Even so, I like to check in with my vet to see if he thinks there is anything else I should be doing. The one thing that I felt was missing was a mineral supplement. Izzy already receives a magnesium supplement (Quiessence), but I wondered if I shouldn't be giving both horses something more.
Hay grown in the western part of the United States is well known for being deficient in selenium and vitamin E. Selenium, an essential trace mineral that helps the body deal with stress, and vitamin E serve as anti-oxidants. While I know that our hay is deficient in these essential nutrients, I've never done anything about it. Until now.
He recommends horses get a good quality roughage, a fat source, and a mineral supplement. He likes my current feed regimen: both horses are fed alfalfa/oat cubes, loose hay (Speedy gets some alfalfa while Izzy gets a grass or stemmy grain hay), beet pulp, and rice bran. Each horses gets fed by weight, and I weigh my feed every now and again to check that it's still right. While the feed was great, he felt that a mineral supplement was indeed missing.
Many years ago, Dr. Tolley created his own mineral supplement that was designed to pair with the hay typically fed to horses in Kern County. He contracted with a local feed producer to manufacture his mineral supplement formula. It comes in a plain white bag, no fancy label, and is sold either at the vet hospital or at a local feed store, Rosedale Farrier Supply. It costs around $30 for a 50 pound bag, and Dr. Tolley recommends a one-pound serving daily.
I should have enough of BVH's formula to last until we get back from vacation in late June. In the meantime, I'm evaluating two other mineral supplements: Platinum Performance and Grand Premium Plus. Both products are highly reviewed and well respected, but Platinum Performance was originally created by the doctors at Alamo Pintado, our area's premier equine medical center.
Platinum Performance was created to specifically aid bone and muscle healing in our equine patients. Based on research done over several years by Dr. Doug Herthel, we found that providing key trace minerals, highly bioavailable protein sources, vitamins and essential fatty acids that are missing from the modern horse diet, our patients experienced enhanced healing of muscles and bones, thus reducing the post-surgical recovery and promoting a smoother return to normal activity.
When Dr. Tolley and I discussed my options, he asked if I needed or wanted all of the other ingredients. That was a very valid question and one that I am weighing seriously. As I look at the price of each supplement, I wonder if they're worth it for me right now. Feeding either of the name brand supplements would run me right around $100 per month. If I stick with BVH's supplement, I know I am getting the nutrients that they need without anything extra, but it would come at a price that I can easily afford.
Do you have any experience with either of these supplements? Do you feed something else that was recommended by your vet? If you had BVH's mineral supplement available, would you choose it over the pricier but more inclusive supplements?