Vitamin A is the most important to the health of your horse. It is essential to the digestive, respiratory, reproductive, and nervous systems and also to sight, skin, hoof growth, appetite, milk production, [and] fighting infections and disease. In other words, just about everything essential to maintain life and health.
An important fact is that alfalfa will lose as much as 80% to 90% of its carotene in the curing process and in storage. The greener and leafier the hay, the more carotene it contains, as well as many of the other essential nutrients, such as protein and phosphorous. That's why it is important to feed a grain with adequate Vitamin A added.
Next week: Vitamin D, calcium and phosphorous.
This is a reproduction of an article written by Bud Wrona as it was published for the local Redmond (WA) paper, in a column titled "Off the Hoof," which was created to help educate the community on, mainly, the proper care and feeding of horses. Some of the information might be outdated (unfortunately, we don't have the original publish dates) so please leave a comment if you happen to notice something that is.