I have always been a little skeptical of supplements. Meaning I wasn’t really sure if they worked. I knew that some with certain minerals and vitamins did their jobs and that everyone was using them, but I didn’t trust all those weight gain, joint health, and other concoctions claiming to do something. That isn’t to say that none of my horses weren’t on supplements, because they were. Both of the mares have been on SmartPaks for almost as long as we have had them.
So why was I so doubtful if both of our horses were on them? It started with Angel. When we first bought her, she was a bit of a wild child to say the least. My mom ended up choosing a calming supplement to help ease her nerves and anxiety along with a coat health supplement. I am not really sure how much good it did, but my mom thought so and she stayed on it for a while. As the years went on and I began showing more, the calming supplement was riding the blurry line of being “show legal”. We decided to take her off of it to be safe and see how her disposition would change. It didn’t. That was when I realized that I wasn’t too sure if it was worth the hype. Strike one.
Flash forward to when I started leasing Ax. His previous owner had him on Horse Health Products Joint Combo Hoof & Coat supplement. After talking with someone whom I greatly value their opinion, I decided to take him off of the supplement and see how he was. If there was any negative reaction to being off of it, I would put him right back on. I wasn’t surprised when there was no change. Strike two.
Now, two years later, I am waiting to see if I hit a third strike by putting Ax on a new supplement. I started to notice this fall that he was coming out a little stiff compared to his usual springy gaits. Since he is getting into his mid-teens and were starting to do more over fences work, I was kind of expecting it. After a few months of contemplation, comparing, researching, and a SmartPak Academy session, I decided to try a supplement. I settled on SmartFlex® Senior Herb-Free and he began his maintenance dose the first week of January.
It has been over a month now and I am not ready to give my final verdict, yet. I know these things take time and the reaction may not be huge and immediate. As I enter month two, I am feeling pretty confident with my decision and Ax seems to be happy. So far, so good.
To be continued…