26 Oct 2021

Frequently asked questions about rosehips for horses


The saying “coming up roses” is particularly relevant when considering feeding rosehip powder as a supplement for your horse. These sweet, tart and nutritious fruits are one of the best sources of natural iron and vitamin C, while also possessing a significant amount of biotin. This makes the rosehip one of the top plants for supporting the immune and circulatory systems, hooves, joints, skin, and coat.

Below are some common questions horse owners have about rosehips:

What are rosehips?

From their bright, soft blooms, to their lovely smell and prickly thorns, roses have long been considered a symbol of health and beauty. These flowers belong to the Rosa genus of the Rosaceae family, which consists of over 100 species of plants. A lesser-known piece of the rose plant is the small, seed-filled bulbs called “rosehips,” located underneath the rose petals. Rosehips are generally red or orange and have a sweet taste. Unlike rose flowers that bloom in the spring and summer, rosehips grow in the fall after the petals have finished blooming and have started to fall off. Rosehips are considered a superfood because they contain naturally occurring vitamins, an array of minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and flavonoids.

Why are they good for horses? 

Rosehips are one of the richest sources of natural vitamin C while also containing vitamin A, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin K. The high antioxidant levels help your horse fight off infections and inflammation as well as boost the immune system and promote healthy hoof growth and circulation. Commonly used by performance horse owners, rosehips offer nutrients in an extremely bioavailable form and help combat the wear and tear on joints, muscles and the immune system generally witness through heavy riding and competition. Rosehips aid in joint health and mobility and support the natural formation of cartilage and connective tissue. They are exceptionally valuable for horses with fatigued joints that are arthritic due to age or wear and tear.

Is it legal to compete while supplementing with rosehips?

Yes! Rosehips are NOPS approved and free from any prohibited substances listed by the British Equestrian Foundation and US Equestrian Foundation:

• British Equestrian Foundation: “Rosehip in its true form is NOT currently listed on the FEI prohibited substance list.”

• US Equestrian Foundation: “Rosehip is permitted under the Therapeutic Substance Provision of US Equestrian’s Equine Drug and Medications Rule.”

Rosehip does not interfere with prescription drugs or other supplements. Always consult your veterinarian about all supplements and medications you intend to give your horse.

Are there side effects when feeding rosehips?

When feeding the correct amount of pure, ground rosehips powder, there should not be any side effects. If too much is fed, there is a possibility of stomach upset symptoms such as diarrhea. Rosehips do not cause side effects often witnessed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and are appropriate when there is an elevated risk from the cardiovascular or gastrointestinal side effects of NSAIDs.

Have there been studies done on rosehip’s effectiveness in horses?

There have been several studies done on rosehips and their effectiveness on the body which are outlined further on our website. One of the most significant was a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study on the effect of rosehip on the immune system, working capacity, and behavior of 44 horses in race training. The results of the study suggest rosehip is an effective anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative supplement for horses to improve vitamin C status.

Why feed Elite Equine rosehip supplement?

Highly palatable, offering a tart, sweet taste, Elite Equine’s organic ground rosehip powder is 100% natural and effective in supporting overall equine health. The sole ingredient in Elite Equine, rosehip, is perfect for horse owners, riders, and trainers who are seeking a natural supplement safe for both pleasure horses and those in competition. Made for equestrians, by equestrians, Elite Equine is proud to support the Olympic riders, professional trainers, and amateur horse owners of the United States.