From Endurance to Dressage
I am such a sucker for good customer service. I am always willing to pay more for a product if I know with complete certainty that the company is going to treat me as though they really want me to come back. And if they listen to my feedback and try to make whatever "it" is right, I am hooked for life.
The Riding Warehouse and Smartpak are two companies that check off those boxes. And coincidently, both are having really good sales this Memorial Day weekend. At the Riding Warehouse, you can save 15% site-wide today with no code, and SmartPack is offering up to 20% off for USEF members with the code MEM16 at checkout.
But those two companies already have my regular business. I am talking about the folks over at Platinum Performance.
A week or two ago I wrote a blog post about mineral supplements. A few days later, I got a very polite email from Amy at Platinum Performance. She had seen my blog post and wondered if I would like to talk to one of their advisors about equine nutrition. She also offered to send me a free bucket of Platinum Performance if I wanted to give their product a try.
How could I say no? I was clearly interested in the product, and I did have a few questions. I sent a reply back saying I would love to speak with someone and that I would call back the next morning.
To my surprise, when I called, Heather E., the advisor to whom I had been referred, was actually available. And not only was she able to chat, she already knew a little bit about me. Man, these guys know how to reel you in! I love that kind of customer service.
Heather and I talked for a good 40 minutes. I think she would have happily stayed on the phone with me longer, but my recess bell rang ending the phone call. My life revolves around school bells.
My three concerns, all of which she addressed thoughtfully and intelligently, were 1) price, 2) extra energy, and 3) ingredients that my horses don't need.
Okay. There isn't a lot she can do about this one. Platinum is expensive, but ... she did point out some things that make the product slightly more affordable. For one, if you already give a bunch of supplements (I don't), Platinum Performance can replace most of them making your supplement regimen cheaper.
This issue warrants its own blog post, but I had already taken Izzy off the Quiessence for a trial period to test the product's efficacy. One week into the trial, Izzy actually seems more relaxed now that he's off the magnesium. This is most likely coincidental though.
We had an awesome lesson with Dr. Christian Schacht a week ago where I had a giant "break through" moment, so it could actually be more related to that. I had also started the horses on BVH's mineral supplement which provides selenium and Vitamin E, among other things. That could also be making him feel better.
In truth, I never noticed any changes while he was on the magnesium anyway. I was too afraid to take him off of it though for fear that he would be more tense than he already was.
That's a really long way of saying that if I switch to the Platinum Performance and stop the Quiessence, I won't be spending quite as much as I would have.
There's more to the price thing though. Heather explained that through the magic (my word, not hers) of Platinum's formula, Izzy's whole metabolic system would begin working more efficiently. This would have the benefit of reducing the amount of feed that he would need which is ultimately a cost saving measure. You would be shocked at the quantity of roughage that dude consumes on a daily basis.
On top of that, she suggested that the added rice bran he gets every day should also be eliminated as Platinum Performance provides rice bran as an ingredient which would mean he wouldn't need extra. Reducing his rice bran would also save me money.
An increase in the horse's energy level is was one of the unintended effects of feeding Platinum Performance that I have been warned about. We all know that Izzy doesn't need any more energy. He's already the destroyer of all things. I raised this issue with Heather. Rather than downplay my concern, she tackled the question head on.
Since Platinum Performance works on the whole body, it reduces inflammation and supports all of the horse's systems. The result is that it makes the horse feel really good. Initially, she explained, this can come across as too much energy. She said that once the horse is used to feeling good, the over-energized feeling will fade.
To help deal with excess energy, Heather outlined a plan for phasing in the Platinum Performance slowly while simultaneously decreasing energy sources such as rice bran. I really appreciated this approach as so many products actually use loading doses which add to the initial price of the product.
Ingredients That My Horses Don't Need:
I wholeheartedly subscribe to the KISS method of horse care - Keep It Simple, Stupid. Most of the supplements out there aren't tested by independent labs and they certainly don't have independent research that supports their claims of efficacy. Platinum Performance does.
So while its ingredient list is bigger and more encompassing than what Dr. Tolley views as the minimum requirement, he doesn"t dislike the product. His own formula targets the specific vitamins and minerals that our hay is deficient in. Platinum Performance goes beyond that providing support for the whole horse through the use of amino acids (which help build proteins), Glucosamine (for joint health), macro and trace minerals (which help the body's systems to function), and vitamins (which along with minerals serve as anti-oxidants).
It's hard to say that my horses don't need any of those. Will they die tomorrow without added folic acid? No, but the added amino acids and minerals found in Platinum Performance are all things that my horses do need. I don't think there is one ingredient that is simply a filler or junk.
You can probably see where this is all going. I decided to give Platinum Performance a try, but I am doing it on the company's dollar. That's right - Platinum Performance is sending me a bucket for free, no obligation. They simply asked me to try it. And since I am going on vacation for several weeks, they've agreed to ship me a fresh bucket so that it arrives just as I come home in late June.
Izzy will get to try it first while Speedy remains on Dr. Tolley's vitamin and mineral supplement. Izzy's needs are a bit more complicated than Speedy's are. Speedy is such an easy keeper that I am going to see how it effects Izzy before I decide whether to put both horses on it. And if it does indeed reduce Izzy's feed requirements, the decision will be much easier to bear financially.
If you're reading this, Platinum Performance, your willingness to reach out to potential customers and chat about our horses' needs without being pushy is very much appreciated. Letting us try your product for free says you truly believe we'll like it. I am looking forward to having you on my team!
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. We're currently showing Third Level for the 2020 show season. 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 schooling and showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2020 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2020 Pending …
10/11 A. Newcomb (c)
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
2020 Completed …
10/26-27/19 SCEC (***)
6/20-21/20 SCEC (***)
6/29 Ulf Wadeborn (c)
7/11-12 SLO-CDS (***)
7/27 Breen-Gurley (c)
8/30 Breen-Gurley (c)
9/20 Caveletti Clinic (c)
2020 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
3rd Level Qualifying Modified for 2020
2 Scores/1 Judge:
Score 1: 60.405% Atkins
Score 2: 62.432% Atkins
3rd Level Qualifying Modified for 2020
3 Scores/2 Judges:
Score 1: 60.405% Atkins
Score 2: 62.432% Atkins
Score 3: 61.750% Johnson
Stuff I Read