Disclaimer: dapples are a function of genetics, grooming and nutrition. Some horses you can overload with flax and curry for hours each day and no dapples will ever show.
One of my absolute favorite parts of Leo’s care has been the selection and preparation of SUPPLEMENTS. Nothing says Horse Mom more than lovingly mixin’ up some delicious smelling grains and powders and pellets. And much like the GNC, Juice Plus, Herbalife, human vitamin/protein craze, the equestrian industry has been successful on capitalizing on horse owner’s need to provide the “best care” whether scientifically proven or not. That being said, I happily indulge all of the more legitimate sounding companies, and most of the products I choose ARE scientifically proven, to provide Leo the best of care and if not that, at least provide a delicious daily supplement mash which I happily provide in exchange for nickers.
Supplement Price in Dollars per Day
Leo’s Current Supplements
Biotin Plus and Smart & Simple Flax –
I heard amazing things about Smartpak’s Smart Dark and Handsome for adding coat shine, darkening coat and bringing out dapples, but thought there must be a cheaper product with similar main ingredients: Flaxseed Meal, Paprika*, Dried Kelp, Fenugreek Seed, Zinc Polysaccharide Complex, Biotin. Well, I can do flax for sure, was also supplying Biotin Plus and planning on Spirulina, which I scientifically determined (I say sarcastically) is similar enough to dried kelp. The Biotin Plus I also purchased for coat quality, but especially for growing out his wrecked hooves after two abscesses. I have to say it’s worked quite well. For one, I’ve known Leo for two summers now and I’ve never seen him have such stunning and I mean STUNNING dapples!
Smart & Simple Spirulina -
I first heard about spirulina on Horse Radio Network’s Healthy Critters Radio (Episode 81 if you’d like to listen!). I mostly chose to start him on it because it supposedly has anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties, especially concerning lung function. I worry about Leo’s lung health, because he does tend to cough if it’s very cold out, and fire season in California is relentless. It’s not good for them to stand still and not build their cardio stamina during those months, and it’s worse for them to take in all the smoke. I’m hoping one of his more expensive supplements has some positive effect on his lung health.
Cosequin ASU -
After Leo’s lameness issues (abscess > hock injections > another abscess > getting back into work), I knew he needed some Actual Joint Support. I attempted to research some scientifically proven feed through joint supplements, and the only proven one (that came up in Google searches) was Cosequin. I had no issue opting for this as one of my dogs, Milo, has already been on Cosequin for a year or two and there’s a noticeable effect when he goes off of it - as in if we ever forgot to feed it to him for a few days. The stuff is expensive and smells atrocious, super bitter, but mixed in with his other powders and potions, get readily eaten.
Redmond Rock Crushed Rock Salt -
One of the first ‘I’m attempting to assert myself as Leo’s person’ purchases was a Remond Rock Salt Lick, and he loves them! He’s gone through two so far, but realistically, if a horse is getting his entire daily salt intake through a salt lick, it should be finished within 2 months. Well, his haven’t been licked through that quickly, and I’ve noticed he has been slightly dehydrated on warmer days so thought it best to add some mandatory delicious salt to his daily mash. Plus, Redmond Rock is an amazing company based in the USA and mines it’s salt straight from their Utah salt mine.
Redmond Daily Gold Stress Relief -
Also from Redmond Rock is a really cool, clay supplement. Clay as a supplement, which I also originally heard about on Horse Radio Network, is supposed to be a great toxin absorber and neutralizes excess stomach acid. The associated pain relief is supposed to reduce spookiness and reactiveness, and I added an extra scoop each day during his stall rest to combat the negative effects of being stuck in his stall. This is one of those supplements where I can’t really tell if it’s working or not, but Leo has been incredibly confident and even tempered since coming back into work and it’s cheap enough that I’d rather not find out how he does without it.
HorseGuard Flaxen Flow -
On top of everything else, obviously Leo needs a yummy oil dressing. So horses need Omega 3s, right? Of course, there’s fish oil but that tends to be frowned upon because horses don’t eat fish so it doesn’t really make sense to feed them oil derived from fish. There are tons of oil supplements for horses like, Equine Omega Complete, Kentucky Performance Products Contribute, EO-3 by Kentucky Equine Research and many more options, all of which seemed super expensive! I opted for HorseGuard’s Flaxen Flow because it was cheap, 100% flaxseed oil and completely sealed. Omega 3s and Omega 6s can spoil or oxidize when exposed to air so many of the oils that are sold with pumps are less effective or less palatable the longer you have them.