This is one of the most frequent questions I get asked.
For years, it was such a tricky answer- I mean, it totally depends on your horse and why you think your horse even needs supplements.
Not every horse needs supplements- that is potentially good news for your wallet, right?!
The best possible situation is that your horse can get everything they need nutritionally from their food… but how do you know if the food you are feeding is the best option for your horse?
It is important to realize that horse supplements (just like human supplements) are often not bioavailable for the horse's body to absorb and use easily like the same nutrients that are absorbed through foods.
Knowing what supplements to feed is still tricky and very individualized. I honestly think that this is one of the most complex topics in the horse world, but it is just a part of the puzzle.
Nutrition affects more than just body weight and coat shine. It affects behavior, pain levels, the horse's ability to heal, and even how horses interact with each other.
So... HOW THE HECK DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO FEED YOUR HORSE?
First, get as much knowledge as you can whenever you have the opportunity.
Second, Muscle Test.
This is the explanation I received in an email from Discover Healing:
“Muscle testing is a noninvasive tool that can help us identify imbalances in the body. The science behind it is similar to a lie detector test or a polygraph. In a polygraph, a person is hooked up to sensitive electrodes and asked specific questions. The person's answers generate a certain electrical response in the body, which is read and graphed by the machine to show whether the answers are true or false. This is done on a very delicate, minute scale. The muscles of the body are also affected by this electrical state. Muscle testing is designed to use those effects to show this same kind of response, just on a larger and more pronounced scale. The principle is that any muscle becomes weakened in a state of incongruence or falsehood (like a lie on a lie detector test) making resistance difficult. Conversely, muscles remain strong and able to resist when in a state of congruence or truth. What's nice is that muscle testing allows us to access important information about health. We just have to know what questions to ask, apply the resistance to a muscle, and then gauge the response to get our answers!"
I use muscle testing constantly in my daily life to determine my needs, my family's needs, and my dog's needs. I also use muscle testing as an emotion code practitioner and an equine massage therapist to determine what may be most helpful to my clients.
If you are ready to learn to use muscle testing to get your horse the supplements they need, I encourage you to join us in the Happy Horse, Happy Life facebook group where we are doing a mini-course on using muscle testing to assess your horse's feed plan.