Monday, July 17, 2017

The Supplement Game: A Blog Hop

This blog hop is right up my alley; I've been enjoying feeding my horses myself, and they do get supplements (though I am trying to keep it simple). I'll lay out what I feed and what I supplement with. Here are some folks who are also jumping on the bandwagon - or started it:

Feed wise, I am a Purina person. It's always been available where I've been, and I've had nothing but good results. Foxie and Arya, being hard keeper OTTBs, get Purina Ultium, while Bailey recently got swapped over to Purina Strategy Healthy Edge. I was feeding her the Senior Active, but since it's lower calories and is usually the same price as Ultium, I decided I either needed to find something cheaper with less calories, or I needed to just keep her on Ultium, too.

Purina® Ultium® Competition Horse FormulaPurina® Strategy® Healthy Edge® Horse Feed
Ultium is 1900 calories per pound, and with a reasonable NSC, it's my go-to for hard keepers. It costs about .48/lb to feed. Strategy Healthy edge is 1300 calories per lb and has a slightly higher NSC. It costs about .38/lb to feed.

Supplement wise, I've gone off smartpaks since coming home. Foxie has been on a host of supplements over the years, but the one that everyone gets is MSM. Foxie has left powder behind before, so she gets pellets, and the other two don't seem to leave anything behind so they've been getting powder/granules- in part because it was a cheap way to get free shipping and I'd use it. Pellets are .26/day to feed (one scoop) and the granules are about .11/day to feed (one scoop).  The pellets are a bit pricy, so I'm planning to see if I can swap Foxie over to granules and have her get enough. I could double dose her at the same cost that way. Arya has had some swelling, so she's been getting a double dose of MSM this week, but I will try to price off the baseline and not deal with all of my little adjustments.


Arya is also getting Mare Magic; I tried it for Bailey and didn't think it helped her, but I think it does kind of take the edge off of Arya. Maybe. It's .25/day so we shall see.

 Arya came with a sample of TractGuard and while she got it for about a week and a half, she's naturally such a good drinker that the electrolytes were causing her to pee constantly. She's a good eater, too, so I've been trusting the slow feeders to keep her tummy filled and ulcer-free.

The only other supplement I give regularly is Foxie's Equiox. I'm excited that there is now an on-label rx for Foxie's meds (she was previously getting Previcox prescribed off-label, as they are dog pills), and they cost a few cents less per pill, too, which is nice. Foxie gets one pill a day to manage the pain from her suspensory injury; 1.28/day. As of yesterday, I've been giving Foxie the TractGuard, as she seems dehydrated as it's been so hot. It was free, so might as well try!

The girls have slow feed nets in Hay Hoops in their stalls, which I fill with grass or grass/alf hay each night. They are currently out on pasture from 5:30am - 8pm or so, which I supplement with hay, as, due to some property problems, we can't use any of the other pastures due to hidden and horrible holes. We're planning to rest the pasture for a few weeks (and to spray down the weeds) so the girls will probably be getting a round bale to eat on during the day instead of pasture.

So, to feed them their grainfoods and supplements, here's the breakdown:

3 lbs Ultium (.48/lb)
1 scoop MSM pellets (.26/day)
1 Equiox pill (1.28/day)
TOTAL: 2.95/day

3 lbs Ultium (.48/lb)
1 scoop mare magic (.25/day)
1 scoop MSM (.11/day)
TOTAL: 1.80/day

3 lbs Strat HE (.38/lb)
1 scoop MSM (.11/day)
TOTAL: 1.25/day

Grand total: 6.00/day

The girls eat ~1.5 bales of hay a day between inside and out, so let's add that in for kicks and giggles. I'll round it to 2, as I have some bales that cost a bit more, and some days it's more like 2 than 1. 2 3.50 bales is 7$, so 13$ total.

If we count a month as, say, 26 days, that's about $340 to feed three horses. That's less than board for 1 horse in my area, so that's not bad at all! I'm not counting shavings in this post, but I'm still hitting my stride there; I have two super messy horses and have been trying all sorts of shavings brands to find what I like. So far, I've found that the smaller the flake - or the finer the sawdust, the better. EZ Pick is a common brand, but it's expensive. I think I'm liking the bags my hubby brought home for me from the place we buy feed from, but the jury is still kind of out if they're fine enough. I'm also experimenting with how I clean stalls. Bailey, for example, poops and pees generally around the edges of her stall, and also stall walks, so mounding the shavings in the center means she only pushes out some of them, and only some become horribly soiled and gross from her walking (though the walking itself has gotten so much better since she came home). I'm trying the same method with Arya; both of them are messy and involve picking and shaking since they stir the poo in to the shavings in individual pieces so there are rarely piles to pick up whole. I get the major pieces that way, but their shavings kind of live in a baseline of "good enough" clean, since I'm not going to throw out shavings that are "darkened". I pick out pee spots religiously, and need to find something to help cut down on the pee smell, but for now... things are going pretty good.

I'll probably check in on this regularly, because it's actually been interesting, not nauseating to look at how much I spend!


  1. I like the way you did this with the price breakdowns!

    1. I wasn't sure I wanted to know at first, but so far I'm not utterly horrified at what it takes to keep 2.75 thoroughbreds (and .25 warmbloods) fed and happy.

  2. Hmm maybe I should switch Spring to Ultium...I wonder if my feed store carries it! This is such a fun blog hop!

    1. I can dig up the stats on the senior active from the purina rep I was emailing with if you'd like to compare them! I really like Ultium (blue bag, green is for growing young horses) - they have a new version with gastric support in it that I'm waiting to see show up in stores. It's spendy but it has never failed me! The fat content gives you a nice steady energy.