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Let's start by emphasizing that a horse can normally get everything it needs from good roughage plus mineral block. See also our page about natural food natural food (*naturalfood) . More and more people feed their horses in this way and discover that the horse has become healthier than ever before without kibble and nutritional supplements. However, there are some situations where it is sometimes necessary to supplement the horse's diet, but preferably without damaging the intestinal flora with cereal products or carbohydrate bombs doused with molasses. The big problem then is: How do you get a dietary supplement that is free from unnecessary and even unwanted additives?
Equi Life F4F is intended to be used in combination with a natural roughage diet, especially for a number of situations and conditions that we will mention later. It was developed by a manufacturer who knows that grain products are not good horse food. It is a product that has actually been specially developed for horses with hoof problems (F4F stands for "Formula 4 Feet"), so horses that are often extra sensitive to carbohydrates, but this actually makes it a responsible dietary supplement for all horses.
Equi Life 4F4 is economical in use, it only takes 37.50 grams per 100 kg of body weight per day to get enough of everything!
Horse Naturally shares the view that it is unwise to randomly feed your horse supplements. We do not recommend giving supplements (including Equi Life F4F) without a reasoned reason to horses that are simply healthy and show no signs of deficiency, and that also receive good quality roughage.
We would also like to point out that this product has been specially formulated for use in a diet consisting exclusively of roughage.
|Manufacturer Ingredient List|
With this product, the manufacturer has especially done its best to ensure that there are no unwanted substances in it, to prevent the risk of damage to the intestinal flora, and thus reduce the risk of allergies, insulin resistance and laminitis. Normally, with a dietary supplement, the focus is on what it does contain, but in this case it is just as important to know what is not in it.
What's not in it
- No grain products
- Cereal products contain a lot of starch, which can damage the intestinal flora, so that the horses can get less nutrients from the roughage. Starch is a major burden on the horse's carbohydrate metabolism, which is why laminated horses and horses with insulin resistance should under no circumstances consume grain products. Cereal products are also associated with allergies such as summer eczema.
- No molasses
- Molasses is a popular additive that mainly consists of sugar. Handy for the manufacturer, because horses like it and because it sticks, the product seems less dusty. However, it has now been convincingly proven that sugar is particularly bad for horses. Sugar has never been a natural nutrient for horses, so the horse's digestive system is not adapted to the processing of sugar. Molasses has been linked to allergies, insulin resistance and laminitis.
- No genetically modified ingredients
- Genetically modified foods are not natural, but artificial. There are ethical and environmental objections to the use of genetically modified products. It has not been proven that these substances are harmful, but neither has it been conclusively proven what exactly the consequences are for the horse. In any case, the horse is not specially equipped by evolution to be able to process genetically manipulated substances. Why take a risk if you don't have to?
- No animal substances
- In most nutritional supplements you can find substances that have an animal origin. However, consumption of these substances by herbivores carries risks. In addition, there are ethical objections to imposing animal products on a herbivore. Equi Life is therefore guaranteed free from animal products.
- No selenium
- Selenium is an indispensable trace element. Unfortunately, selenium is very harmful in overdose, and the margin between "too little" and "too much" is very narrow. In many cases there is sufficient selenium in the roughage, so with all kinds of extra supplements you quickly end up in the danger zone. Selenium is not a trace element that you should administer haphazardly "just to be sure", but preferably only after it has actually been established that the roughage really contains too little selenium. In that case, it is best to administer selenium through a targeted product that consists exclusively of selenium and vitamin E, such as our vitamin E and selenium supplement . Many horses have bad hooves (horizontal cracks) because they overdose on selenium. Equi Life F4F contains no selenium.
- No unnecessary vitamins
- Most vitamins are produced by the horse itself in sufficient quantities or are abundant in its roughage. It is not only unnecessary but even harmful to add these vitamins extra. The goal of the manufacturer was not to be able to put an impressive list of vitamins on the package, but to add only vitamins in a sensible proportion and quantity with common sense.
- No unnecessary minerals
- Many popular minerals are not present in this supplement because they are always sufficiently present in roughage plus lick stone. For example, there is no Fe (iron) in it because roughage always contains enough of this and iron in higher doses is only harmful (it actually belongs to the free radicals). You will also not find Na (sodium), for example, because the horse should get this from a lick stone as needed and sodium should not be forced on by means of a tasty supplement.
What does contain
- There is a lot to be found on the internet about the beneficial effects of Omega-3 fatty acids: anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, blood circulation-promoting. Choline and Inositol are indispensable for optimal liver function, they also promote the solubility of fats.
- Equi Life contains 11 minerals. These are mainly the minerals that are very low in mineral blocks and roughage and are especially important for horses suffering from the conditions for which this product is intended. These minerals are a perfect addition to a roughage-only diet.
- Anti-oxidants not only protect the food supplement itself against spoilage, but also help the horse to remove harmful free radicals from the cells. Free radicals are always present, but are released in greater amounts when tissues have been damaged. Anti-oxidants are therefore extra needed when the horse is laminated with hoofs or muscles, for example. Vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, zinc and BHT have been used as an anti-oxidant.
- Vitamin E is the most critical vitamin in a diet consisting exclusively of roughage and is also a powerful anti-oxidant. Vitamin C is only added as an anti-oxidant (horses produce enough vitamin C themselves). Vitamin A is made by the horse's intestinal wall from carotene, which is abundant in roughage, but it is added because in some conditions the horse is unable to convert enough carotene. Furthermore, a number of B complex vitamins have been added that are important for horses suffering from the conditions for which this product is intended. Vitamin H is better known under the name Biotin; this is known to improve the quality of the hooves.
