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.
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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