Did you know that black skinned horses which includes grays need more copper than others at all times? Bays and chestnuts will look washed out with lighter-colored than normal coats, and the blacks will have a definite reddish cast.
Horses need copper in their diets to properly utilize iron and to develop healthy connective tissue. It is also important for horses with allergies as it is able to lower the concentration of histamine in the body. Copper also helps to keep the central nervous system running correctly.
In adult horses a deficiency of copper in the diet may cause limb deformities, thinning of the bones, swelling of the joints, blood vessel weakness, connective tissue weakness, saggy skin, and a lowered immune system as copper is the main mineral for the body to produce T cells. It is also important for bone integrity, heart health, skin pigmentation and to prevent premature graying. A copper deficiency can also lead to anemia.
Here are some signs to look for in your horse that could mean they have a copper deficiency:
- Fading coat color
- Frizzy ends
- Parasite issues
- Curled hair that looks like a fish hook
If there is an excess of iron in your soil or water it will create a copper deficiency. If the horse is experiencing a copper deficiency, they are probably deficient in other nutrients.
If I have a horse that is showing any of these signs I immediately put them on SOD from Dynamite Specialty Products. I don’t recommend adding SOD with other products as you could create an overload or imbalance of vitamins and minerals.
I prefer to use SOD from Dynamite because they use pure chelated copper in this supplement, which is in the same form it would be in a whole food. By using chelated copper you bypass any potential of toxicity from the minerals not being able to be flushed out if the body does not need them.
It is important to buy premium products that use chelated minerals and not inorganic minerals. Inorganic minerals are difficult for the horse’s digestive system to utilize. Chelating or attaching the mineral to a form of protein (amino acids) makes the mineral more available. Look for copper proteinate or copper amino acid chelate on the feed tag.
If feeding a lot of copper you may also need to include a little more zinc in the diet occasionally for balance as good nutrition is all about keeping a balance.
If your horse has a shiny coat that feels great or they have a body full of dapples you probably don’t have anything to worry about. Going into spring when the horses are shedding their winter coats they will look icky as the coat is dying and shedding out.
Also keep in mind that if you have horses that you’re working hard and their sweating, the salts from the sweat will often bleach the coat. If you rinse them with well water it has a lot of minerals in it which will also bleach the coat color.
I also use this product if I plan on having a stallion gelded or I plan on traveling the SOD will boost their immune system.
If you want to add SOD to your horse’s diet or you have questions contact me to set up a FREE consultation.