I do have an explanation though. According to my vet, the west coast's hay is usually lacking in a few key vitamins and minerals, namely Vitamin E and Selenium. He thinks most of California's horses should be on at least a vitamin and mineral supplement.
After even more research and examination of my budget, I recently opted to put him on Platinum Performance's Healthy Weight. There were two main reasons I chose Healthy Weight over other brands like Cool Calories or Fat Cat. The first reason is that Healthy Weight is made from flax oil which has a better Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio than most of the other fat supplements out there. The fatty acids are the "good fats" that cells need to function, but Omega-6s are thought to be pro-inflammatory.
The second reason that I chose Healthy Weight was its price. Believe it or not, it's fairly comparable to the cost of most other fat supplements. In fact, at $0.66 a day, it's a lot less expensive than feeding rice bran, at least at the quantities that I was feeding rice bran.
Just like all of Platinum's other formulas, Hoof Support goes above and beyond the typical hoof formula. This version contains several amino acids responsible for hoof growth, which Speedy desperately needs right now. It also has Zinc Gluconate which is involved in the hardening of the hooves.
Additionally, Hoof Support contains Copper Gluconate which is shown to help connect hoof cells. For good measure, Hoof Support also has Manganese and Biotin which help strengthen the hoof wall and other structures.
My board bill includes all of the alfalfa that he'll eat. While I haven't weighed his hay in a long time, we feed based on how much hay he has left from the meal before. On the rare afternoon that I show up and he has actually eaten all of his hay, I toss him a bit of grass hay to tide him over until dinner.
As I was scooping and mixing last night, I had to laugh at myself. For someone who doesn't think supplements really do anything, my feed routine sure has gotten complicated!