Sunshine, Shade and our horse’s coats play an important part in their health.
ü Studies have shown that lack of sunshine [especially during the winter months, which inhibits vitamin D production, at higher latitudes ~ the upper one third of the U.S. and all of Canada)] have negative effects on all of us, human & animal, not only physically but emotionally. We, who weigh much less than our four hoofed wonders, need approximately 30-90 minutes/day of sunshine, so it’s understandable how much more time our horses need to be out in the sun to provide them with vital, healthy nutrients.
ü When we shampoo & condition our horse’s coats we are stripping them of their natural body oils. Frequent bathing with soap inhibits the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D.
ü When we spray our horses with insecticides and/or blanket them ~ we create barriers against Nature’s ability to work Her magic in developing Vitamin D.
ü Horses that are kept indoors have the highest risk to Vitamin D deficiency
ü Vitamin D cannot survive in cut hay
Vitamin D deficiency can cause:
ü reduced appetite
ü slow growth
ü bone demineralization (leading to stress fractures and bone deformities)
ü poor muscle elasticity
- 5-8 hours/day out in the sunshine exposes your horse to enough ultra violet light to produce the required amount of Vitamin D each horse needs.
- Safe amounts of supplements & fortified feeds
- Be sure to give your horse[s] as much time outdoors as possible in the sun.
- Be sure to offer shade them shade as well.
- Minimize chemical barriers.
Let Vitamin D grow and contribute to the mental and physical good health for all your horses.
Until next time…………….as Roy Rogers used to say/sing: “Happy Trails to You…. Until we Meet Again!”