Saturday, September 3, 2011

The supplement obsession

Raise your hand if you've ever seen a sale on SmartPak and gone "oh, I'd like to try that on my horse. It has 300 some good reviews and now it's on sale." *raises hand*

There's just something about SmartPak's that call to me. It's like magic. I have successfully managed to keep Digby's SmartPak small. He's been on Farriers Formula since I got him. He also got Smart Bug Off in the summers (worked in NY, didn't do much this summer so he won't get it again) and Apple-a-Day electrolyte because he doesn't drink a lot which worries me in the summer heat. When I moved back to PA, I put him on Smart Combo, which is a multi-purpose supplement that's supposed to help joint, hoof, coat and digestion. I actually only put him on it because I thought he might benefit from a joint supplement and it was cheaper to buy the Smart Combo vs buying him Smart Flex and Farrier's Formula. Now he's on Smart Hoof (kept him on that because it was in the Smart Combo and I wanted to continue him on it to see if it helped) and Smart Pak's MSM to help keep inflammation down in that funky hoof of his. This one is studied so I believe it probably does work at least a little plus it's 8 bucks a month. Ok, so I drink four less energy drinks or coffees than I normally would and it's paid for. Long story short, even with these two items, I am constantly sent SmartPak e-mails try this, try that, 20% off sale! It makes me very, very tempted to try half a million things. I usually get super excited for a day and then the next day come back to earth. With that being said, I'm not loving the Smart Hoof that he's been on for months now and was browsing the hoof supplements. You need to wait several months for hoof supplements to tell because the hoof needs to grow in. His hooves have been growing in sloooow, super dry with lots of cracking going on. It might be because he was on stall rest and hooves tend to grow less with less movement but either way, I'm not pleased. There's about half a million to choose from just involving the hoof alone. While I'm browsing, I'm debating, do I put him on Smart Omega 3? It's supposed to help keep the body in an anti-inflammatory state with it's lots of Omega 3s and it's only $13. What about Smart Sox? It's supposed to be good for horses with heel pain and Digby doesn't like it when I touch his heels. Oooh, here's Recovery Eq! It's supposed to be good for horses with navicular and it has lots of good stuff in it.

Of course, everything costs money so by the time I'm thinking about all these products, Digby's "small" SmartPak has escalated to over a hundred dollars. Easily. Not acceptable for a free horse. Which brings me to another point, is it necessary? Sure, I'd love to give my horse all the best things and make him fat and happy and comfortable. Who wouldn't? But is that $49 a month spent on Smart Sox worth it? Or what about the much cheaper $13 Smart Omega 3? Is it going to actually help? There's not scientific research on the majority of the supplements out there, if any. It may help some horses, it may not help others. If I had a million bucks, I'd probably do some more research. I'd like to think that the grain I'm feeding has all the nutritional requirements Digby needs so, for now, I'm going to leave it at that. He does have a new hoof supplement (because biotin, the main ingredient in hoof supplements, HAS been proven to improve hoof growth and quality) which comes in a nice bucket which I'll scoop out myself and put into containers and take to the barn for the barn staff to feed along with his grain. He'll also be getting MSM because it's also been proven to help with inflammation (and apparently help with hooves in some cases too!) and it's so cheap that I couldn't validate not giving him it. I'm not getting the buckets from SmartPak though just to avoid the temptation. Hopefully in a few months, Digby will have stronger, tougher hooves then he currently does!

I swear, SmartPaks might as well be chocolate cake...


  1. less is more when it comes to supplements! if it was up to me dino wouldn't be on any... but his demented little body says differently. thankfully smartpak also has lots of fun tack and things. :)

  2. amen! i know... if digby had no problems, he wouldnt be on any. but he has crappy feet and just requires a hoof one. and i did like the farriers formula a lot but its $$$. who knows, maybe we'll go back to it in 6 months if this one doesn't work out! haha and now its sooo tempting to try lots because he REALLY has hoof problems

  3. We just bought horses and were trying to determine if we needed to put them on hoof supplements. Both are in really good health so from what I am getting here I probably don't need to. Right?