Horse Naturally is not involved in the production of Equi Life F4F. The product description and ingredient list are based on information provided by the manufacturer. See the website www.equilife.co.uk for more information.
Although Equi Life F4F can be safely given to all horses, it is primarily intended for special situations or horses suffering from certain conditions. Some applications are:
- Switch to Natural Food
The switch to a Natural Food natural food (naturalfood) , in which the horse obtains all the nutrients from roughage, involves a difficult transition period. If the horse was used to consuming substantial portions of concentrate, the intestinal flora will almost certainly have deteriorated, and the horse will initially have difficulties digesting hay and grass effectively. The microorganisms that have to produce the vitamins are not yet in full strength, and the horse will be able to go through a difficult period. It is not uncommon for horses to initially *lose weight after finishing the concentrate diet. Of course, after a while, once the intestinal flora has adapted, the horse will flourish, become healthier and fitter than before.
Many feel the need to provide the horse with some extra support during this difficult transition period. The problem is that most nutritional supplements further damage the intestinal flora because they contain a lot of starch, sugar or molasses, contain bactericides, or disturb the pH or salt balance. Equi Life F4F is one of the few food supplements that are safe for the intestinal flora: It contains no carbohydrates with a high glycemic index such as molasses, no bactericidal substances, no grain products, no excessive concentrations of minerals or unnecessary vitamins. Equi Life also contains short chains of oligosaccharides that support the intestinal flora and have a binding effect on pathogenic bacteria.
- In principle, horses can obtain all nutrients from roughage plus mineral block. However, some horses require very little roughage for their energy needs. Together with the rationing of energy, the minerals and vitamins are also rationed. This mainly concerns horses that have been put on a "slimming diet" and very energy-efficient cold bloods that do not get much exercise. In these cases, the horse benefits from extra support with Equi Life F4F. With the nutrition calculator shown on the left, you can calculate whether the amount of roughage you provide is sufficient for your horse's mineral needs.
- Lower quality roughage
- When a horse gets good quality roughage, he will not be short of anything. Occasionally, however, a grass or hay analysis shows that certain minerals are less well represented in the relevant roughage. It is best to switch to better quality hay or fertilize the grassland so that the quality improves. In the meantime, you can provide Equi Life F4F to complete the roughage.
- Hoof problems
- Equi Life F4F is not a substitute for natural food natural food (*naturalfood) , housing and natural roofing . Equi Life F4F can help when all environmental variables are optimized but the horse's hooves are still in poor condition. Equi Life F4F contains the following hoof strengthening ingredients:
- Biotin. Biotin is known to improve hooves.
- Calcium and Zinc. These elements are essential for good horn quality.
- Methionine. This is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is necessary to make the building blocks of the hoof.
- Phospholipids. Built into the cell membranes, regulates moisture content and resists horn infections.
- Vitamin A. Important for the hoof skin.
- Arginine. This amino acid improves the flow in the capillaries so that the tissues have better blood flow. Most hoof problems are related to poor blood flow.
- Magnesium, Chromium and Vanadium. These elements have a beneficial effect on horses with insulin resistance , a condition that is a major cause of hoof problems. (According to the most recent insights it appears that for horses with insulin resistance the dose of magnesium is still too low, it is best to combine this product with magnesium (mgch) ).*
Laminitis cannot be cured with a supplement, there is always a cause for the development of laminitis and this cause should be eliminated first. It is important that laminated horses get as little carbohydrates as possible in their diet, so they should absolutely not eat concentrate. See also our page about CF
Equi Life F4F is not only a safe supplement for laminated horses, it also promotes the healing process and can help limit damage. Laminated horses often have damage to their muscles, as evidenced by elevated CPK levels in the blood. This damage is likely due to the prolonged and unusual use of the muscles with which they try to relieve their sore front hooves. The anti-oxidants and Riboflavin (B2) help the body to bind the free radicals that arise. Equi Life F4F reduces any insulin resistance (often the cause of laminitis) and improves recovery with the help of the ingredients already mentioned under the heading "hoof problems".
- Insulin resistance
- For horses suffering from insulin resistance (mgch) , magnesium (mgch) (available in this web shop) is the most effective dietary supplement. Equi Life F4F is a good supplement to magnesium chelate, it contains Vanadium and Chromium, among others. These elements have a positive effect on the sensitivity of the cells to insulin and thus reduce insulin resistance.
- Horses suffering from "Cushing" (ECD, or Equine Cushing Disease) usually also suffer from insulin resistance and are more prone to laminitis. In addition to the preventive effect of Equi Life F4F on the development of laminitis and insulin resistance, Equi Life F4F also has a beneficial effect on horses with ECD through the additives Tyrosine and Phenylalanine. These are the precursors of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that horses with Cushing are usually deficient in.
Usage and dosage
Equi Life F4F consists of pressed chunks of alfalfa. Horses like it and it is therefore fine to feed it by hand.
A small bag contains 7 kg of Equi Life F4F. The dosage is 37.5 grams per 100 kilos of body weight per day (see also the dosage calculator on the right). A handy dosing tray with graduations is included. The big bag is 20 kg.
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