NEWS: The "Arizona Regional Mix", plus another version called "Arizona Copper Complete", are now available for purchase in The Horse's Hoof Store! We highly recommend them! They are also available for purchase directly from HorseTech. Please follow the directions below (note that AZ Copper Complete usually requires nothing extra other than salt), or contact Patti directly at DesertEquineBalance@gmail.com, Patti's blog: desertequinebalance.blogspot.com

Feeding our Horses in Arizona

Arizona Regional Mix
by Patti Kuvik

Arizona Regional Mix
HorseTech CP-082305 (AZ Regional Mix)

This is a custom mix supplement made up to my specs by HorseTech to complement “typical” Arizona Bermuda hays. You can see HorseTech’s stock supplements on their website at www.horsetech.com to get an idea of the quality of their products.

Typically, our Bermuda hay is high in Iron and Potassium, low in Copper and Magnesium. Manganese tends to run a bit on the high side, rarely low. All horses will benefit from good levels of antioxidants (flax, vitamin E, grape seed).

The AZ Regional Mix contains
Per 3 oz Serving:

Flax base 2oz (approx)
Copper 125mg (ZinPro)
Zinc 360mg (ZinPro)
Cobalt 2mg
Selenium 2mg
Biotin 10mg
Vitamin E 2000IU
Vitamin A 15,000 IU (from Beta carotene)
B-complex package similar to B-Plex
Grape seed extract 1200mg

The base is NutraFlax stabilized flax. Flax provides important Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA’s) that are quickly lost when hay is cut.

The minerals are ZinPro chelated minerals at basic levels to balance the iron in 15-20 lbs of ”typical” Bermuda hay. They also provide some additional amino acids.

The B-complex package is similar to a 1 oz serving of B-Plex (see the HorseTech website). While B vitamins aren’t necessary for most horses, so many horses can benefit from them we decided it was worth the small additional cost.

The Selenium is on a yeast base at a basic “insurance level”. If the total amount of supplement fed is increased (even doubled) the selenium will still be at a safe level. There is also some additional yeast in the B-complex package. Biotin, at 10mg, is five times the normal requirement.

Vitamin E – this is the level required for good antioxidant activity. Hay loses vitamin E quickly after cutting and this needs to be supplemented.

Vitamin A – this is a year round “insurance” level. Many supplements have levels that are too high (it’s a fat soluble vitamin) but it is needed for hay that might be more than six months old.

Grape seed extract, a bioflavonoid, is a powerful antioxidant. We chose to use this instead of vitamin C as vit C can enhance iron absorption – our hay is already too high in iron, which is being implicated in iron-overload related problems.

HorseTech added a sugar-free peppermint flavoring (some horses find the smell of the B-vitamins objectionable, this is the flavoring used in PreOx).

There are no soy or other fillers, no added Iron or Manganese.

There is no vitamin D, as horses in Arizona have no problem producing their own; supplemented vitamin D (another fat soluble vitamin) can be toxic at fairly low levels. Iodine is to be provided by using iodized salt (regular table salt).

The AZ Regional Mix can be ordered directly from HorseTech www.horsetech.com (either by phone or email) by specifying
CP-082305 (AZ Regional Mix)

25 lb pail (133 x 3 oz servings) at $89.95, delivered
or 2 x 25 lb. packages (50 lbs) at $169.95, delivered.
There are no additional shipping or handling charges.

How to use the AZ Regional Mix

No additional vitamin/mineral or “hoof” supplements should be used when using this mix. A plain white (not mineralized) salt block should be available to your horses at all times.

For 15 to 18lbs untested hay, you would feed 2-1/2 to 3oz of the supplement, along with 2oz iodized salt and 9-10g Magnesium.

For larger or smaller amounts of hay, the amount of supplement, salt and magnesium should be adjusted up or down.
10 lbs hay – 2 oz supplement, 1 oz iodized salt, 5 grams Magnesium.
20 to 30 lbs hay – 4 oz supplement, 2 to 3 oz iodized salt, 10 grams Magnesium.

For tested hay, the amount of supplement, iodized salt and Magnesium is adjusted up or down depending on iron/manganese/calcium/potassium levels.
This supplement will not be a "perfect" balance for every load of hay - we tried to come up with something that is adequate yet safe for this area. If hay tests way out of normal for iron or manganese, you may need to use more or "tweak" the supplement (Rod at HorseTech is very accommodating and helpful) for that load of hay.

I've been working with a few folks locally that I've suggested supplementing at the general levels in this supplement (either with HorseTech or their choice of other products) with some nice results. The hardest part seems to be explaining that any supplement isn’t a "magic bullet", just common sense basic nutrition.

Salt Notes

Salt is essential for all horses, even more so in our Arizona environment. It is difficult for a horse to obtain adequate salt from a block, and our high potassium hays can reduce a horse’s “salt hunger” due to the body’s sodium conserving mechanisms.

