your horse feel his best whether he’s racing or hanging out in the barn. Get in touch today or check out our FAQ to learn more about these supplements and how they can help your horse!