Nature offers a plethora of great supplements for horses, such as rose hips in autumn. They are rich in vitamin C minerals and other active plant-based ingredients. In this article you will learn how rose hips benefit horses, what the dosage of the natural anti-inflammatory should be and any product recommendations we have for you.
Rose hips are defined as the fruits of various rose species and grow at forest fringes and in bushes. The rosehip fruits develop in late autumn and previously had white to pink flowers in summer. Besides humans, other animals also appreciate the fruits. They are very popular with horses and birds. If there is a rosehip bush in a horse pasture for example, horses can be seen plucking them straight from the bush. And rightly so — because rose hips can have very positive effects on horses.
Benefits: That’s why you should feed your horse rose hips
Whether fresh or dried, rose hips retain their vitamin C, which makes them an ideal source of vitamins for horses. In addition, rose hips are rich in essential vitamins, they contain vitamins A and E as well as numerous vitamins of the B-complex. Vitamins K and P are also present. On top, rose hips contain beta-carotene, flavonoids, calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus and zinc — true all-rounders!
They also help horses with osteoarthritis as they are said to naturally relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the joints. This is due to the high content of galactolipids, a compound of fatty acids and sugar that provides more mobility and thus often alleviates the pain of joint problems.
But that’s not all: rose hips for horses are also good for the hooves and ensure a healthy, shiny coat and elastic skin.
Since rose hips have hairy seeds, they are effective against intestinal parasites too. The seeds prevent the development of worms and the intestinal mucosa can be regenerated.
Rose hips can also be used as a healthy alternative to treats. In particular horses with metabolic problems can usually eat them without any problems.
Rose hips for horses — the right dosage
Rose hips are low in starch and therefore suitable as a treat for overweight horses. You can simply feed them directly from the hand. You should feed about a handful (30-40 g) of rose hips per day (for a large horse weighing about 600 kg). They can be fed fresh but also dried!
Buying rose hips — product recommendations
If you want to feed your horse rose hips, there are different options. Many manufacturers offer rose hips as a supplement in powder form where the rose hips are usually ground. Others prefer to feed rose hips out of the hand and buy them as whole fruits. This makes them look like treats and horses are usually particularly fond of them.
Drying rose hips yourself — tips & tricks
Especially during autumn, it is very popular to feed rose hips fresh from the bush. They should be as dark red as possible, not mushy, so that they can be dried for winter. The best way to do this is to put some rose hips in a cloth bag and place it on the heater for several weeks. It is important that you turn the rose hips regularly and make sure that no mould forms.
Another possibility if you want to dry rose hips yourself is to put them in the oven at a low temperature for several hours.