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View Full Version : Perfect Prep Questions- is it USEF Legal and safe?



SUET1999
May. 4, 2010, 12:17 PM
Giving some thought to using Perfect Prep for my horse. He is generally an "excited" horse and a few people have recommended using Perfect Prep to help ease his apprehension.

Just wondering if anyone has ever used this product before, their thoughts on the product and if it really is USEF legal with regards to drug testing. Appreciate any insight people may have.

BAC
May. 4, 2010, 12:20 PM
I've never used it but our local tack shop sells tons of it and part of its popularity is because it apparently is legal.

RockinHorse
May. 4, 2010, 12:28 PM
There is a difference between being legal and testing.

findeight
May. 4, 2010, 12:32 PM
If you give your horse any substance to alter it's behavior, as in calm it? Not legal.

Tack shop may sell alot of it for unrated shows that don't test or other unregulated competitions.

Whether it shows up in the current blood and urine? No idea-but that forbidden substance list changes all the time. Call USEF and read them the label of ingredients-if there isn't one? It's a risk.

BAC
May. 4, 2010, 12:35 PM
There is a difference between being legal and testing.

Yes I know, I have been told it is legal, although I don't know that for a fact.

SmileItLooksGoodOnYou
May. 4, 2010, 12:37 PM
My understanding is that it's an herbal thing....

I don't think it'll test as of today, but I wouldn't say it's "legal" to alter the behavior of your horse with a tube of paste.

Does it work? I've seen it used on horses where it's moderately useful, and where it did nothing at all.

It's almost like giving banamine to a colicy horse. If that horse is really painful it wears off really fast, if they're not so painful it takes way longer for the drug to wear off. So the wilder the horse is the less it does for them.

I wouldn't use it... but I have two bay geldings that need zero prep and do the jumpers usually. If someone had a super hot chestnut mare they were trying to show as a hunter I could see someone having a different tune.

findeight
May. 4, 2010, 12:41 PM
Unless they list the contents? You cannot know what is in it and I would not accept assurances "it won't test".

Just ask some of our biggest Jumper names about feeding a supplement that "won't test". About 12 years ago now...quite embarrassing.

DMK
May. 4, 2010, 12:44 PM
If you give your horse any substance to alter it's behavior, as in calm it? Not legal.

Easy to say, harder to draw the line and create a rule that actually works.

I "give" my horses a fairly well thought out concoction on a daily basis with the intended effect of keeping them calmer. I have specifically added this item with the primary goal of keeping my horses calmer than they would otherwise be without it. It has some othe benefits, but make no mistake, my INTENTION is clear.

Is it legal?

Does it test?

Final question, anyone want to take a guess as to what it is?

(hint, you can't find it in Dover, but you can find it in Wal Mart and feed stores).

SUET1999
May. 4, 2010, 01:01 PM
Appreciate the responses. I should be clear, as my post comes off misleading. I am not looking to alter him for shows as that is clearly illegal and certainly NOT what I am looking to achieve. My horse is on nothing other than grass and grain-I don't even allow my horse to have mints or sugar :)

He is hot at home. I don't want people to have the impression that he is not in a working routine as he is. I work him hard, long turnout, lowered food and it was suggested that I change his routine maintenance program with perfect prep to help him. Some days he can be good, other days he is just flat out hot. He is not young, so this isn't a green thing or mileage.

My concern is two fold with perfect prep or something like it : 1.is perfect prep effective and safe for him and 2. should he be USEF drug tested would he be clean with perfect prep in his system as used as part of a daily maintenance.

KristieBee
May. 4, 2010, 01:09 PM
i have a horse that is a bit hypervigilant and add - supplements with magnesium and vitamin b are very effective for him. that is the main factor behind perfect prep. however, for what it's worth - my horse was actually jittery on it - even on three scoops of it. but does amazingly well on half a scoop of dynamite's easy boy. every horse is different but i've tried many brands, quiesscence, smartcalm, and perfect prep....but for my horse, dynamites easy boy is by far the best. i give smartcalm second place. fwiw, we were tested last year on smartcalm (before i switched to easy boy) and came out fine. it's my understanding that because these are naturally occurring minerals and amino acids in the horse's body it's pretty hard to test for them.

on one hand it's wrong to give your horse something to alter his behavior - on the other, our soils are deficient in many things and feeding our stalled horses hay, as we must do, does deprive them of the natural herbal selection and variety they'd give their own bodies if they were grazing in the wild. so maybe we're not 'altering' them - maybe we're putting them back in better balance, giving them something their diets lack? just a thought.

after seeing the effect the mag/vite b supps have on my horse, i now take them too! i sleep better, am more focused, and i feel so much less anxious. am i deliberately calming myself down? you bet. lol. is it totally natural? yep.

