With Accuweather.com predicting “brutal snow and cold” this winter, it will be especially important to add nutritional supplements to horse feed, suggests Callie Novak, chief executive officer of Dynamite Specialty Products. Dynamite has been making feed and nutritional supplements for horses and other animals for four generations.
Novak suggests several products in particular to support horse health and meet equine nutritional needs in the winter when pastures are limited or covered with snow:
•H.E.S., or High Energy Supplement Pellets. The pellets provide additional calories in the form of protein and fat, which are needed in winter months. This is a good calorie option to feeding additional grain or sweet feed, which can cause metabolic issues if a horse is overfed.
- Free Choice Minerals. These should be placed in a covered area where horses can eat them at will. “When left to roam freely, Novak noted, “horses will find plants that grow in calcium-rich soils and then travel miles in another direction to consume plants that are growing in a more phosphorus-rich area for balance. Their natural instinct is to self-regulate. This obviously is impossible when horses are confined and when pastures have deteriorated or are covered with snow because of winter weather.” Dynamite’s free choice products include All Natural Trace Mineral Salt, which contains no anti-caking agents or bleaches; Izmine, a carbon-based trace and microtrace mineral complex; and 1:1 and 2:1 formulas. They help the horse naturally balance the calcium to phosphorus ratio, which can be upset by the type of hay a horse is fed.
- Dynamite. The signature product that gave Dynamite its name, Dynamite is a state-of-the-art supplement that reflects decades of research, development and use by the top trainers in the country. The supplement is favored by trainers of race, endurance, event, dressage and other hard-working horses. It also is excellent for horses with additional nutrient requirements, such as post-surgery horses, nursing mares and horses exposed to severe winter weather.
“Our company’s roots are in healthy horse feed,” Novak added. “In fact, our horse supplement was so far ahead of its time that we have recently seen other companies use some of our original feed technology and introduce it as ‘new’ — 20 years after we first introduced it.”
Beware of cold, sunny mornings
Cold sunny mornings with frost on the grass are a potential hazard, as the conditions can create horse feed that may trigger laminitis, a potential side effect of metabolic disease in horses similar to adult onset diabetes in humans and an increasing concern in horse health.
These weather conditions are dangerous because sunlight spurs grass to produce sucrose, a sugar needed for growth. However, grass does not grow in cold temperatures, so it stores the excess sucrose as fructans, said Judy Sinner, a representative of Dynamite Marketing in Selah, Wash. Fructans can cause laminitis because the body treats them as carbohydrates or grains.
“Essentially, this means that a high dose of fructans has the same effect as if a horse gets into the grain bin and overeats,” Sinner said.
Recent research by Dr. Annette Longland, a member of the British Society of Animal Science, found that 1.8 kilograms of fructans is all that is needed to trigger laminitis.
In addition to avoiding pasturing horses with a tendency to laminitis on a sunny winter day, horse lovers can use several additional products to provide extra support in winter horse feed, Sinner added.
A prebiotic, such as Dynamite’s Dyna-Pro, helps horse health by providing support against the sudden overload of lactic acid caused by fructans. A daily dose of Excel can help stabilize the balance in the horse’s gut when unaccustomed things are consumed. For instance, a horse would instinctively avoid a poisonous plant in pasture. But if the plant is cut and inadvertently baled into hay, it’s more likely to be consumed, causing digestive distress. Easy Balance provides chelated magnesium, chromium, organic cinnamon and other natural ingredients to support thyroid and blood sugar balance.OxE Mega provides Vitamin E and antioxidants, which do not exist in dry winter grass and stored hay. Vitamin E is particularly important for pregnant mares, young horses and working horses.
A family-owned business that has specialized in animal nutrition for four generations, Dynamite Specialty Products makes products for virtually every member of the animal kingdom. It has long developed all-natural dog food and nutritional supplements for working dogs across the country and prize-winning racehorses. Its specialists in dog nutrition and animal nutrition can recommend exactly what vitamins, minerals and other supplements best support dogs with allergies, horses with laminitis, cats whose owners make their own food, and cows with digestive issues.
Dynamite has worked with veterinarians and university researchers to produce specialty foods to correct nutritional deficiencies in animals ranging from Canadian muskoxen to peregrine falcons to zoo exotics.
Dynamite uses only natural ingredients, made in the United States for better quality control. Throughout its history of making natural dog food, it has always looked at alternatives to animal by-products, antibiotics, chemical preservatives, fumigants, artificial coloring and other additives that have later caused dog allergies and other health problems. Its manufacturing processes are so stringently controlled that Dynamite has a separate mill to produce feed for herbivores, such as horses and poultry that are especially sensitive to contamination from meat needed by other species such as dogs and cats.
Dynamite products also are available through more than 4,000 individual distributors across the country. All products use only natural ingredients and are made in the United States for quality control. Dynamite’s Ultimate Dog Food is a raw, grain-free dog food that does not need to be refrigerated.
Additional information about Dyna-Pro and other Dynamite products is available at dynamitespecialty.com. Dynamite’s headquarters are in Meridian, Idaho, and additional mills are in Iowa.