I have recently become much more conscious of my horse's diet. A month ago his Insulin came back high confirming my dread that he is another IR horse. I found out my mother had been feeding him a little sweet feed against my wishes. He's nearly an idle horse, especially in the winter. He doesn't need grain. He just needs some vities. We tested our hay, and what we had been feeding was like 28% sugars and starches. Found a field of hay that we didn't have to soak that he would eat at 8% (thank you GOD).
Also, he had been eating dirt so we tested his Selenium and it's low, so we need to add that. We had been feeding Chromium Yeast and Magnesium, but what's the point of adding a scoop from four bags. Did some research, decided to try D-Carb Balancer which covers what we were feeding in vitamins, Chromium Yeast, Magnesium, covers my vet's recommendation for Selenium level and Vitamin E. GREAT! SmartPak's supplement comparison charts are a great tool.
Through research found that glucosamine in the Cosequine might trigger the IR too, so pulled that. Decided to add a little ground flax seed as an alternative to the BOSS he gets for the fat, and for some flavor (he loves it). Mom suggests (so I don't have to make a special stop at the whole foods for the flax seed) that we try a flax supplement instead. So, I research that. It is 1 cent a day cheaper than what I've been doing and can be mail ordered with the SmartPak, so this is worth considering for convenience sake. BUT, it also has some Selenium and Magnesium etc.
SO, as an obsessive responsible horse owner, I consider doing the math. Exactly how does .72 parts per million in 2 Oz daily dose of Selenium work out in Milligrams to compare to the other? UUUGGGHHHHH. I have work to do (despite the fact that I'm taking the time to vent on a BB) and I cannot wrap my head around this tidbit of math and science right now. Why cannot they standardize this crap? And, do I really believe them that this flax supplement contains 4.4% NSC? Of course NOT how could I trust them? (Thank you Katy Watts for championing that cause which would not have mattered to me a month ago)
Sure, I've heard it said that supplements are a waste of money, but my mother's horse (who is on an identical program) has been uncharacteristically frisking around like a nut this week which is a great reward for all the study and effort. Why can't it be easier? I'm sure there are thousands of others out there who are also obsessing over their supplements and a Mg of this and a Mg of that, so I know I'm not alone. Vent over.... At least I board at my Mom's so I don't have to worry that my baggies full of research and money are being dumped in the trash every day by an inconsiderate barn staff.
::If I was wrong don't you think I would know it?::