SUET1999
May. 4, 2010, 01:17 PM
I actually just started Vitamin B for myself as well!! ;)

Sleepy
May. 4, 2010, 01:18 PM
DMK, I'm betting it's sunflower seeds - high in both magnesium and B-1. It also makes them shiny and waterproof.

KristieBee
May. 4, 2010, 01:19 PM
I'll reiterate the point i made in the joint supplements thread: not all minerals and supplements are created equal. be sure the minerals are chelated - ie bound with protein amino acids. or your horse will be peeing out more than it's absorbing. and you'll have nice, calm shavings.

KristieBee
May. 4, 2010, 01:21 PM
I actually just started Vitamin B for myself as well!! ;)

haha yay! one note - it can REALLY make you hungry. so if you start having a raging appetite, the B can be the culprit. i tend to take more magnesium (and manganese, btw) than B for that reason. same effect, less snackishness! :lol:

SUET1999
May. 4, 2010, 01:21 PM
Excellent point- hence why I never put him on an supplements :)

SUET1999
May. 4, 2010, 01:29 PM
I'm going attribute those pesty few pounds to that!! :)

DMK
May. 4, 2010, 01:58 PM
DMK, I'm betting it's sunflower seeds - high in both magnesium and B-1. It also makes them shiny and waterproof.


Same idea, but they went up in price so it's just ... vegetable oil. Yes, I (oh the horrors) explicitly feed my horses a high fat diet to keep them calm. I do it for a lot of other reasons, but really, can't the same be said for dex? ;)

Honestly, a rule is only as good as its ability to be understood by rational people and enforced by (one hopes) rational people. It's all fine and well to say something like "you can't give a horse any substance with the intent to make it calm" or even "any herbal with the intent to make it calm" unless you can define "anything" or even "herbal" in a way people can understand it and comply with it. My feed has herbs in it, fer chrissake! That feed is high fat. I feed that brand of feed in part because it is a high calorie/high fat feed that I can stuff to my hard keeper and keep him in good weight without having him in full blown psychotic orbit.

Am I or am I not violating the rule?

Based on a statement regarding "intent" and a loosely defined term like "substance" or "herbs" how would I know? Sorry, we have to do a better job than this. I know it's a lot like pornography, you know it when you see it, but a rule has to be more narrowly defined (i.e., say tryptophan or valerium or magnesium levels greater than X are illegal) than this unless we get to trot up to the Supreme Court to settle this sort of thing whenever we are caught.

In the real world, I'm pretty confident that I am not violating the rule or its intent. Just like I'm pretty sure most of those OTC remedies don't really work, but that is another topic. ;)

Sing Mia Song
May. 4, 2010, 05:49 PM
I personally am very leery of supplements. They are under minimal regulation, and thus have no incentive to follow Good Manufacturing Practices or quality assurance standards. The ingredients and proportions in the bucket you buy today are not necessarily the same as the bucket you bought last month or the the one you'll buy next month. Therefore, it might contain a non-testing level of a specific substance...or it might contain a level that is off the charts. Or anything in between. Without a chemical analysis, you have no real knowledge what you're giving your horse.

Also, don't be sucked in by the word "natural." There is no regulatory definition for that word (as opposed to, say, "organic," which is very specifically defined). Hemlock is natural, but it still kills you.

Midge
May. 4, 2010, 06:34 PM
As far as I am concerned, almost everything we give to show horses is to alter their behavior: I do not feed alfalfa because I had one that went batty on it. Straight timothy is generally all I feed. High fat, low starch grains, joint supplements or injections, chiropractic, massage, shoeing, depo: all to alter the way they go.

What about work schedule? Morning rides in the ring, lunging, hand walks, warm up classes are all done to alter the horse's behavior.

Once the first requirement of a show hunter was to be quiet; not a good jumper, not a good mover, not sound, but quiet being the number one necessity, almost everything done is to produce quiet. If the judging criteria won't change, the drug rules should. Allow something like ace and the need for stacking NSAIDS, multiple joint injections, etc. goes out the window.

NYCGIRL
May. 4, 2010, 08:47 PM
Perfect prep is not testable I had a horse tested and it did not come up, it is safe. I think the results depend on the individual horse. Go to the website it tells you what is in perfect prep and what it does very informative website. The website is http://www.perfectprepeq.com/perfectPrepEq.aspx. Many BNT's are using perfect prep and love it.

findeight
May. 5, 2010, 10:33 AM
Ok, went and read what is in it-like I said, never heard of it and it is not around my barn. Looks like it's fine, just, basically, a nutritional supplement to replace what standard, processed feeds may lack.

I got no problem with that as they are upfront with the ingredient lists and, at least, claim purity and consistency.

The products that worry me are those that list "proprietary formula" for ingredients. Or cite "other ingredients". Or get sloppy and allow cross contamination during processing and packaging.

