What is Sainfoin?
Top benefits of Sainfoin in horses:
- The higher tannin level disrupts mechanisms that create gas during digestion so sainfoin is non-gas producing. Limiting gas production along the gastrointestinal tract is not simply a matter of comfort for the horse, but may reduce incidence of gas colic.
- Longer chewing time. We have recorded the chewing time of horses who eat an alfalfa pellet vs those who eat the sainfoin pellet. The horses observed spent an average of 30% more time chewing the sainfoin, salivated significantly more and drank up to twice the amount of water when they were eating sainfoin. Chewing for production of saliva and digestive enzymes and increased water consumption are all important for optimal gastrointestinal health in horses.
- The higher condensed tannins in sainfoin bind to the proteins to protect them during the digestive process. This results in increased utilization of the protein throughout the body. In cattle, this results in faster growth and better hides. In horses this results in better topline, more effective maintenance of topline/muscling when the horse is in hard work, and improved hoof horn.
- Sainfoin is high in Omega-3 fatty acids for natural anti-inflammatory support.
- Low sugar
- Low starch
- More palatable than alfalfa. If you have a horse who is off their feed or refuses to eat a supplement, incorporating sainfoin often gets them going.
- Sainfoin has anthelmintic properties and has been shown to help control strongyles in cattle, sheep and goats. It has been assumed that it will work the same in horses but this theory has not been tested so we are uncomfortable making this claim until we have had an opportunity to test Sainfoin's efficacy on a herd of heavy shedding horses in a controlled environment.