The REVERDY range proposes feeds offering an optimal coverage of requirements of all these vitamins, no matter what the age or activity of your horse.
Vitamin A contributes to the synthesis of proteins (with zinc) and intervenes in:
- Production of enzymes, hormones, immunoglobulins.
- All tissue development, in particular skeletal, thus its action on growth in the young horse.
- Reproduction, in both the male and the female.
- Fight against infection by contributing to healthy epitheliums.
Green forage is an excellent source of ß-carotenes, precursors of vitamin A.
However, deficiency in ß-carotenes is frequent at the end of winter because of:
- Deterioration of hay during storage.
- Exhaustion of the hepatic (liver) reserves.
Reinforced supplementation is indicated if we wish to:
- Improve stallion and broodmare fertility.
- Obtain optimal growth in foals and young horses.
Equally, complementation is recommended at the end of winter for horses not receiving concentrate feeds with correct levels of this vitamin.
Vitamin D principally participates in bone mineralisation because of its role in regulating the phosphocalcic balance.
Vitamin D is present in sun dried hay. Furthermore, it can be synthesised by the skin when exposed to the ultra-violet rays of sunlight.
In absence of excellent hay, and exposure to direct sunlight on the horse, including vitamin D in the ration is essential.
Vitamin D must be supplied moderately and conjointly with sufficient and balanced quantities of calcium and phosphorus.
For horses in training, supply must be reinforced because:
- They are confined to stables for long periods of the day.
- Their skeletal structures are confronted to daily stress.
It's the major biological antioxidant and as such Vitamin E:
- Ensures the protection of cell membranes rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. In this way, along with selenium, which could play the first role, vitamin E contributes to maintain muscle integrity.
- Prevents lipid reserves from oxidising.
- Intervenes in reproduction by protecting vitamin A and essential fatty acids.
Hoffman and al. (1999) reported an increase blood antibody concentration (IgG) in broodmares who had received supplementation with high doses of vitamin E. After birth, the foals born from these mares also had superior blood antibody levels (IgG).
Vitamin E is found in young grass and fresh vegetable oils.
Vitamin E requirements increase when the ration is enriched with unsaturated fatty acids (oils) and when work increases. Vitamin E requirements are reduced by the presence of selenium.
Vitamin K plays a role in:
- Blood coagulation.
- Bone calcification (on a more secondary basis).
Abundant digestive synthesis by the gut micro-organisms allows sufficient supply, this is coupled with relatively high levels found in forage.
Under normal conditions, deficiency is not a problem.
However, intensive work may weaken the gut micro-organisms and disrupt the digestive synthesis of vitamin K. A complementation of 2-3 mg / 100 kg live weight per day is recommended in horses undertaking heavy intensive work.
The B group vitamins
- Vitamin B1: THIAMINE
Essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates and important for:
- Sprints: it intervenes in the combustion of carbohydrates in the muscles.
- Healthy functioning of the nervous system and nerve cell communication.
- Vitamin B2 : RIBOFLAVIN
Activates the catabolism (transformation) of lactic acid (as does zinc) and takes part in the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids.
- Vitamin B3 : PP or NIACIN
Intervenes in energy metabolism.
- Vitamin B5 : PANTOTHENIC ACID
Participates in the renewal of epitheliums and integuments. It favours wound healing and hair growth.
- Vitamin B6 PYRIDOXINE
Intervenes in the metabolism of amino-acids and proteins, and notably, has an anti-anaemic role.
- Vitamin B8 : H or BIOTIN
- At doses of 10 to 30 mg a day over a period of 6 to 10 months it improves the growth rate and strength of the hoof wall.
- At lower doses intervenes in the metabolism of carbohydrates.
- Vitamin B9: FOLIC ACID OR ANTI-ANAEMIC
Favours regeneration and maturing of red blood cells.
- Vitamin B12: CYANOCOBALAMIN
Participates in the formation of red blood cells, and so, just like vitamins B6 and B9 helps protect against anaemia. Overdosing is inutile.
The B group vitamins are present in green forage, cereals, and probiotics, they are also synthesised by the gut micro-organisms.
For adult horses consuming plenty of good quality forage, there is generally a sufficient supply provided by the micro-organisms in the caecum and the colon. However, taking into consideration the many roles played by the B group vitamins in muscular effort, the requirements of horses in heavy training/work may be increased, even more so as the gut micro-organisms are weakened by the intensity of the work. Providing too much vitamin B is not a worry, the limit being more an economic one.
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin which participates in hundreds of processes in the body. Among its’ principal functions, it notably intervenes in:
- Collagen synthesis.
- Formation of red blood cells.
- Maintaining immunity.
- The healing of wounds.
Vitamin C also increases iron uptake cfrom dietary sources. Finally, as a major antioxidant, it plays a very important role in the fight against free radicals by participating in the recycling of vitamin E.
Vitamin C is naturally synthesised by the liver of the horse.
Unlike man, the horse is able to synthesise his own vitamin C and cover his maintenance requirements. However, considering the multiple implications of vitamin C in the metabolism, supplementing horses in intense work and training is recommended, even more so as the requirements related to effort can be accumulated and the flora weakened by work intensity.
PROTECTED VITAMIN C
The simplest and most common type of vitamin C used is L-ascorbic acid. Unfortunately, this molecule is very fragile and degraded considerably during feed manufacturing and storage processes.
The active part of this molecule is stabilised (esterified with a phosphate group) and is only reactivated after the vitamin C is absorbed and metabolised within the organism.
The best fulfilment of daily requirements for horses in intensive work is ensured by using this form of protected vitamin C associated with the incorporation of optimum levels into our feeds (500 to 1,000 mg / kg).