SmartPak Monday Morning Feed: Help Your Horse Breathe Easier This Winter

SmartPak offers smart tips for supporting your horse’s respiratory health.


Winter is never an easy time for riders, but the colder months can be especially stressful on your horse’s respiratory system. There are actions you can take as a horse owner to provide the right support and set them up for success when the warmer months start to come around.

 “Respiratory health can have a direct impact on your horse’s overall health and performance,” said SmartPak’s Staff Veterinarian – Research & Medical Director Dr. Lydia Gray. “If you have any concerns about your horse’s respiratory health, or you know they have active respiratory issues, it’s important to work with your veterinarian as the first step and develop a proactive management plan from there.”

As part of a comprehensive management plan, the veterinarian may advise management changes to help reduce the risk of any respiratory irritants, in addition to medical treatment. When it comes to the horse’s environment, dust is one of the more common concerns. Lightly wetting down shavings and watering the indoor on a regular basis are good starting points to help reduce the amount of dust. It is also important to think about doing dustier chores, like sweeping aisles, doing stalls or throwing hay, while horses are in turnout, as it can take two hours for dust to settle.

Hay can be a significant source of dust and allergens, so discuss with your veterinarian if soaking hay may be beneficial as this can significantly reduce exposure to irritants. If the option exists, steaming hay has been found to reduce particulates best. In certain cases, some horses may not be able to eat hay at all, and alternatives such as Dengie (chopped hay), hay pellets, or even a complete feed may be necessary.

Depending on the severity of your horse’s condition, your veterinarian may prescribe medications such as anti-inflammatories or bronchodilators. In addition to any treatment your vet recommends, talk to them about adding a respiratory supplement for your horse that supplies ingredients to help support normal respiratory function.

Some ingredients to look for in respiratory supplements include spirulina, DHA, and MSM. Spirulina is a blue-green algae that has been reported to help horses prone to respiratory issues. DHA is a specific type of omega-3 from fish oil, which was shown in a recent study to provide benefits to horses with airway syndromes. MSM aids in supporting a normal response to inflammation. Other ingredients to look for include grape seed extract, super oxide dismutase, vitamin C, and bioflavonoids to support respiratory cell health. Some formulas may also have N-acetyl cysteine, which has been shown to help protect airway tissues from seasonal respiratory conditions.

SmartPak is pleased to offer a selection of respiratory support supplements that offer many of the ingredients listed above. SmartBreathe® and SmartBreathe® Ultra Pellets are designed to support healthy lung function as well as soothe and maintain the horse’s airway. SmartPak also carries a number of single-ingredient formulas within the Smart & Simple line that includes spirulina, MSM, and vitamin C for targeted support, as a comprehensive formula may not be right for every horse.

To learn more about all of the respiratory supplements available, visit today or call 1-800-461-8898 and speak with one of SmartPak’s Horse Health Experts who can answer your questions and help you set up the right supplement program for your horse.

About SmartPak
From the feed room to the tack room, SmartPak offers innovative solutions to help riders take great care of their horses. SmartPak was founded in 1999 with the introduction of the patented SmartPak supplement feeding system. The revolutionary, daily dose SmartPaks are custom-made for your horse, individually labeled and sealed for freshness. With the success of this simple and convenient feeding system, SmartPak has continued to expand its offering of quality products, including its own line of more than 55 supplement formulas called SmartSupplements, and a wide variety of tack, equipment, and supplies. The company has grown rapidly each year and is one of the largest retailers of equestrian products in the United States. SmartPak’s success has been powered by a passion for delivering an unbeatable customer experience, and the company has been recognized with a Bizrate Circle of Excellence award eight years in a row, as well as receiving an “Elite” rating from STELLAService.