Turmeric: Winter Support for your Horse
Joint health and mobility are just one of the factors that your horse might struggle with more during the winter. Just like humans, the cold impacts joints; older horses in particular might be increasingly stiff or take longer to get moving.
It has been claimed that 60% of lameness in horses are related to Osteoarthritis. Arthritis is a term used to describe dysfunction in the joints. One of the symptoms is an inflammatory condition that restricts freedom of movement and is often accompanied by swelling of the joints and pain. There are many forms of arthritis, although the most common across species is osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Coat and skin condition
Another factor that your horse might struggle to regulate during cold, wet weather is their coat and skin condition. Rain scald is a common issue as well as rugs that rub and not getting the normal amount of nutrients from the grass during turnout.
Rain scald is not contagious, so it won’t be spread to other horses, but it is uncomfortable and is caused by bacteria. Excessive exposure to rain can lead to the skin condition, so many owners resort to rugging horses. However, over-rugging can also cause excessive sweating which produces the same result. Scabs often appear over the back, but also on their neck and hindquarters. Treatment should be discussed with a vet but other aspects such as preventing the bacteria spreading is something to consider.
During the winter, the nutrient levels within the grass is often significantly reduced, particularly if the pasture is poached. Being turned out is really beneficial to horses, in order for them to display natural behaviours, stretch their legs and graze in a way that they would do naturally. However, during winter, this often needs to be topped up with hard feeds or supplements to ensure that they are getting the right nutrients, including vitamins and minerals to keep their coat and skin in tip top condition.
Horses are not so dissimilar to their owners – they too can feel more of an impact on their immune system during the winter. Firstly, their routine often changes and can mean that they are stabled for longer periods of time, ridden less or come into contact with more horses on the yard. Not only can a change of routine lead to issues such as colic as a result of less movement and a different diet, those changes in food can also alter the microbiome in their gut. Their microbiome is involved with regulating processes such as digestion, reproduction, and resistance to infection. For older horses, particularly those who do not have great teeth, chewing forage such as hay and haylage is more challenging than grazing grass, so their microbiome will likely be impacted during the winter.
Feeding for Winter
Prevention is better than cure in most instances for horses – in the case of arthritis in particular, which cannot be reversed, it is important to consider preventing it before seeing any signs of it, because at that point, you can only maintain, rather than cure it.
Many stable management changes can be made to support any issues your horse may have, but you should also consider supporting them from the inside out with their diet.
Which supplement is best?
Turmeric is a fantastic addition to any horse’s diet as it has a whole host of benefits for the general health and well-being of horses. However, not all Turmeric supplements are as effective as others. In its natural state, Turmeric is not easily digested, nor is it palatable for horses and is often messy to feed in powder form, leaving you with yellow hands! That’s why Golden Paste Company came up with TurmerAid, a powerful pelleted Turmeric supplement with ethically sourced, organic ingredients, including Turmeric of the highest strength from local farmers in Indonesia.
Key ingredients have been added to these easy to feed pellets to make them tasty and increase the bioavailability, including Apple Cider Vinegar, Black Pepper and Yucca. Cooked Linseed is also included because of its high oil content, which helps to absorb the key component of Turmeric called Curcumin and it is rich in omegas 3, 6 and 9 along with natural antioxidant properties.
These carefully researched ingredients ensure that this natural supplement for horses is able to support a wide range of issues your horse may experience over the winter months. TurmerAid is great for joint health as it supports the body’s natural inflammation processes, lessening the impact of joint problems such as arthritis as it helps to reduce swelling and the resulting pain.
TurmerAid also helps to maintain a healthy and shiny coat, in particular due to the inclusion of Cooked Linseed. With high oil content containing omega-3 fatty acids, it provides components that are key for skin and coat health.
Additionally, TurmerAid supports the micro-flora that naturally occur in the stomach which aids digestion and maintains a healthy microbiome. This means that when exposed to health risks, your horse’s immune system is better prepared to fight off illnesses.