Early Days

California Trace

Another horse feed post! I LOVE getting feedback and opinions on feed, supplements, etc. so comment (or email me) away!

A few weeks ago I talked about adding FastTrack probiotic supplement to see if that helps with Hemie’s weight. I’m a firm believer in the change-only-one-thing-at-a-time approach, so I won’t be doing anything else at this point with the express goal of increasing his weight. Fabulous readers suggested upping the hay, which I’ve been meditating on quite a bit. 
However, another feed topic I’ve been thinking about off and on is Selenium & Vitamin E.  I’ve researched these occasionally over the last 2 years or so. Mel of Boots and Saddles has had a few posts on it (which I’ve read and re-read several times). These nutrients are important for all sorts of bodily functions, including fighting free radicals and supporting muscles. At Hemie’s post-purchase exam, when I asked about neurological testing, my vet mentioned that our area’s hay is very low in Selenium and Vitamin E, which are necessary to for neurological support, and that feed-through supplements would be a good option for us to consider.

Well, that did it. I decided to get serious about adding these to Hemie’s diet. I decided to go with a product that has been personally recommended to me by a local eventer whose horse happens to go barefoot. She said that she could see her horse’s hooves grow out more healthy when she added the supplement, and even saw the hooves grow out less-healthy-looking when she ran out for a month or two due to a mix-up with her supplier. I really like having results you can actually see so you can know that they’re being absorbed.


The product is called California Trace and it is a trace mineral supplement for horses, specifically formulated to supplement minerals lacking in west coast hay. It has vit E, selenium, and several other minerals lacking in west coast hay and grass.

I ordered the 25 lb bag of pellets for $100, which they shipped to my house for *free*.  According to the website, that should amount to $0.50 per day.

25 lb bag of pellets
2 scoops per day for a 1,000 lb horse

17 comments on “California Trace

  1. I've drowned myself in Vitamin E research stemming from Pia's issues, and while I totally agree that it's super important, I've also come to understand that most vitamin e supplements are not very bio-available and don't get absorbed by the horse (this is true of almost all powder forms). Two vets in my area (and a specialist at Davis that I spoke with) suggested the KER product Nano-e (http://www.kerx.com/products/Nano-E/). I used it on P and saw pretty immediate improvements.

    (that's just vitamin e though, the california trace sounds like a good supp)


  2. You'll have to update us on it more later, I've always looked at California Trace but was never sure.


  3. You will have to let us know how it works for you! As you know I am in CA too.

    I hate to add much more to Henry's hodgepodge… he already gets (added to his Strategy) smartcombo, bug off, psyllium and electrolytes.


  4. My equine chiropractor is a big proponent of adding selenium and vitamin E. He feels that our hay is definitely deficient. I haven't done anything to add to my current feed ration but I'll be curious to hear what you see. Keep us posted.


  5. Karley, what do you feed the psyllium for?


  6. Very curious about your findings with the Vitamin E and Selenium.


  7. Interested to see what results you see.


  8. I love CA Trace! I had Dandy on it when we lived in NV and he did great on it.


  9. And I have the opposite problem! We have hay that is very high in selenium here in CO and I have to avoid feeds that any significant amount of it or risk an over-dosage (which according to what I've read, is easy to do).

    I hope it works out great for you and Hemie!!


  10. I've heard good things about the KER brand, as well the importance of bio-availability. So hard to tell since most horse supplements are not independently tested. Thanks for the recommendation – I'll keep it in case this supp doesn't work out.


  11. Will do. The concept makes sense but I wouldn't have bought it without getting a strong personal recommendation from a trusted horse friend.


  12. Kat, psyllium is used to help expel sand from the gut and thus prevent sand colic.

    Karley, will do! Trying to keep it simple with horse feed is easier said than done though! Let me know how you like the smartcombo sometime!


  13. Sure will!


  14. Me too – I'll be sure to share!


  15. Me too. I'm feeding it more based on a reasonable understanding that they are vital nutrients and (luckily) not because of a specific issue that's been diagnosed, but I'll be looking to see if there's any change in hooves, coat/hair, and his tripping/coordination.


  16. Yay! Glad to hear it.


  17. Ah yes, very interesting to see the regional issues we have in horse management due to hays/grasses, due to soil. We are the earth! Must be challenging for you to buy any sort of multi-vitamin-mineral product since it seems to be added to a number of supps.


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