Did a search and everything I got was about which supplement worked for a specific issue. Maybe there are older threads, but agnostic of malady, which supplements do you swear by? How long to see effects? Did you come off/go back on? Rule out other variables? Just curious to compare against my list of oft-mentioned supplements and kind of have a reference for future. For me, I can say the only one that really made a noticeable impact vs various others is the SmartPak Leg Up Mare Pellets. I do regumate in season and tried various supplements for mares, as well as soy free, massage, etc. I swear that formula actually made a difference against all other options and combos.
They say Joint Supplements do nothing, but they must do something.
Horse has/had water on his left knee, no clue why, was a good ball size. Put him on Triacta HA, water on his knee, gone. Took him off to try Pentosan, came back immediately. Went back on Triacta HA and it was gone. Recently switched from Triacta to Equine Basic Nutrition Biomax HA, less costly, has just as much if not more good stuff in it, and the water on his knee is still gone, and feels more fluid within his gates in general.
As much as people say they don’t work, it does something, so I’ll keep doing it. He’s 20 and his name should be benjamin button at this point because he’s getting younger each day and feels fantastic as he keeps eventing.
I haven’t found a good hoof supplement that can truly say works.
A really comprehensive vitamin mineral supplement like Mad Barn Omniety will generally make up all the nutrients that you would get in a hoof supplement (copper zinc biotin) or a calming supplement (magnesium). And I like whole flax and salt.
Once you have those in place, you can ignore all the supplements that are just doses of vitamins and minerals predicated on the concept many horses are deficient in those. Also you have the omega 3 covered.
That leaves you basically with a range of herbal supplements. Some are offering herbal versions of pharmaceutical effects like hormone regulation, pain killers, or joint pain. IMHO if your horse really needs Regumate, bute or adequan, if it’s a genuine medical issue, get the pharmaceutical.
The one thing that I’ve used with success every time is a good probiotic when a horse is developing chronic diarrhea following a forage change. I really like Herbs for Horses Probios probiotic. But I only use it until the issue is solved.
If I could find an OTC supplement that made an impact on arthritis I would be taking it for myself, but there is no research saying anything conclusively works.
Supplements work if the horse has a deficiency that the supplement supplies. That means deficiency in either intake or transport to site of action, or penetration into the site needed(like a joint supplement). Mega-doses can sometimes over-ride a transport or penetration problem.
I have so far discussed this with five different experienced equine vets from different practices, and the above is my paraphrasing of what all said.
One who I know best said "am I marketing the supplement for profit, ot do you want the truth?
So I feed ground flaxseed for coats, but only during times when there is no green grass to graze.
this is basically raspbery leaves, and there are lots of products with that. There’s an insignificant amount of magnesium (1gm), and then some chamomile for a nice marketing effect
Raspberry leaves do offer value to a lot of mares. And none to a lot of other mares LOL
I wouldn’t bother to start a list of what everyone else likes, because their horse, their horse’s diet, isn’t yours. And just because your horse has a symptom similar to theirs, doesn’t mean the cause is the same
MOST people fall into the idea that correlation = causation, and that’s not the whole story at all. MOST people aren’t looking at things objectively and critically enough to know what did or didn’t change, including things like that it’s 3 months later and the grass situation is quite different even if it looks the same.
Some ingredients have a lot more science behind them than others, so if you’re looking to affect, say, joint health, look at not just what’s in the product, but how much. Lots of them have amounts very much less than studied therapeutic levels.
Loose salt. Either free or force fed.
Vitalize Digest More Plus for maintenance for ulcer prone horses. I can’t understand why more people don’t use it. It was the turning point for my gelding who will get an ulcer if you look at him the wrong way.
Probably because thankfully most horses aren’t so sensitive they need constant support to prevent ulcers
I have never been one to ever feed supplements. I did feed a few of my mares and foals specific supplements during pregnancy and weaning over the years but it didn’t seem to make any difference in the overall results between them and the ones who didn’t get them.
For the first time I am feeding my gelding a digestive supplement ( yeast / enzymes/ probiotics)and it has actually made a difference in his overall comfort so I can say that works for him.
When I look this up, it claims to work more on the hindgut with probiotics. As opposed to working on the stomach with acid reducing capabilities to reduce stomach ulcers. So this wouldnt be my first choice for stomach ulcers. I did a course of Gastrogard last winter that eliminated a bunch of symptoms in my mare but didn’t scope her.
It’s a proton pump inhibitor that cuts down stomach acid and lets the stomach heal, but you don’t want to use it indefinitely
Maybe we need to back up and define “supplement”
Is the extra copper and zinc (full time) and Vit E (Winter/hay season) I use a supplement? Or, because those are essential nutrients, not considered in that category?
I was about to write the same thing.
Sure, there is stuff I use here and there. But I wouldn’t say I swear by them.
MSM. Cheap, globally available, and definitely helps the creaky oldsters. Usually I see it take about 2 weeks to work.
Vit E - especially for horses that are older, on poorer forage, or have neurologic compromise.
For a complete supplement, I think nothing beats Platinum Performance CJ. I saw such drastic differences on it, I started feeding it to my old lady cat – the cat version, though.
Yes, it’s a maintenance supplement, not a treatment. It is formulated to digest through both the foregut and the hindgut. It does contain beta glucan which has been studied and found to help heal ulcers and lecithin which helps to protect the intestinal lining. It also contains calcium carbonate (think tums)
I’m not a big fan of supplements, but during season I implement a maintenance protocol because traveling inevitably interrupts his happy horse lifestyle.
I don’t know, you see so many people using Visceral, Gutx, etc. - i’m surprised it’s not a more popular.
Started at the suggestion from this BB, my only supplement is BOSS.
Horses have soft, shiny coats year-round.
As noticed by my vet & anyone who sees them.
& No thanks at all to my all but non-existent grooming routine
Mini gets Thyro-L since he decided to experiment with laminitis 4yrs ago.
If salt is a required nutrient, do you consider that a supplement?
That’s what I mean by - we need to define “supplement”
My go tos (which often straddle the “supplement” or “feed” line) are flax, vitamin e, poly copper, poly zinc. I find garlic very helpful with the ticks here, but I wouldn’t use it in other areas of the country with less tick burden.
Man, I don’t know anyone who says joint supplements do NOTHING. Does every horse have the same outcome on the same supplement? Not at all. Does every supplement out there carry the same effectiveness, or active ingredients? Definitely not. Are feed throughs often more costly that an injectible, which carries a bit more of a “sure thing” outcome? Yep, sometimes.
But yeah, there are definitely some joint supplements that work for some horses. HA as an ingredient seems to be one with a “better” track record. MSM, too.
That’s a fair point.
I absolutely hate that these things work so well because they’re not cheap. I’ve tried and tried to go without or with something less expensive, and it just doesn’t work. Grrrr.
Omega Horseshine is probably the one I’ve tried to cut out or replace with something cheaper and have regretted doing so every time. Every few years I decide it’s “not really doing anything” and that I can get by without it, and the horse either gets foot sore or starts rubbing himself raw or is covered in hives. Even if I try other flaxseed products it just doesn’t seem to do the same thing for him.
The same goes for Absorbine Flex+Max joint supplement. If I feed this, I don’t need Equioxx and/or Adequan. If I don’t feed it, he gets creaky and stiff. If I try to feed something cheaper…slightly less creaky and stiff, but still not as good as Flex+Max.
There are some others that I really like and have seen good results with, but the two above seem to be non-negotiable for my dude.