From Endurance to Dressage
A Change in Feed
The whole time I've owned horses, more than 30 years, I've always subscribed to the Keep It Simple, Stupid, or KISS method. Most supplements have always struck me as a great way to make expensive poop. You wouldn't know it by looking at Izzy's daily bucket.
Over the past few weeks, I've actually added some supplements to his already pretty complicated diet. It's frustrating and expensive, and I am working hard to whittle it back down to a simpler feeding routine.
His hay ration consists of twice daily armloads of high quality grass shipped in from Oregon. He also gets a bit of alfalfa to keep him happy. For now, his daily bucket includes:
I am just not seeing the results from the Platinum Performance that I was hoping to see. Not that I was looking for anything specific, but I had hoped for a better attitude and fewer reasons to call out the chiropractor. For the past month, both he and Speedy have been on a half serving. I just started my last bucket which should last them another two months. After that, no more Platinum Performance.
The Platinum Hoof Support should last another few weeks and that will be the end of that supplement. I never planned on giving it forever anyway. The plan was to give it for 3 - 4 months to help him grow some hoof. That has happened, so I am done with that one as well.
The SmartGI is a new normal. My vet recommended it, so it's an everyday addition for at least a year. Next fall, I'll reevaluate and see if we need a change. Of course, if things go haywire before then, I can always make a change sooner than later.
I have another few days of GastroGuard to administer, and then we'll be done with that one. I have seen a big change in Izzy's attitude though, so I may give the GastroGard when he leaves the property for something stressful or gets a dewormer.
I finally got to a point where feeding this horse has become more complicated and expensive than feeding myself. And all of it is just to "support" his health. Since I am not seeing concrete results, it leads me to believe that I may simply be creating expensive poop.
No one likes healthy poop more than me, but expensive poop is going too far. Bye-bye expensive bucket, hello less-expensive bucket!
12/19/2018 07:24:17 am
Yes, I went through this with Col. I supplemented isoxiprine for navicular for a long time. It didn’t help & it was $$$. Expensive poop.
12/19/2018 08:11:43 am
I'm sold on doing the hay/grass analysis and balancing the supplements/grain to those results.
12/19/2018 08:32:24 am
Agreed. I rarely saw improvements from juggling supplements. Changes in feed made the difference.
12/19/2018 03:46:24 pm
I feed psyllium periodically for sand/ soil from the gut removal and a probiotic. Bute for my 32 year old if he seems in pain. I have fed many different supplements over the years, mostly the joint health ones and have found no significant improvement. Although for my self apple cider vinegar helps with stomach bacteria problems and digestion.
12/20/2018 06:07:50 am
Yeah, after I realized I didn’t even give my (human) kids a daily multivitamin and instead made sure they ate a healthy, balanced diet, I pretty much stopped horse supplements with no discernible difference. I just started feeding Jet Farriers Formula recently to see if we can reduce the number of abscesses he gets per year, but since vet and farrier agree he has great feet(other than the whole abscess thing!)I am not super hopeful.
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
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