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Made to measure Supplements form a significant and ever-expanding section of the healthcare market. Equestrian Business Monthly investigates the development of supplements and how they can be used to help target specific health concerns.

Image courtesy of Maxavita

The first commercially available for retailers to select key horse really even need a vitamin and mineral product or equine supplement – a tonic products to provide choice for supplement?’ Heather explains: lick on the other hand is often by the name of ‘Black Drink’ the consumer. Joint supplements “Horse owners come under a sufficient for maintenance. In – hit the market in 1834, and are the most popular with around professed amongst other things 33% of equestrian consumers Many supplements can actually reduce the to ‘cure like a charm fret, colic feeding supplements for joint or gripes, shivering fits and health, followed by calming (19%) expense of caring for a horse through lower chills in horses and cattle’. It and hoof supplements (18%). veterinary and farriery bills. took almost another century of research and experimentation Other before vitamin and mineral lot of pressure to feed their many cases the latter should 6% Immunity mixes and oils began to horses supplements when in only be provided if the horse 4% emerge, whilst compound many cases it may not be is receiving less than 30% of feeds and balancers necessary. Put your customer its daily diet as compound Joint Health developed throughout in touch with an independent feed – i.e. a diet based mainly 32% the 1960s, 70s and equine nutritionist who can or entirely on grass and forage Calming 19% 80s. Supplements advise if the horse has a – as most concentrates are targeting more specific particular nutritional need. already fortified with many needs hit the shelves Alternatively, suggest of the nutrients a healthy on a greater scale they use versatile but horse requires. Horse owners towards the start of the inexpensive supplements must be careful to avoid overRespiratory Health 1990s, and continue to such as garlic, apple cider supplementation, and should 8% be developed to this day vinegar, seaweed or a rock only feed in accordance with as scientific knowledge salt lick. Whilst this might the manufacturer’s guidelines expands. sound like shooting yourself in after carefully assessing Energy Hoof Health 4% Today, the range available the foot, our experience is that their animal’s own nutritional 18% Digestion to the consumer is vast horse-owners welcome objective requirements. 9% and complex. The danger to advice rather than ‘hard-sell’ on a For those customers worried retailers however is selecting product they don’t need, and will about the cost of feeding a Why do you feed supplements? the wrong products to stock come back again to your shop.” supplement, Dr J. Frank Gravlee Maxavita survey results, and ending up with unwanted Certain horses have specific of Life Data Labs provides some Badminton 2011 goods taking up too much space needs or conditions which may advice: “Many supplements and coming to the end of their at least partly be relieved by actually reduce the expense of shelf life. Heather Giles, sales Many horse owners however a specialist supplement – for caring for a horse through lower and marketing manager at still take one of two approaches example joint nutraceuticals can veterinary and farrier bills, and Hilton Herbs, emphasises the – either ignore supplements be used as part of the longersome supplements will actually fact that retailers should carry completely as costly and term management of horses reduce feeding expense by supplements because they have unnecessary, or buy one or with joint problems, stiffness making the feedstuffs more feed higher margins than horse feed more based on little more than or arthritis, whilst horses with efficient. The most ‘expensive’ and take up less room, adding their own, often uninformed, poor and brittle hooves may supplements are the ones that that shops with limited space, supposition. Here the retailer benefit from a hoof supplement are ineffective or do not meet “should concentrate on ‘bestmust step in to advise containing biotin and amino the manufacturer’s claims.” sellers’ such as products for accordingly; to their own acids. Supplements containing Value for money is of key mobility, veterans, digestion and advantage also as the correct antioxidants such as vitamin E, important, but is perhaps harder respiration, with a good mix of supplement purchase is bound to vitamin C or selenium meanwhile to discern with supplements due dry and liquid products.” lead to repeat sales and custom. can help support older horses or to the nature of the product and Hollie Chapman of Maxavita Heather Giles believes those battling illness, infection or the choice available. concurs, adding: “When shelf responsible retailers should stress. The feeding costs per day can space is limited, it is important ask the question, ‘Does your A simple broad-spectrum also vary quite considerably


July 2011

Equestrian Business Monthly

July 2011  
July 2011  

July 2011 issue featuring Summer Horse haelth including supplments, grooming, hoof care, etc. Business feature is on building a website