Feed/supplements 10yoOTTB Update - great results! #44
2/22 - see my post today, below...
So I try to approach this rationally, but get confused the more I look at brochures, read suggestions. Not sure what is a priority. What really works... Sorry this is long, and appreciate your plowing through it all... I have been getting advice from a mishmash of former knows-all-the-drugsandsupplements barn owners, and those who prefer to use nothing. But I'm in between, so need help!
I know my horse's former trainer from the track. There she said they used Platinum Performance Plus CJ and recommends it highly. He really looked great. Hooves look great in track photos. Was retired at age 7 after racing for 4 years in good company at Belmont/Saratoga. Expected to be sound for his next career - just didn't want to push him any further for racing. I haven't used the Platinum Performance yet.
Had him retired to my friend's boarding facility, but he had a few issues. I took him on a year and a half ago. Had thorough vetting by a lameness specialist, since he was a tough ride - frequent bucking, quirky cantering. Diagnosed with kissing spine, some arthritis in his LF ankle, and "hocky". Prescribed isoxuprine and Vitamin E. Thought maybe hock injections might be a good idea down the road. We found later that a Naproxen daily makes a big difference when he was kicked in the pasture, and he was a new horse when given Bute.
Moved him to full pasture board this past spring, found a wonderful visiting trainer (who is in Aiken for the winter, though :sadsmile:) and we're moving well forward. I think the pasture board/constant movement has been a huge help physically, and attitude suppressor. He has also learned to pay attention now to his new job, rather than wig out when he feels like exploding. To me, this had certainly been brought on more by feeling good, than feeling pain. And with my trainer, we have had a couple of CTJ moments, which have resulted in greatly improved trust, respect, and rideability!
My concerns are: 1)hoof growth, 2)ulcers, 3)arthritis/joints, and 4)improved overall condition.
In addition to full pasture, and great quality hay grown here (immediate farms are high end hay producers) he gets Safechoice Original. Is on the Isoxuprene, and a small dose of Naproxen 1x daily. I took him off the Vitamin E once he moved to full pasture board. He has been on Biotin 800 since November 2011.
He HATES flies, and that, in addition to a terrible farrier job this past summer, ruined his feet, although he has always had less than desirable feet. Have a new farrier who is right there for any issues. We put aluminum plates on him this fall and I had applied a hoof oil almost daily. Removed his shoes this winter, and I've been using Keratex for a few weeks. Was just trimmed last week. Feet are growing in well, but not outstanding. But good for him.
As far as the initial vet exam is concerned, I don't think his kissing spine is really an issue at this time. I purchased a custom saddle and have played around with saddle pads, and observations have been he goes equally well with/without a rider. Have not yet given him injections. But I can see when doing his back feet, that he can be a bit ouchy in his hocks. I would like to add some glucosamine/chondroitin to his diet, so have been looking at overall supplements. And also wondering if the Biotin 800 is enough for his hooves, or if I'm missing something else, or should change hoof supplements.
Finally, he has always been girthy, and we wondered if he has an ulcer problem. Know he had them at the track. But last year at this time, I paid for a month of Gastrogard, and it didn't change much. Turns out he did have awful teeth - they've now been done twice this past year by a specialist, and fine. I know the ibuprofen is not a good idea with any tendency towards ulcers. But I think the full time pasture board has helped any possible stomach issues also. But have thought about doing the pop rocks?
Additionally, I added SmartPak Bugoff at the end of the summer until winter. Not sure if it was the supplement, fly spray, or just being out 24/7, but his coat was really bleached out and just kind of bleh. I have bought a fly sheet for him, and will be using it consistently on him this summer. But not sure how to keep the dam* flies off his legs with the warmer weather coming up (some day...? :)).
Oh, and my goal! Trying to get him to begin eventing. We are still working on getting the canter going smoothly (which, by the way, is much better outside), but with the weather, then my getting sick, starting a business, then his just being trimmed and ouchy for a few days, and finally the BO putting a bunch of equipment in the indoor :sigh: - I've not really been able to get a regular routine of working on it. I had hoped to ride him 4x a week, but until recently had only managed 2x. Now, stuff in the indoor or not ;), I'm determined to ride him 4x!
Would one of the overall SmartPak/Platinum Performance supplements be a good idea, and keep using the Biotin 800? Or replace the Biotin 800 with one of the Hoof Supplements?
Is Platinum Performance Plus CJ too much for a horse just being ridden 4x a week? Would I have to have a hoof supplement with that?
I am a rerider from "the old days" and all these supplements have my head spinning. Plus, I don't have unlimited funds. I think the 24/7 turnout and great hay is key. But I would like to add something for his joints/arthritis issues. Thus considering the glucosamine/chondroitin.
One final note. He is fairly lazy. Or really fast. Right now in the winter, he is being lazy, but steps it up when working on cantering, which I'm just trying to get him comfortable and relaxed with. I don't want to overdo until I know I'm addressing these issues. Taking my time warming him up, use a Back-on-Track sheet for a half hour before riding. Knock on wood, he hasn't been lame all winter, just a little ouchy after his last hoof trim - pretty frozen ground outside, but he's a careful fellow.
Thanks for hanging in there with my long diatribe. Appreciate any advice/ideas! :yes: