Supplement Research by Dr. David Ramey
“It may be that the best supplement is no supplement at all…Avoiding spending money on supplements is particularly appropriate for horse owners struggling to simply maintain their horses in this difficult economy. No benefit is achieved with hypernutrition,” Dr. David Ramey
Our Review of Ramey’s supplement research
By Maddy Butcher
Ah, the wizards of marketing:
They’ve convinced us we should give our kids vitamins. I’m not talking about toddlers and Flintstones. I’m talking about the billion-dollar industry that is horse supplements.
But Dr. David Ramey says it ain’t so.
He researched supplements and recently presented his findings to the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Read more about it here.
“Based on my analysis, if you’re giving your horse enough alfalfa or grass hay so he can keep his weight he’s getting pretty much 100 percent of what he needs.”
Ramey’s only caveat is to offer horses a salt block and consider selenium if you live in areas deficient in that mineral (much of the eastern U.S., for instance). If you think of horses’ Big Picture evolutionarily, Ramey’s conclusion should come as no surprise. For thousands of years, they did just fine without us, without stuff.
Ramey’s second element of his research was to analyze the supplements. He found them woefully lacking. Not only do they lack balance (oversupplying one nutritional need while offering no supply of others), but often the labels misrepresented actual contents.
He calls supplement use a kind of “nutritional roulette.”
Whatever the term, it’s clear you’re not doing your horse any favors and you’re not doing your wallet any favors either.