Feed manufacturers and internet forums keep promoting plant-based products for horses. An expert knows whether they actually keep what they promise.
Horse owners who click through the Internet and are looking for natural products for their horses usually come across rose hips. The hymns of praise for the red fruits of various types of roses know no bounds. “Rosehips help horses get back on their feet”, “Increased mobility and quality of life for your horse thanks to rose hips” or “The healthy reward for your horse” are just a small selection of them.
The fact is that rose hips are full of vitamins. The range extends from vitamin A, C, E, K1, B1 to B2. That alone is a plausible reason why the small fruits are popular as a snack in horse feeding – both fresh and dried.
Insider tip Moringa?
Rightly so, as Thea Rhyner confirms. The veterinarian at the National Horse Center emphasizes the high vitamin C content and antioxidants. They strengthen the horse’s immune system. Thanks to an anti-inflammatory galactolipid, which is made up of sugar, fatty acid, and the molecule glycerol, the fruit is also popular for chronic musculoskeletal disorders, says the expert. “However, I consider the effects of ginger, devil’s claw, and comfrey to be stronger in such cases.”
In view of the proven positive properties of the rosehip, it is not surprising that many manufacturers of horse feed use this natural product. But there are also companies that rely on lesser-known “miracle cures”. According to a statement, one of the advantages of this product is that it does not contain any chemical additives and is not heated during production to better retain vitamins. The reward cube, which is intended as a treat, also stands out due to another special feature. In addition to the ingredients rosehip and grape seeds, it also contains Moringa.
Moringa comes from the leaves of the tree of the same name, which belongs to the nut family ( Moringaceae ) and has its origins in the Himalayan region of northwest India. Due to the high price of the raw material, the dried leaves in Europe have so far been known more as a dietary supplement and as food for humans. In the tropical and subtropical countries of origin, on the other hand, Moringa is often used as a supplement in animal feed.
Taking environmental pollution into account
The above-average nutrient density contributes to the fact that people and animals consume a wide range of nutrients when eating the plant.
Veterinarian Thea Rhyner has no doubts about that. She thinks the Moringa is a very interesting plant that contains many valuable substances. “However, I think that these nutrients can also be optimally covered with conventional mineral feed and good-quality hay and grazing,” says the specialist.