It’s hard not to want to “supplement all the things” when you go to a supplement manufacturer’s website and they have all these amazing claims about different ways to fix your horse. I recently cancelled my SmartPak and decided to switch strategies a bit, only to find myself back again to SmartPak… but let me back up and go to the beginning.
When Simon came up lame in January 2013, I decided a joint supplement was in order. I knew that he had pre-existing issues and would require more maintenance than some horses, so I decided now was a good time. I put him on Flex n Motion at a friend’s recommendation. Since SmartPak ships free at $40 for their SmartPaks, I would save more money in the long run by adding a 2nd supplement to get my order over the $40 threshold – so I also added SmartLytes since electrolytes are always good for your horse.
Eight months later, money was a bit tighter and I was starting to question my $45 a month SmartPak. A lot of people, including my vet, do not feel that feed through joint supplements make any difference. Since I started Simon on this supplement when he was lame, I really had no before and after to compare. A lot changed from December 2012 to May 2013 when I started riding him again, and I had no idea if the supplement actually worked. Plus, a barn mate told me that she just fed her horses table salt instead of electrolytes and the vet said it was just as good, if not better, than an electrolyte supplement. Huh.
So I cancelled my SmartPak.
And then SmartPak emailed me with a 50% off a new SmartPak coupon. Touche Smartpak, touche.
So I started pondering supplements again.
As I have now found 2 sarcoids on Simon, I started researching symptoms of a weak immune system. Runny nose… check. Goopy eyes.. sometimes check. Tail rubbing… a very recent check. Poor coat (we have tons of fungus issues)… check. Okay, these were enough red flags that have been consistent for the time I’ve had him – I was going to try an immune supplement.
Since I don’t think it’s simply a vitamin deficiency, I went with SmartProtect. Once again, I wanted to beat the $40 threshold for free shipping (damn you SmartPak and your marketing!) so I investigated other options. After checking with a SmartPak rep that giving two supplements with low doses of Vitamin C was okay, I also put him on SmartOmega3. L. Williams has had a lot of success with this supplement. Also when I was working at SmartPak when SmartOmega 3 was being developed, the supplement manager had nothing but overwhelming positive things to say about horses and Omega 3’s.
I’ll report back and see if there is any difference in 30 days of these supplements. It’s worth a try. I’ll be specifically looking for reduction of fungus, any sarcoid shrinking or no new sarcoids developing, the status of his runny nose, and if his various bites/scrapes heal any faster. We’ll see. It’s a bit ambiguous but I feel like something is slightly off with his overall health.
Have you had any overwhelming success (or failure) with a specific supplement? I’m curious if they all just “kinda” help or REALLY help.