The Importance of Minerals in our Horses’ Diets

Minerals in our horses’ diets are essential in order for the body to work properly – for growth, for utilization in muscles, nerves, and turning the food our horses eat into energy. Most of all they are essential for maintaining a state of health and well-being.

Different minerals are required by the horse’s body in different amounts and many are synergistic. They are classified in groups of trace minerals, major minerals and minerals.

No nutrient or minerals can alter the horse’s well-being single-handedly.  Nutrients and minerals need to be balanced. While a “healthy” diet will provide all the essential minerals we find it hard-pressed to find a diet suggested for horses that does not include GMO, GE, and foods heavily processed with chemicals, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Add that to grains that are heavily herbicided, pesticided and fertilized — its a sad commentary on what we consider ‘healthy’ for our horses today.

What might be considered adequate minerals intake will include the following minerals as listed in this chart from webmd.com …

Macrominerals

Major minerals
Mineral Function Sources
Sodium Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction Table salt, soy sauce; large amounts in processed foods; small amounts in milk, breads, vegetables, and unprocessed meats
Chloride Needed for proper fluid balance,stomach acid Table salt, soy sauce; large amounts in processed foods; small amounts in milk, meats, breads, and vegetables
Potassium Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction Meats, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes
Calcium Important for healthy bones and teeth; helps muscles relax and contract; important in nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure, blood regulation, immune system health Milk and milk products; canned fish with bones (salmon, sardines); fortified tofu and fortified soy milk; greens (broccoli, mustard greens); legumes
Phosphorus Important for healthy bones and teeth; found in every cell; part of the system that maintains acid-base balance Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, processed foods (including soda pop)
Magnesium Found in bones; needed for making protein, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, immune system health Nuts and seeds; legumes; leafy, green vegetables; seafood; chocolate; artichokes; “hard” drinking water
Sulfur Found in protein molecules Occurs in foods as part of protein: meats, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, legumes, nuts

Trace minerals (microminerals)

The body needs trace minerals in very small amounts. Note that iron is considered to be a trace mineral, although the amount needed is somewhat more than for other microminerals.

Trace minerals
Mineral Function Sources
Iron Part of a molecule (hemoglobin) found in red blood cells that carry oxygen in the body; needed for energy metabolism Organ meats; red meats; fish; poultry; shellfish (especially clams); egg yolks; legumes; dried fruits; dark, leafy greens; iron-enriched breads and cereals; and fortified cereals
Zinc Part of many enzymes; needed for making protein and genetic material; has a function in taste perception, wound healing, normal fetal development, production of sperm, normal growth and sexual maturation, immune system health Meats, fish, poultry, leavened whole grains, vegetables
Iodine Found in thyroid hormone, which helps regulate growth, development, and metabolism Seafood, foods grown in iodine-rich soil, iodized salt, bread, dairy products
Selenium Antioxidant Meats, seafood, grains
Copper Part of many enzymes; needed for iron metabolism Legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, organ meats, drinking water
Manganese Part of many enzymes Widespread in foods, especially plant foods
Fluoride Involved in formation of bones and teeth; helps prevent tooth decay Drinking water (either fluoridated or naturally containing fluoride), fish, and most teas
Chromium Works closely with insulin to regulate glucose levels Unrefined foods, especially liverl, brewer’s yeast, whole grains, nuts, cheeses
Molybdenum Part of some enzymes Legumes; breads and grains; leafy greens; leafy, green vegetables; milk; liver

Other trace nutrients known to be essential in tiny amounts include nickel, silicon, vanadium, and cobalt.

Truth be told, in ancient mines one will find 78+ minerals – all of which are needed in order to keep our horses in a healthy state of homeostasis.  Compare the chart above with this chart from Window Peak Minerals, NV:  (far cry from what we’re led to believe is all that is necessary)

Aluminum Al Holmium Ho Rhodium Rh
Antimony Sb Hydrogen H Rubidium Rb
Arsenic As Indium In Ruthenium Ru
Barium Ba Iodine I Samarium Sm
Beryllium Be Iridium Ir Scandium Sc
Bismuth Bi Iron Fe Selenium Se
Boron B Lanthanum La Silicon Si
Bromine Br Lead Pb Silver Ag
Cadmium Cd Lithium Li Sodium Na
Calcium Ca Lutetium Lu Strontium Sr
Carbon C Manganese Mn Sulphur S
Cerium Ce Magnesium Mg Tantalum Ta
Cesium Cs Mercury Hg Tellurium Te
Chlorine Cl Molybdenum Mo Terbium Tb
Chromium Cr Neodymium Nd Thallium Tl
Cobalt Co Nickel Ni Thorium Th
Copper Cu Niobium Nb Thulium Tm
Dysprosium Dy Nitrogen N Tin Sn
Erbium Er Osmium Os Titanium Ti
Europium Eu Oxygen O Tungsten W
Fluorine F Palladium Pd Uranium U
Gadolinium Gd Phosphorus P Vanadium V
Gallium Ga Platinum Pt Ytterbium Yb
Germanium Ge Potassium K Yttrium Y
Gold Au Praseodymium Pr Zinc Zn
Hafnium Hf Rhenium Re Zirconium Zr

Key to above mineral chart —

Green = essential element for some or most plants
Red = essential trace mineral for humans*
Fuchsia = essential trace mineral for livestock and pets**
Black BOLD = macro mineral essential to both humans and animals
Underlined Black = electrolyte essential to all animal life
Plain Black = unconfirmed application to human and/or animal nutiritional needs

* Chlorine and Fluorine are noted in their elemental gaseous state. In Window Peak Trace Minerals these elements combine with other elements to produce the minerals Chloride and Fluoride. Fluorite, a crystal resembling a translucent rock is yet another compound of Fluorine. Also note that Oxygen is also required by animal life, but is a gas and therefore not a mineral. Besides, we all need it in “macro” amounts.

** Livestock and pets also need the minerals listed in red.

All of them in a montmorillonite clay base to help bind and carry toxins out of the body.
Now, think of the feral horse that lives out in the wild … what do they need? What do they get? Depending on the area in which they live and graze, they’ll get pretty much all of what is listed above. How do they get it?  By grazing forages and eating or licking dirt. Simple.

What does YOUR horse get?  Take a look at the ingredient list on your supply of minerals. I can guarantee that you won’t find any like you’ll find from Window Peak, NV.  And so many people moan about their horses licking rocks or eating dirt. Why do they do that?

Because they NEED MINERALS!

So, where can you GET Window Peak Minerals?

Well, that’s easy!  You can get them from me. I get a small percentage of each ‘sale’; I am NOT a distributor.  But when I found NATURAL HORSE MINERALS and tried them out I swore I’ll NEVER CHANGE to another AND I have to tell others about them simply because I love helping horses and their humans.  Here’s where you can order them: http://www.thepenzancehorse.com/wordpress/?p=85

Or, simply write to me at gwen.santagate@gmail.com and request an order. It’s as simple as that.

Once you switch or add these minerals to your horses’ diets you’ll never switch back to anything else.

I promise.

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