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What supplements do you use/suggest?

The boys and I recently moved to a new town because I transferred from junior college to a four year university :smiley: Hauling was easy/uneventful and they seem quite happy with their new digs.

College is, of course, expensive. I’m considering saving a bit of money by bagging my own supplements rather than ordering SmartPaks which is what I have been doing. After some calculations, I’ve found that it isn’t cost effective to bag some of the supplements that they are currently on. I am wondering if there are alternatives that would work just as well but be more affordable.

Artie - SmartFlex Senior, SmartMuscle Mass, and Farrier’s Formula Double Strength

Fantom - SmartFlex II and Farrier’s Formula Double Strength

Additionally, I am giving electrolytes and SimpliFly for the summer. I’m really just curious as to what others give for the same purpose… for instance, do others give something else for joint support that they are happy with, etc. Hopefully that makes sense! :slight_smile: Basically, what do you give, what is it for, and are you satisfied? Thank you!! The boys and I appreciate it!

What is the horse getting fed? IF your basic feeding program is solid, you’ll find that FF is a waste of money.

I agree that we need to know what the base diet is. What is the forage, and how much? What is the hard feed, and how much?

Most likely you are wasting your $$ on those feed-through joint supplements. If you are feeding/will be feeding appropriate amounts of a fortified feed, then those joint supps are overkill anyway. You also likely don’t need the Muscle Mass

FFDS is a valuable product. The question is - do you REALLY need it? The answer lies in the first 2 questions.

First, congrats on transferring to a 4 year university!!! I have had fabulous results with the following combos-

Option 1

20,000 mg plain MSM (any brand…we used pellets, but only because my horse was picky. 20,000mg is the loading dose, but plain MSM is so cheap, and it did help a lot!! We did one scoop in morning and one in evening)
1 scoop Animed Remission (hoof + metabolic + multi vit)
handful of grain (we either used Grow-N-Win even though we had mature horses, or we Ultium)
lots and lots of hay and lush grass


Option 2
10,000 mg plain MSM
1 scoop Grand Hoof Plus MSM pellets
handful grain
lots of hay and ample grass

The only supplements I really use are MSM (because it has some research behind it), the most cost-effective hoof supplement with 20 mg/biotin a day (research I did suggested anything more doesn’t get used by the horse anyway), and a home-made salt blend for electrolytes.

I find a really good feed (or a ration balancer + rice bran + alfalfa combination) takes care of everything else, so I don’t go for weight gain/ulcer/whatever else supplements generally).

[QUOTE=EquestrianRunner;8793246]
First, congrats on transferring to a 4 year university!!! [/QUOTE]

Forgot to congratulate OP - best of luck!

MSM, ration balancer, good hay and grass here also. Beet pulp mixed with water and alfalfa pellets and rice bran in the winter. Period and we have really healthy horses.

has anybody ever used Uckele Sport horse grass pellets??

Thank you all for all of the quick replies and congratulations :slight_smile:

The barn that I board at grows its own (beautiful) brome hay. Both horses get 2 flakes twice per day. The flakes are quite dense, though, so each flake ends up being equivalent to 1.5 or 2 “regular-sized” flakes. It’s enough that they don’t run out between feedings.

We use a 3 quart scoop. Fantom gets 3/4 of a scoop of Purina Strategy and Artie gets 1 scoop of Purina Senior. Strategy is popular where I come from and around my new town. It’s what they’ve always been fed, so I’ve yet to change it up. The only time that I changed anything was when I switched Artie from Strategy to Senior. I must admit that I have considered switching feeds. Feed suggestions are appreciated!

The barn is not full service… they feed, check waterers, and clean runs with a skid loader 1-2 times per month. Daily mucking and turnout are left to me. I turn them out for AT LEAST 4 hours per day. It isn’t lush pasture, but it also isn’t dirt. Something in between.

Fantom has a light-moderate workload… 30 to 90 minutes 3-4 times per week. Artie is lightly lunged for up to 20 minutes 2-3 times per week and lightly ridden for about 30 minutes once a week.

Hopefully this additional information helps. Thank you!

I’m not by any means an expert but can tell you that when we had to consider reducing our supplement costs on our horse we made the decision to just go down to MSM and we never saw a decrease in the quality of his movement by taking away all the other stuff. Only time I’ve really seen an improvement was with injections and/or liquid H/A. If you’re not competing, I’d consider reducing to just MSM and see how they do.
I know Strategy is inexpensive and if they’re doing well on it, keep them on it, but it’s not my favorite. I really like Triple Crown Senior. It’s probably double what you’re paying per bag but it’s good stuff. I would maybe consider a ration balancer.
I also had good luck with SmartHoof which at the time was cheaper than FF.

Feed a good quality feed at recommend amounts then no supplements are needed. Strategy is low quality feed reason it’s cheap.Had an old gelding all he got was a senior feed and MSM and he did just fine not stiff or any joint issues.

If you have access to TC feeds better to buy that then strategy,more money but you get what you pay for.

Succeed, Platinum Performance, and Equinity. During the summer I add electrolytes and the bug off supplement from smartpak.

If you want to stick with joint and hoof support, why not put them both on the Smart Combo Senior? That’s pretty cost effective. I’ve stopped SP a few times and did not save any money and definitely had more hassle. Being in school, try to do what’s easiest.

https://www.smartpakequine.com/ps/smartcombo-senior-pellets-11381

Ideally, yes, but even then things really depend on the forage being of high quality to begin with. Most don’t get forage tested for a variety of reasons, and a lot of forage is not as nutrient-rich, or balanced, as it should be.

