Winter often means your horse spends more time in his stable and less time out in the fresh air.
This can expose him to a dusty environment from bedding and hay, which may affect his breathing. With this in mind, and because your horse’s respiratory system is extremely sensitive, it’s important to remember that even minor challenges may affect his performance and general health.
Jo Self, from Feedmark, explains: “Horses are natural athletes with a staggering ability to take in oxygen and deliver it via the lungs to the working muscles so they can cope with the level
of work you’re asking of them.
“To ensure your horse’s airways can function efficiently, and protect them from irritants, such as dust, mould spores, pollen and pathogens (including bacteria), you need ensure his bedding and feed are as dust-free as possible. Some horses may need extra help and support in the form of a respiratory supplement.”
Ingredients to look for
Respiratory supplements aim to soothe and support your horse’s airways.
Key ingredients to look for include antioxidants, such as selenium, vitamin E and vitamin C. Antioxidants are a key part of the body’s natural defences and have been shown to help support the lungs. Other ingredients include:
- Coltsfoot leaves – these help expel mucus and catarrh, as well as soothing your horse’s throat
- Liquorice root – this soothes the membranes in the respiratory tract. It also helps loosen and get rid of mucus
- Garlic – this is thought to cleanse the lungs and help expel mucus
- Lemon – this is rich in vitamin C, as well as antioxidants
- Aloe Vera – to give his immune system a boost
- Eucalyptus – to help clear and soothe your horse’s airways
- Ginger – for nasal congestion and coughs
Antioxidants such as vitamin C and E will support general lung health
Choose a product with ingredients that will boost your horse’s immunity
Many products available will open your horse’s airways and help to clear mucus
Some products include ingredients such as honey to soothe the throat
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