There have been too many instances of things like valerian root showing up when not listed and in products claiming non testing.

I think you are fine with this one.

whbar158
May. 5, 2010, 10:44 AM
I have used it on a tense TB who wasn't really wild (like run around bucking wild) just tense and it really helped tons for her. I think it works best on those that are tense and just need to take a deep breath and relax, not the super spooky ones. I have seen it work and not work.

SUET1999
May. 5, 2010, 10:56 AM
I have used it on a tense TB who wasn't really wild (like run around bucking wild) just tense and it really helped tons for her. I think it works best on those that are tense and just need to take a deep breath and relax, not the super spooky ones. I have seen it work and not work.

Tense. Thats the perfect word to describe him. What you describe is what I am dealing with. He isn't naughty, but I can feel him tense and not able to relax. I keep a super soft bit in his mouth and be soft and patient but he just can't fully get where he needs to be. Thanks for sharing your experience

SimonandGus
May. 6, 2010, 03:30 PM
I've seen horses respond well to this, and no affect on some others. I've have seen many use this at shows, and at home, and are very satisfied with the results it has on their horses. I don't see this as something that would be illegal, because as Midge said, everything we do is to alter behavior. Even training is altering a horse's behavior, and also physical things like joint injections. I definitely think this product is worth a try for the horse you describe. Good Luck!

Showpony
May. 8, 2010, 06:16 PM
As far as I am concerned, almost everything we give to show horses is to alter their behavior: I do not feed alfalfa because I had one that went batty on it. Straight timothy is generally all I feed. High fat, low starch grains, joint supplements or injections, chiropractic, massage, shoeing, depo: all to alter the way they go.

What about work schedule? Morning rides in the ring, lunging, hand walks, warm up classes are all done to alter the horse's behavior.

Once the first requirement of a show hunter was to be quiet; not a good jumper, not a good mover, not sound, but quiet being the number one necessity, almost everything done is to produce quiet. If the judging criteria won't change, the drug rules should. Allow something like ace and the need for stacking NSAIDS, multiple joint injections, etc. goes out the window.

I AGREE!! Horses are not generally, by nature, as quiet as they need to be to be show hunters. Trying to get them that quiet without meds is what breaks them down.

Ghazzu
May. 8, 2010, 06:20 PM
I AGREE!! Horses are not generally, by nature, as quiet as they need to be to be show hunters. Trying to get them that quiet without meds is what breaks them down.

If you posit that statement as true, the thing to do is change the criteria by which they are judged, not medicate the animal or LTD...

TryMyRules
May. 8, 2010, 08:05 PM
I don't know if this has been mentioned before as I haven't read the posts...BUT...
I would recommend using it at home before using it at shows. A pony at my barn had an adverse reaction to it. This pony isn't hot per say, but she's up and could use a little something to help her rider work her down quicker. So they tried perfect prep at home and the pony essentially had a bad drug trip. She isn't a stopper, but she stopped multiple times. Stopped and ran BACKWARDS from the jump like something was going to come out and eat her. Her eyes were bugged and rolling around...a couple hours later after the drugs wore off, she went back to normal.
The horse I ride had no difference at all, and a third horse at the barn it works great on. So it really depends horse to horse.

bellboots
May. 8, 2010, 08:14 PM
I tried it and I'm not sure how it made my horse feel - he did some REALLY weird and SERIOUSLY abnormal things that day. I think it was the PP as everything else was the same. Maybe he was seeing big, neon butterflies and mushrooms coming at him?

That being said, I'm not sure it's worth the weirdness to try it again.

whbar158
May. 9, 2010, 09:38 AM
It is a good idea to try it before a show, I had a mare that would go bonkers on Quietex, ok so she was crazy without it too, but when we gave it to her she was even crazier.

SaturdayNightLive
May. 9, 2010, 10:55 AM
I AGREE!! Horses are not generally, by nature, as quiet as they need to be to be show hunters. Trying to get them that quiet without meds is what breaks them down.

Not sure I agree with this. I have known many many hunters that did just fine with absolutely zero prep. If you have to lunge everything in the barn to death or load them all up on calming supplements, I think something may be wrong with your program, not your horses.

I'm not saying that there aren't horses out there that are just naturally high energy, but I don't think saying that ALL horses aren't quiet enough for the hunters is accurate.

whbar158
May. 9, 2010, 12:49 PM
I think trainers sometimes create a problem, the horse is a little hot, so they ride it down or lunge but over time the horse gets fitter and is harder to get quiet and so on. I don't think it is just the judging either, clients often do not want a hotter horse now, but they still want to win. When I watch the ones that are really good are often a little hotter (it gives the that sharpness for the good jump). I think it is a combination of judging and people who want to win but not really into learning how to ride the hotter rides and learn to finesse.

