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Trivia Challenge: Take Your Vitamins

Answer the questions, then check at the bottom for the key. For more fun and educational information about horses and horsemanship, read H&R’s ‘The Ride’ newsletter. (Not getting it? Sign up below.)

1. What is vitamin A crucial for? 

a. For proper function of proteins necessary for vision. 

b. For a healthy immune system. 

c. For producing bacteria that live in your horse's large intestine. 

2. True or False: B vitamins are all involved with the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. 

True/ False

3. Why might your horse need more vitamin D? 

a. To help recover from colic. 

b. To help recover from a muscle injury. 

c. To help recover from a hard workout. 

4. What is the approximate amount of vitamin E a 1,100-pound horse needs each day? 

a. 100 IU 

b. 500 IU

c. 900 IU 

[Learn More About Vitamins: Vitamins and Minerals 101]

How'd You Do? 

1. Answer: a. Vitamin A is crucial for proper function of proteins necessary for vision. It plays a role in differentiation of cells during growth, is important for proper muscle function, and helps keep mucous membranes healthy. It's also involved with reproductive function.

2. Answer: true. Vitamins in this group are all involved with metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They help your horse produce the energy he needs to live from the food he eats. B vitamins are produced by the bacteria that live in your horse's large intestine. They're also found in good-quality pasture and hay. 

3. Answer: c. Exercise can increase needs for vitamin D, so if your hard-working athlete is kept inside with no daily turnout in the sun, supplementation might be suggested. Vitamin D also is important for growing youngsters, so make sure they get plenty of time outside in the sun.

4. Answer: b. Approximately 500 IU per day is recommended, although minimum levels aren't well established. If your horse has no pasture turnout, he's likely to need vitamin E supplementation. Hard-working athletes, horses fed high-fat diets, or pregnant mares may benefit from additional vitamin E. Up to 6,000 IU per day may be recommended for certain neurological or muscular diseases.

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