Silicon is a relatively unknown mineral in the horse world. Horses need silicon for all kinds of bodily functions. In addition, this mineral is the building material for bones, connective tissue, coat and hooves. Horses often get too little silicon through their daily diet.
What exactly is the mineral silicon?
Silicon is the second most abundant mineral on earth after oxygen! The horse’s body uses silicon to build connective tissue for the skin, tendons, muscles, bones, cartilage, coat, hooves, blood vessels and mucous membranes. Silicon also plays a role in the production of collagen, a protein that is of great importance for joints and bones. In horses, several studies show that silicon deficiency is the cause of bone and cartilage abnormalities. Horses become less susceptible to injury when you feed them the mineral silicon. It also has a positive effect on sand eating in horses.
Joints & strong bones
Silicon is very important for your horse’s joints and bones. Many people think that bones mainly consist of a stable construction of calcium and phosphorus. However, bone composition is constantly changing as old cells are removed and replaced by new cells. The mineral silicon plays an important role in the development of new bone. It is also the building material for cartilage, tendons and muscle attachments. Silicon is therefore very important for keeping bones strong and for maintaining flexible joints. Research has shown that horses administered silicon were less susceptible to injuries.
Supports the production of glucosamine
Studies show that silicon stimulates collagen production and bone formation. Silicon plays a binding role in the production of GAGs such as glucosamine. It is a kind of catalyst for the production process. A catalyst is a substance that influences the speed of a certain chemical reaction without being consumed itself. Silicon in this case stimulates the production of glucosamine by the body itself. This makes the amount of glucosamine usable for the body many times greater than when glucosamine is added. Because supplemented glucosamine is not properly absorbed by the horse’s body. Read more about it.
Strong hooves & shiny coat
Silicon is important for several essential tissues in the horse’s body. It helps promote coat growth, strengthens the skin and is important for the maintenance of healthy, strong hooves. Silicon is especially recommended for horses that suffer from bad hooves. It takes about two to three months before you start to notice a difference in the quality of the hooves. This is because the hooves take some time to grow.
Eating and licking less sand
Silicon originates from the earth’s crust. It is in all kinds of rocks, in different shapes. The form silicon dioxide (SiO2) is the main constituent of sand. For plants and animals, silicon is of vital importance for building cell walls. It is therefore not surprising that horses lick sand due to a lack of silicon. Only silicon is not easily absorbed by the horse’s body via sand. You can read why that is so in this blog.
By feeding the mineral silicon preventively, you not only ensure that your horse has less need to eat sand. You also ensure that your horse gets enough connective tissue building material. This makes the hooves, bones and coat stronger and your horse is less susceptible to injuries. It remains important to keep a close eye on your horse, because a mineral deficiency does not always have to be the cause of injuries or bone problems. The supplement HELTIE Horse Silicon contains the highest concentrated form of silicon..
When to feed silicon to horses?
Supplying silicon to horses is always a good idea. Research has shown that horses that receive silicon are less injured. The silicon provides more connective tissue (collagen) and stronger bones. In addition, the mineral silicon has a positive effect on:
- Osteoarthritis (in combination with cannabidol)
- Production of cartilage
- Flexibility of joints
- To strengthen the constitution of young horses
- Prevent injuries
- Bad hooves
- Cracks in the hooves
- Hoof sores
- Shiny coat
- Eating sand
- Growing horses
When do you see results?
When eating sand you should notice a difference within two weeks. If not, the cause of sand eating is not the silicon deficiency. If you give silicon for a stronger constitution, the rule “The longer you add silicon, the better the result” applies. Joints and hooves are tissues with a slower blood flow. This makes it take longer for new cells to be created. That is why you can only really see the first results after two to three months.