Spirulina for Horses with HeavesSpirulina is a nutritionally dense blue-green algae that is used as an equine supplement to support horses with immune or respiratory needs.

Spirulina refers to dried algae, or cyanobacteria, that is harvested from lakes in Africa, Mexico and China. Fed in the form of a concentrated green powder, it is a rich source of bioactive proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Spirulina powder consists mainly of the cyanobacteria Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. The active ingredients include unique antioxidant proteins and anti-inflammatory fatty acids.

This equine superfood is also rich in beta-carotene (the precursor for vitamin A), vitamin C, and vitamin E which are powerful antioxidants that protect all cells of the body.

Spirulina supplementation is used to support respiratory function and metabolic health in horses because of its potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. This supplement is an excellent protein source that can be used for heavily exercised or growing horses.

It is considered a complete protein because it supplies all essential amino acids which are required in the equine diet. Essential amino acids are those protein molecules that horses cannot synthesize on their own and must obtain from the diet.

Spirulina has been shown to promote weight loss and improve metabolic health in horses with equine metabolic syndrome (EMS). Horses with EMS have smaller cresty necks after being supplemented with spirulina. [2]

It is recommended for horses that are susceptible to recurrent breathing issues like allergies, heaves, and inflammatory airway disease.

Compounds found in Spirulina influence the immune system to moderate the inflammatory response to potential allergens, which helps minimize coughing and headshaking in horses with respiratory allergies. [1]

Spirulina is Generally Recognized as Safe by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It grows best in lakes with very high pH which is not a favourable environment for many other microbes, therefore there is low risk of contamination with other microorganisms.

Mad Barn’s bulk Spirulina powder is composed of pure, dried spirulina without any additional ingredients. The typical feeding rate for a 500 kg horse is 20 grams two times per day.


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  • Supports immune function
  • Used in horses with allergies
  • Supports metabolic health
  • Rich in vitamins & protein

Benefits of Spirulina in Horses

Horse owners feed spirulina supplements to their equine companions for a number of different reasons. It is an excellent source of a wide range of nutrients and active natural compounds with health-promoting effects.

Below is our list of the top 9 benefits of using Spirulina in horses:

1) Supports respiratory function

Spirulina helps support respiratory function in horses that have recurrent issues seasonal or management-related respiratory issues.

These issues are particularly prevalent during the spring and summer when respiratory allergens are abundant in the environment. Horses showed less symptoms like coughing, sneezing and headshaking after they were supplemented with spirulina and jiaogulan. [1]

2) Improves exercise performance

Spirulina improved exercise performance in horses with recurrent respiratory issues. Combining 20 grams of Spirulina with 2000 mg of Jiaogulan twice per day, normalized respiratory recovery following moderate exercise and improved race times.

These horses showed better alertness and higher energy levels with more enthusiasm for work. [1]

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