Lucassb
May. 9, 2010, 01:07 PM
Not sure I agree with this. I have known many many hunters that did just fine with absolutely zero prep. If you have to lunge everything in the barn to death or load them all up on calming supplements, I think something may be wrong with your program, not your horses.

I'm not saying that there aren't horses out there that are just naturally high energy, but I don't think saying that ALL horses aren't quiet enough for the hunters is accurate.

Totally agree with this.

I could take either of mine right off the truck into the hunter ring and still have to kick. They are just naturally quiet and laid back - qualities I looked for when I bought them.

I don't have the desire to be out there doing the LTD thing every morning, not to mention I like to keep mine sound and happy, and having to routinely pound on them to get them quiet puts their happiness and soundness at risk over the long term. I'm not saying a brief longe to get the friskies out on an unusually cold or windy day is the end of the world, but IMO it shouldn't be something you need to do on a regular basis.

Summit Springs Farm
May. 9, 2010, 03:55 PM
I've used it at horseshows and really didn't see a difference, also its expensive $20 tube, the routine I was told to use it was one tube in the am and one tube an hour before the class.
so thats $40 for PP per day, wasn't worth it to us.

Showpony
May. 10, 2010, 09:35 PM
[QUOTE=
I'm not saying that there aren't horses out there that are just naturally high energy, but I don't think saying that ALL horses aren't quiet enough for the hunters is accurate.[/QUOTE]

This is the quote I was agreeing with/commenting on "Once the first requirement of a show hunter was to be quiet; not a good jumper, not a good mover, not sound, but quiet being the number one necessity, almost everything done is to produce quiet. If the judging criteria won't change, the drug rules should. Allow something like ace and the need for stacking NSAIDS, multiple joint injections, etc. goes out the window."
I never said ALL horses aren't quiet enough. I said generally speaking. I think it would be easier to change drug rules than to change judging (and the quote says "If the judging criteria won't change"), but neither will happen so it's neither here nor there. And I am not a trainer and don't really show (other than a few in hand shows) so it doesn't even really apply to me, but I have seen and heard what plenty of show horses go through to get ring ready and the long term results. JMO :)

SaturdayNightLive
May. 11, 2010, 09:32 AM
I never said ALL horses aren't quiet enough. I said generally speaking. I think it would be easier to change drug rules than to change judging.

The day that it becomes necessary to drug the majority of horses in the hunters is the day that I find a new sandbox to play in. And I don't agree that it's "quiet" that is rewarded so much as "mannerly". Western pleasure horses are "quiet". I don't think you can really describe anything that is jumping 3'6" fences and clipping around on a 13' stride as "quiet". Requiring that horses don't buck in the corners isn't requiring "quiet", it is simply requiring that the horse not be so obviously disobedient.

If your horse does not fit the ideal being looked for in the division, then find a new division. Don't try to force a square peg into a round hole with drugs.

Showpony
May. 11, 2010, 11:05 AM
A good deal (if not the majority) of rated level show horses are "drugged" for comfort and/or quieting reasons and lunged. Just the way it is. Not saying it's right or wrong. Every situation is different.

It's about more than not bucking in the corners and the obvious disobediences. It's getting a horse in the excitement of a show and not being able to be turned out to relax and be slow across the ground and over the jumps while still having a 13' stride and jumping 3'6" jumps.

If the square peg is super fancy people will try to force it into a round hole. Just the way it is. Not saying it's right.

Hunter Mom
May. 11, 2010, 12:15 PM
We used to feed corn oil to help them have prettier coats. Worked great. Didn't know it calmed them down, too. Of course, they were crazy ASBs and Arabs. :)

Diva98
May. 11, 2010, 04:54 PM
I had a mare that colicked every time she went into heat until we started corn oil in her food. No idea why it worked but it did. It also gave her a gorgeous coat. She was pretty mellow to begin with, so I didn't see any added benefit in that way.

Marcella
May. 12, 2010, 12:21 AM
$20 per tube? Why the HECK can't I think of something with some fancy junk in it with cool words like proprietary and chelated? I'll sell it for $19.99. And throw in a sham wow free!

Why am I always that last rat to board the ship?...

I really think this stuff is snake oil. My perception is that the rider just feels better that their horse will be calm, so they calm down, and therefore the horse is calm. A stiff drink can also have the same effect.

AdagioWA
May. 12, 2010, 01:02 PM
I use Perfect Prep for my strongwilled confident mare. We did a trial run (the powder at home for one month) and I was sure that it would not work. Well, I just went and bought another 10 lbs of the powder, so I am a believer. My mare is not hot or hyper, but set in her ways. The Perfect Prep makes it a little easier for me to convince her that maybe my way is not so bad.

We also used the tubes at a recent show, but I don't know if that had an impact. She was great at the show, but that could just be due to the normal show prep.