Vitamin C - the overlooked vitamin

Vitamin C was a very popular supplement 50 years ago. It was touted as curing everything from colds to cancer. But now, you hear very little about the vitamin, especially in horses. So, what gives?

Vitamin C is best known for its role in horses that have breathing issues, or those with collagen issues. As an antioxidant, it helps reduce oxidative stress. What causes oxidative stress?

  • Performance exercises – such as racing, jumping, or the like
  • Trailering – especially long distances
  • Illness – such as strangles, Potomac horse fever, or even flu and/or rhino
  • Chronic illnesses – such as Cushing’s disease, EPM, Lyme disease
  • Breathing issues – such as Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO)

The horse could benefit from supplemental vitamin C in all of these situations.

 Vitamin C is also important in the creation of collagen. Although collagen is located throughout the body – skin, organs, connective tissue, joints – it is of prime importance in the horse in the joints (Type II Collagen). Scurvy in humans occurs due to insufficient collagen. The cause of this deficit is due to the lack of sufficient Vitamin C.

So, why is so little written about Vitamin C in horses?

Most people think that Vitamin C is readily available for this horse. It is present in decent amounts in fresh grass. The horse can also make a limited amount in their liver.

But what happens if the horse is stressed and is on hay instead of pasture? The horse’s ability to produce enough Vitamin C is challenged.

Who could benefit from additional Vitamin C?

  • Horses on hay
  • Horses that have been ill
  • Horses with breathing issues
  • Horses with tendon issues
  • Horses with a chronic illness or chronic challenge (think Cushing’s disease)
  • Old horses with multiple issues

 Vitamin C is powerful antioxidant. It is affordable and readily available, but is often overlooked.

Vitamin C  is available at


Back to blog