Loose salt, based on the amount of hay/forage normally fed (i.e., if a horse is consuming some pasture but would otherwise consume 18 lbs of hay per day figure using the 18lbs/day) should be added directly to the feed.

Figure about 2 ounces (approximately 3 tablespoons) iodized table salt for 15 to 20 lbs of hay (1 ounce for 10 lbs total forage – pony, youngster; up to 3oz for 25-30 lbs total forage – large TB, warmblood).

One ounce of iodized table salt provides approximately 2mg iodine. Providing iodized salt at the above levels will provide “insurance levels” of iodine. Many horses with “low thyroid” have had their thyroid test numbers corrected by simply adding iodized salt (eliminating the need for thyroid medications).

Additional plain (not iodized) salt should be available as either loose salt in a pan or a plain white salt block. After hard work, an ounce of salt can be added to a bucket of water and offered for a few hours (making sure there is also plain water also available). Additional electrolytes are not normally needed if your hay provides sufficient calcium and you are feeding magnesium on a daily basis. For most average working horses (not talking endurance here) feeding a small amount of alfalfa hay – just a couple of pounds – can provide “calcium insurance”.

If the salt/potassium has been balanced by adding salt to the feed as above, your horse should have a “normal” salt hunger and should seek extra salt when he needs it.

Magnesium (Mg) Notes

Arizona hay is typically low in magnesium and needs to be supplemented to maintain a Calcium/Magnesium balance.

Magnesium has a wide safety margin, but supplementing at too high a level can cause sluggishness (one reason Magnesium has become popular as a “calming” supplement).

At correct levels, starting a horse at the full amount needed can cause soft manure (cow plops) until the body becomes used to it – so you should start with about 1/2 tsp and work up to adding the desired amount over a week or so.

For untested hay, 5 grams of Mg provides an “insurance” level. I don’t suggest more than 10 grams unless your hay has been tested and you know a higher level is required.

Magnesium is now available as commercial Magnesium supplements at feed stores and in catalogs – they are simple to measure as they contain fillers to provide volume but can be fairly expensive (and need to read labels to check for other “added” minerals).

Magnesium Oxide (Mag Ox) is an inexpensive, effective way to provide Mg – it is as well absorbed as other forms. Feed grade Magnesium Oxide is available (or can be ordered) at feed stores in 50lb bags – it will last forever as long as it is kept dry. Depending on the manufacturer, it will be labeled 54%, 56% or 58%, it is odorless, tasteless, and will range from gray to tan to pinkish and may be a powder or fine granules.
2 teaspoons of Mag Ox will provide around 5 to 6g of Magnesium
1 tablespoon of Mag Ox will provide around 8 to 9g of Magnesium
These are approximate – the only way to get exact measurements is to weigh the Mag Ox and calculate according to the percentage of Magnesium shown on the bag. But using these amounts should keep you within safe limits.

Note on “Other” Supplements

Many commercial “over the counter” supplements can provide the levels of Copper, Zinc and other nutrients needed with Arizona Bermuda hay. Look for Copper and Zinc levels similar to those I show in the AZ Regional Mix, no added Iron, preferably no added Manganese. Don’t use supplements formulated for grass hay – they will have high Calcium levels. Contrary to popular belief, many grass hays are high in calcium and using a “grass hay” formula will further unbalance your Calcium/Phosphorus ratio. Arizona Bermuda is typically adequate in Calcium and does not need any additional Ca added.

Some “OK” supplements are Select I (for alfalfa), Vita-Key Antioxidant, Absorbine’s Hoof-Flex Plus, Horse Tech’s PreOx or BioFlax Ultra (or Glanzen 3 along with vit E/selenium/magnesium), Life Data Lab’s Farrier’s Formula and GroStrong Minerals (to be fed with MoorGlo). There are likely others, read labels. These will all cost about the same as or more than the AZ Regional Mix. You will need to supply additional vitamin E (except with the Vita-Key or PreOx), EFA’s from flax (except with the HorseTech products), salt (half and half iodized and plain if the supplement contains added iodine) and magnesium.

I can be contacted at plwoodbury @ msn.com for additional assistance with nutritional or hay and ration analysis and balancing information.
Patti Kuvik
Vail AZ
DesertEquineBalance@gmail.com

NEWS: The "Arizona Regional Mix", plus another version called "Arizona Copper Complete", are now available for purchase in The Horse's Hoof Store! We highly recommend them! They are also available for purchase directly from HorseTech. Please follow the directions below (note that AZ Copper Complete usually requires nothing extra other than salt), or contact Patti directly at DesertEquineBalance@gmail.com, Patti's blog: desertequinebalance.blogspot.com

©2000-2014 by The Horse's Hoof. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these articles is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment on their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.


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