Reading through all the information, my understanding is that part of the essential supplements are Vitamin E, ground Flaxseed, Magnesium and salt. Is there any supplement that has these together? I also see that Jiaogulan and Chasteberry are recommended. I feel like buying them piecemeal is expensive and makes feeding so much more complicated. Even the Uckele balancers, or supplements don't have everything. LaminOx comes the closest but has no Vitamin E. U Balance IR has no Vitamin E, or Flaxseed or Jiaogulan. Does anyone have a supplement that hits all these requirements?  Thanks.
Laura W (Rhys, Nova & Taya) 
Central Wisconsin

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Chasteberry is no longer recommended. Jiaogulan may or may not be indicated. Vitamin E and flax are not stable in a mixed supplement and should always be added separately. The other minerals and vitamins can be provided in a single supplement.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001
The first step to wisdom is "I don't know."


Hi Laura,
You are correct with the added supplements needed for the emergency diet.  Jiaogulan is not something every horse needs and Chastetree Berry is quite likely something your horse won’t need.  It provides some symptomatic relief from PPID but should not be given to a horse diagnosed as PPID by elevated an ACTH value and on pergolide

Once your hay is tested, you may not need added magnesium.  Vitamin E needs oil to be absorbed so we recommend human vitamin E capsules with oil.  Salt is an easy one and most prepared supplements don’t have enough because it may put the horse off his feed.  You could feed a prepared supplement and add extra salt to moist hay.  Ground flaxseed is for the unsaturated oils it contains so it needs to be freshly ground,  There are stabilized flax products, which are already ground and don’t become rancid.  I use flax oil but that may not stay stable unless you have several horses.

There is probably some supplement that contains most of these but probably, as with salt, not in the correct amounts or ratios.  I purchase a multipurpose supplement such as California Trace, Vermont Blend or Uckele U-Balance, have my hay tested and ask a hay balancer to tell me what to add to my base supplement to make it work.  Actually, before purchasing the base supplement, I ask my balancer for advice on which to buy as the closest match.  I throw in some vit E capsules, the salt and a squirt of flax oil and I’m done.  I’m also better off financially than by purchasing a fancy supplement that is fairly close but not perfect.

Believe me, it there was a balancer that provided each horse exactly what it needed, we would tell you about it.  The nice thing is that this diet works well for IR, PPID and non IR/PPID horses.


Martha in Vermont
ECIR Group Primary Response
July 2012 
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)

Martha and Logo

Kirsten Rasmussen

Hi Laura,

I used to take pride in keeping my horse's diet simple and not being the type who loaded him up with 20 different supplements.  Little did I know I was not meeting the minimum nutritional needs for horses outlined by the NRC...  Now I know better, hay is tested and minerals are balanced to that hay, and everything he gets (about 10 different additions) has a purpose.  In supplements alone, he costs me between 100-140 Can$/month, depending on his hay and what I need to add.  I just added a mini to my herd and he is currently 50$/mo.  But I KNOW their nutritional needs are being met and honestly my horse has never looked better.

To simplify feeding, you can make little baggies 1x a week of all the added stuff (if using powdered vit E in oil, don't add it to the bag, but you can put vit E capsules in there).  I store them in the fridge so the flaxseed doesn't go rancid.  It makes feeding time a breeze.

Kirsten and Shaku (IR + PPID) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
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