|Is this a dressage move I don't know about? Kicking pirouette into medium trot?|
Penn had been on the following for most of the time I've had him: a feed through joint supplement and some kind of calmer to try and combat his stall walking (he walks a ring into his stall that would mean his stall gets stripped almost daily), and also to combat his trailering nerves. I tried a lot of things: Quiessence, Total Calm and Focus, Mare Magic (purchased as a generic, aka a bag of organic raspberry leaves from smile.Amazon.com), Zylkene.
I kept him on Total Calm and Focus the longest because it worked the best on his "stable nerves" (stall walking, nervousness in the cross ties that resulted in diarrhea, etc), but didn't really negate his trailer nerves. I bought the 180 supply from smile.Amazon.com because it was the best price per day I could find.
I should also state that Penn sees a non-local chiropractor every 8-9 weeks. He started seeing this guy in Nov/Dec 2017. He's the only one that has made Penn's hips level at the end of an adjustment. Chiro's adjustments actually hold until the next adjustment now, it's so nice. This guy does adjustments and then vit-B acupuncture type injections into the areas that get adjustments (it helps the adjustments hold).
|Hips so even. They're still even now too!|
I started Penn on Adequan twice a year starting last year. I buy the 10 dose bottle and give him 5 injections 4 days apart in spring, and then repeat that 6 months later. It's not the 7 doses the company recommends, but Penn is young and relatively undamaged, so I think we can get away with this for now. It make me feel better that I'm doing something to support his joints, and it's cheaper per year than my favorite feed through, Doc's OCD.
Muscle and Gut and Calming: (because they've become intertwined in this narrative)
Upon starting training with GP Trainer, I found Penn had trouble building the strength to do the work. I gave him 4-5 months to build new strength before deciding to see if I could help him out.
I mentioned in passing about Penn's trailering problems- diarrhea and then he goes off his feed while he's away too. GP Trainer is sponsored by Uckele, so she recommended one of their products (with her personal reusable coupon code!)
Penn carried on with the above supplements for a while. He was pretty grouchy, he still stall walked despite the Total Calm (though it did help some), and he wasn't holding weight. He has a very strenuous training and travel life.
At this point, I ponied up and got him a round of Omeprazole. Abba Vet Supply compounds their own product at a really fabulous price (I got 45-10mL doses for $224 in 15-30mL tubes). You need a vet RX to get it, and they don't offer it on their website (you have to call), but they're easy to deal with and fast. Before anyone goes high and mighty on me for using a compounded generic, I've heard from numerous human medical professionals that we overdose horses on omeprazole (but of course not enough that it hurts the horse). Abba's product is supposed to have the same 2.28g of omeprazole as brand name, but it also has ranitidine. There was also a study that said horses had the same healing from a full dose, half dose, and quarter dose. This means that even if the full dose of the compounded generic didn't have the full 2.28g, it should still be effective. Plus, if that didn't work, I'd chalk it up to lost money on a failed experiment and just pony up for the real thing. It's not the first time I've used this particular compound, so I anticipated it working. I opted to do 21 days of 10mL (full dose), followed by 21 days of 5mL.
The results: It did work. Very well. Penn started eating all of his hay. He ate his grain better too. 99% of his stable nerves vanished. His stall walking was reduced by day 10, and by the end, it had vanished majority of the time. He still gets worked up every now and then and trashes his stall, but he's so much better. He had a softer look in his eye by day 7. People who didn't know he was being treated said, "Wow, he looks really relaxed now. What'd you do?" He's still grouchy about having his belly brushed, and the saddle/girth, but I think that might just be him.
So this will probably be a yearly thing I do for him, or maybe just when his stall walking dramatically increases. I give 5mL doses the day before travel and each day of travel. Another plus? I dropped his Total Calm and Focus and he stayed relatively the same in personality. He's a little more unfocused under saddle, but that's no problem. He's still considered a green baby, and I can to work through that.
Total Blood Fluids Muscle
Penn continued to just have trouble with strength and stamina. He'd wear out quickly. Not unusual for the amount of work he's doing, but it still bothered me that 6 months in, he wasn't feeling fully better. I decided to try another muscle supplement and really liked the overall idea of this one (muscle-blood builder-electrolytes), and since I just stopped the Total Calm, I could get this instead (since they're both stupid expensive).
Smartlytes Pellets & Grand Vite
This is where I got mathy. Smartpak has this awesome comparison tool that breaks down everything in the products so you can compare what has what and how much of it. I put the breakdown for Total BFM into Excel and got cracking on how to "make it myself" using other (preferably pelleted) supplements. I put Total Calm and Focus into the comparison as well to see if I could help Penn's focus a bit too.
Adding these two supplements got me super close. Of the 75 various vitamins/minerals/compounds in his original supplement group, I was able to replicate 64 of them at the same or greater value, and only one was missing entirely:
The one missing entirely, Creatine, is in his Manna Pro Ration Balancer, so I'm not concerned about that. The best part is that the electrolyte and vitamin together are cheaper than Total BFM, and he'll eat both of them! I did put both of them in his Smartpak because the Smartlytes are cheapest in that form, and I didn't want to have to scoop his Grand Vite and G.U.T. powder into baggies (and I loathe powder in baggies). I figured this is already cheaper than what I was doing before, so I'll suck it up and keep the Smartpaks which also let me stagger the cost throughout the year and save time.
He's been feeling full of energy since I made the switch- he's got a lot more stamina, even in the heat. I'm sure that's due to the electrolyte, but he feels physically good too. I'm very pleased with the new combination.
So there you have it.
- G.U.T. Paste (when traveling)
- Omeprazole/Ranitidine (when traveling, possibly a yearly treatment)
- Adequan (10 doses per year)
- SmartMuscle Recovery Pellets (daily)
- G.U.T. Powder (daily)
- Smartlytes Pellets (daily)
- Grand Vite (daily)
And this is the closest I will get to adding all of that up in a cost per year. Ack!
|Funny baby horse gets all the things since I ask a ton of him.|
I'm sure some of you are looking at this list going, "OMG she's fucking crazy." So what all do you guys do?