Iron Overload in Horses
North America is chronically high in iron…in the water, in the soil and therefore in the forage. Some downsides to excess iron in the diet is that it has been linked with predisposition to infection, arthritis, risk of tendon/ ligament problems, as well as altered glucose metabolism. This manifests as poor dull hair, ongoing thrush and poor, brittle hooves. It is very important to have your well water tested. Horses drink about 5 to 20 gallons of water daily depending on exercise, temperature, body condition and size etc and an imbalance of minerals in the water can be disasterous.
A few years ago, I put in a new well at the ranch house and tested it. The mineral content fell within normal levels for iron. THEN I decided to put a helper’s suite over the stud barn and had the water tested in the artesian well there. Much to my horror, the iron levels were extremely high even though the flowing wells were only about 200 feet apart. This is the well that my horses have been drinking from for over 25 years! Why then are my horses so shiny and their hooves so healthy? My only answer is the bentonite base (DE and added boron) in BioEquine’s Natural Digestive Support.
Our original formulation had a very small amount of added iron to begin with as recommended by most recommendations for animal supplements. HOWEVER, about 10 years ago, I completely eliminated all added iron from my formulation. I continue to be surprised by the high iron levels offered in some animal supplements formulated and marketed in North America.