Monday, March 19, 2012

Supplement Rant

Everyone is posting pictures of their dirty ponies, so I thought I'd post a picture of mine too! Here's Lilly after two days of not being brushed and left to the elements in her pasture.

Absolutely filthy...
I know, all this teasing is going to come back to haunt me one day, but I'm going to yuck it up while I can!

I tried to ride my mare today but a nasty storm blew through and I got as far as putting the saddle on her back before I had to abort. They're calling for storms all week, but I hope these afternoon storms aren't the norm. I have so much to do before our show on Saturday!

Since I don't have a riding update, I'll rant about supplements instead. I'm getting quite frustrated and the only way to feel better is to try and garner sympathy from fellow bloggers.

In general I find supplements pretty worthless. I haven't really found any that I thought made a huge difference for Lilly, and I've tried a number of different supplements for a number of different issues. That being said, somehow I spend $96.85 every month on a SmartPak anyway. Because she's not getting any grain at all, I give her a vitamin supplement, which I think she really needs. She also gets a digestive supplement to make me feel less like a horrible horse owner because of her chronic loose stool issues, and now she's getting Cosequin ASU to help with the stiffness she has in her hocks.

The problem is that she doesn't like the Cosequin ASU and is boycotting the little bit of beet pulp she gets at breakfast because that awful white powder is in her bucket. Sometimes she'll snack on her breakfast throughout the day and most of it will be gone by evening, but with these warmer temperatures the beet pulp gets pretty rancid as the day wears on and I don't blame her for not wanting anything to do with it. She has wasted quite a few day's worth of supplements and at $3.20 per day, I'm starting to get a little frustrated.

She's not a very food oriented horse so it's challenging to get her excited about food. She'll get bored with flavors after she eats them for a while. It happened with her pelleted feed, her alfalfa cubes, her alfalfa pellets, and even before the Cosequin was added, she was losing interest in the beet pulp. She LOVES her hay and she loves grass, but grain has always been something she could live without. So even when I tried to swap out the beet pulp for grain, she wasn't interested, which is fine because I don't want to go back to feeding grain anyway. Not to mention we run the risk of a "handful" turning into 2 lbs of feed like it did last year.

I need the Cosequin to come in pellets because she has no qualms about eating pellet supplements... she just really hates powder. My vet highly recommended the Cosequin ASU but it's not doing her any good if she won't eat it, and if she's not eating the Cosequin, then she's not getting her vitamins either.

SmartPak has 104 joint supplements, 31 of them being in pellet form, so it seems like I could find something that is comparable to Cosequin! Any ideas? Or any ideas to make nasty white powder taste like cookies?


  1. Have you tried calling SmartPak and asking them which is the most comparable to the Cosequin in pellet form? Have you tried having your hay and pasture analyzed so you can have a more complete idea of what vitamins/minerals she's already getting and only add in a supplement of what she lacks?

    Have you looked into Tribute's Essential K? It's only good for very easy keepers, pelleted, very low in calories but high in nutrition. Essential K GC Plus also has Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM already in it.

    I cannot imagine having a horse who doesn't finish all his food!

  2. Dirty horse my butt!! Coming from a fellow Pinto pony mom, I am insulted:P I'm kidding, but I'm also secretly hoping Miss Lily goes and finds herself a nice BIG mud puddle to roll in...

    Not like grain? Are you sure she's a horse? Missy loves grain more than anything in the entire world...

  3. Try a drop of cocosoya oil - it does the trick for horses who have supplements mixed with their feed and who are picky eaters.

    I don't think most supplements are worth the trouble. I have had good experience with raspberry leaves for marish mares (Mare Magic or MareBerry) and I'm trying out chaste tree berry with Drifter - don't know yet if it'll help with his studiness.

  4. Ditto the cocosoya oil suggestion. I sprinkle Val's magnesium and salt on top of his pellets, and then top that with the oil. He has never failed to finish everything in his bowl. :)

  5. My mare too doesn't look kindly at powder supplements, and unfortunately joint supplements are all trial and error. :( That said, I just put Jetta on SmartFlex Rehab - it contains collagen and silica, in addition to all the great joint stuff. But it also has herbs in it, which might test positive. The SmartFlex Resillience has the same things but no herbs. Jetta is doing fantastic on it.

    God luck. Joint supplement shopping sucks.

  6. My number one rule of thumb for supplements...If I can't tell whether a horse is on it or not...It's not worth the $$ to feed it.

  7. You are a big, huge meanie for showing pictures of your "dirty" horse. Karma will come to haunt you, in the form of big mud puddles, I have no doubt. ;)

    As for joint supplements, skip the feed-throughs and go with Adequan. It's made a HUGE difference for Saga. Since it's IM I know he's getting everything, AND it's much cheaper than Cosequin (~$40/injection). Yes, you do have to stick your horse to do it, but I swear it's not hard and you only have to do it once a month or once every other week (talk to your vet).