And then there are the horses who are on reduced forage diets (muzzled on grass, hay rationed to only 1.5% of their body weight), and who can’t have a fortified feed because of calories. Not even a ration balancer. And there are very few v/m supplements that come close to providing what a RB or minimally recommended amounts of regular feeds provide.

OR, the entire diet, including “a good quality feed at recommended amounts” doesn’t provide enough selenium. Or Vit E ( particularly if the forage is all hay). Or Vit A. Or copper or zinc or magnesium.

Supplements have a valuable place.

I’m now feeding Ultra Cruz Wellness formula to my herd. Costs about 2$ per horse a day. Thought it was a little high until the horses next door got some respiratory illness and none of mine did, although they were sharing a fence line. \

The quality of the hay available here is all over the place, plus the hay is from farms that use irrigation water from snow melt = sky high iron content.

I would like to feed only forage, but I don’t think that works for all horses and we only find out which horses do or don’t thrive on it by trial and error.

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I feed just a scoop of a pelleted supplement formulated for my region, with probiotics included, and in the summer, a mix of commercial electrolytes mixed 50/50 with table salt. That goes in a scoop of Renew Gold. My retired 12 year old gets that, plus grass hay that has a bit of alfalfa in it. The just getting started 3 year old gets some straight alfalfa added to her ration. Previously I had my gelding on LMF G ration balancer plus canola oil (PSSM horse), and just switched to the current regimen for simplicity, and notice no difference, but then he is not in work.

I’ve tried all sorts of supplements on the 12 year old over the years, and think most of them equated to flushing money down the toilet. I did notice a difference with directly dosing him orally with Conquer liquid for his joint issues, but if any of the others did anything, it was negligible.

Congrats on the transfer. :yes:

Switching to plain MSM is a much cheaper alternative to the joint supplements. The only ingredient in joint supplements that I’ve ever seen work is the MSM. But if your horses don’t have issues with arthritic joints, it’s unlikely they even need that.

The “need” for a hoof supplement can be eliminated with a higher quality diet and a lifestyle that supports a healthier foot. However, when you’re boarding, your hands are often tied when it comes to how much control you have over those factors.

Any slight benefits your horse might be receiving from Smart MuscleMass could easily be duplicated with some extra quality protein in his diet. A flake of alfalfa, an extra pound of feed, a ration balancer, a cup of soy meal, etc.

[QUOTE=JB;8794912]
Ideally, yes, but even then things really depend on the forage being of high quality to begin with. Most don’t get forage tested for a variety of reasons, and a lot of forage is not as nutrient-rich, or balanced, as it should be.

And then there are the horses who are on reduced forage diets (muzzled on grass, hay rationed to only 1.5% of their body weight), and who can’t have a fortified feed because of calories. Not even a ration balancer. And there are very few v/m supplements that come close to providing what a RB or minimally recommended amounts of regular feeds provide.

OR, the entire diet, including “a good quality feed at recommended amounts” doesn’t provide enough selenium. Or Vit E ( particularly if the forage is all hay). Or Vit A. Or copper or zinc or magnesium.

Supplements have a valuable place.[/QUOTE]

there’s plenty of people who feed just hay or pasture white salt & fresh water and that’s it. Most horses survive just fine on 24/7 hay or pasture no grain no RB or vit/min.

Only supplement i’ll buy is MSM the rest are a waste of money most joint supps or vit/min supplements make no change in horses health or the way they feel.

I have 2 bags of omolene 400, gotta pour a ton of molasses on it to get horses to even eat it,same for ultium. Purina and nutrena i’v had no luck getting horses to eat there feeds. So not a fan of either feed company…:wink:

I test hay for nutrient content, but not NSC not a concern when horses tend to be lean thin any way. My hay i currently feed is good even if i feed nothing hard feed wise. Low on magnesium but from what i read, too much magnesium isn’t good,so i don’t supplement for it.:wink:

What do your horses REALLY need? The majority of supplements are aimed at owner anxiety rather than actual need and proven benefit. Speak to your vet. My mare in moderate dressage training (4-5 rides/week, 45-60 minutes each) gets hay, a good quality hard feed (about 1 quart 2x daily) supplemented with a multivitamin, and electrolytes in summer. Feet bare great (barefoot), horse is fit, sound and healthy. I used to board at a barn where everyone had a different combo of supplements, didn;t see a significant change when I moved to this no frills barn

Of course many horses are fed that way. And, IME, many horses fade more than they should, owners are constantly buying this and that hoof dressing and coat spray, or battling some form of dermatitis on either a regular basis, or seasonally. “survive just fine” doesn’t mean optimal health.

I never said it couldn’t be done. But when you have a horse in hard work, or have nutrient-deficient or very unbalanced forage, things might appear “just fine” on the outside, but they aren’t on the inside.

I test hay for nutrient content, but not NSC not a concern when horses tend to be lean thin any way. My hay i currently feed is good even if i feed nothing hard feed wise. Low on magnesium but from what i read, too much magnesium isn’t good,so i don’t supplement for it.:wink:

Low on magnesium is a problem. Calcium requires magnesium for proper uptake. There’s a big difference between feeding a horse the majority of their diet something that is low in Mg, and over-supplementing it.

Horses can be lean/thin and be IR. I’m not implying you specifically should be worried about it, but your comment makes it sound like you believe thin/lean horses can’t be IR, and that’s not true. They are not the norm, for sure, but they absolutely exist.