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  1. #1
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    Default Reverse Engineering my Mare's SmartPak

    I'm about to start a new job that will free me from an atrocious commute. However, I traded some salary for this hugely improved quality of life.

    My horse has been on the same set of supplements for nearly a year (some items much longer).

    MSM
    Farrier's Formula Double Strength
    A.B.C.'s Plus (probiotic)

    So, I am reverse-engineering mare's smartpak supplements, to see if I can buy in bulk, divvy into reusable containers myself, and save money while still keeping things convenient for my BO. And creating less trash.

    The devil is in the details, and the detail that makes this hard is shipping.

    KV Vet has free shipping and has the best price on ABC's Plus.

    It appears that SmartPak is close to the best price on the rest, but I can't make sense of the recommended maintenance dose of the Farrier's Formula Double Strength.

    And does anyone know where to find reusable plastic containers w/ ATTACHED lids to use for batching these up for my BO?

    Also, does anyone want to explain to me 1) does it matter which MSM I use? And if it matters, how can I tell which is 'best'?
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  2. #2
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    Apr. 2, 2008
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    Default

    When I made up "smartpaks" because the barn wasn't feeding the supplements to our horse, I used Ziplock snack sized bags and wrote the days of the week on them and put them in a bucket so all they had to do was reach in and grab one.

    At the end of the week I just refilled the empty ones - this also made it very easy to know which days had been missed, if any.



  3. #3
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    Default

    Why not do a "supplement holiday" and give her 90 days without them, observe carefully, then add back as needed? She might surprise you, and then you can keep the money.
    Click here before you buy.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Lori B is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Default

    I appreciate the idea, DW, but I am very hesitant to take her off the probiotic, because the last time I did, she colicked. I can't be 100% certain that there is a direct relationship between those 2 things, but it's not a bet I'm willing to make.

    In the time she's been on A.B.C.'s Plus, her coat has improved visibly -- she has hardly any scurf or dandruff when I curry her, and she has a great bloom.

    MSM appears to have at least some clinical research supporting its usefulness at reducing symptoms of arthritis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylsulfonylmethane

    She has been on Farrier's Formula for years. (5+?) In 5 years she has maybe pulled a shoe 3x, and had 2 abscesses. When she came off the track, she had what I would call not great feet. Now, farrier happy, horse not having any trouble. I think, if not broke, don't change anything?

    If anyone can recommend a cheaper substitute for Farrier's Formula, I would love to hear it. Isn't the biotin the ingredient that matters most in FF?
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  5. #5
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    Jul. 10, 2009
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    Ohio
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    176

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lori B View Post
    MSM appears to have at least some clinical research supporting its usefulness at reducing symptoms of arthritis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylsulfonylmethane

    She has been on Farrier's Formula for years. (5+?) In 5 years she has maybe pulled a shoe 3x, and had 2 abscesses. When she came off the track, she had what I would call not great feet. Now, farrier happy, horse not having any trouble. I think, if not broke, don't change anything?

    If anyone can recommend a cheaper substitute for Farrier's Formula, I would love to hear it. Isn't the biotin the ingredient that matters most in FF?

    Well, after five years you may have gotten all the good you're going to out of a hoof supplement. My previous farrier (the been around a million years type, spent years working at a track and then did sport horse shoeing) told me that the longest he'd leave a horse on a hoof supplement was a year. After that you're just making expensive urine (not a *exact*quote

    Just something to think about


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Aug. 7, 2012
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    Default

    i bet you can lower the dose of farriers formula double dose to the single dose without losing any hoof quality. Buy the farriers formula but only give 1/2 dose. Will last twice as long. 11lb bucket of FF double strength will last you 120 days and an 11 lb bucket of regular strength will only last 60 days. Its quite a deal and a sham all at the same time



  7. #7
    Lori B is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Default

    ActNatural, yep, reading the fine print, we are already doing that. :-)

    CallMeGold, I was wondering the same thing. Hmmmmm.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  8. #8
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    Default

    Coming off the track, many horses are coming from high sugar diets and not great hoof care. It's far more likely the improved feet have everything to do with better hoof care and a better diet, and little to do (now) with the FF. I'd drop that no questions asked.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
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    Default

    I buy my MSM in 10lb containers from horse.com, its the cheapest I've found. They currently have $10 off $75 and free shipping if its over $99

    http://www.horse.com/item/select-the-best-msm/E003889/

    to my knowledge, biotin is one of the more important aspects of FF, but its also the copper and zinc too. Rather than FF, I prefer Horsetech BioFlax Ultra which is 78¢ per day for 30mg biotin, rather than FF at $1.17 for 20mgs biotin

    oops sorry, link http://www.horsetech.com/bioflax-ultra.html
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present. It steals your joy and keeps you very busy doing absolutely nothing at all... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.



  10. #10
    Lori B is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    buck22, that would work if I were going to buy anything else from horse.com. MSM is pretty easy to get good deals on, since it doesn't have 3,156 different ingredients. :-)

    I haven't shopped at this site before. do you like them?
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  11. #11
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    Default

    Yes, I buy pretty regularly from them. They almost always have a coupon code going (just found another one, $10 off $75 PLUS free shipping 0FA306X7GE), and they tend to stock consumables I use a lot. IIRC they have the best price on 5 gal cocosoya oil too.

    I haven't bought much in the way of tack, blankets, etc., however so I can't speak to that.
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present. It steals your joy and keeps you very busy doing absolutely nothing at all... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.



  12. #12
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    Default

    Or here you go, $5 off $30, but no free ship
    ABHRS5D

    oooh, animed msm is even cheaper http://www.horse.com/item/animed-pure-msm/SLT700318/
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present. It steals your joy and keeps you very busy doing absolutely nothing at all... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.



  13. #13
    Lori B is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Default When in doubt, make a spreadsheet

    Please see the inserted screen capture.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	37331

    Spreadsheets are good.

    If I switch to buying ABC's Plus & MSM in bulk from KV Supply (which ships free) and discontinue the Farrier's Formula and bag the supplements myself each month, I will save over $500 per year, plus all that packaging trash.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  14. #14
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    Jul. 27, 2011
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    Default

    Instead of the ABC's Plus, why not Probios? It's a heck of a lot cheaper, but only available in powder form, if that's a problem. Or even Smartpak's SmartDigest, which is even cheaper than the Probios.

    As for MSM, the best quality with the cheapest price (IMO) is the Select the Best. Just be sure to look at the dosage size, since all are not the same. (the StB has 10,000 mg, IIRC)
    "...That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear." --Stephen King


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  15. #15
    Lori B is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Default

    Select the Best is the best price, assuming we are comparing identical supplements. But if the only thing I order from Horse.com is this supplement, then I have to pay shipping, and the .02 savings over KV Supply disappears.

    The dosages are very similar (9,600 or so compared to 10k).

    As for Probios, it is less expensive, but ABC's includes calcium, phosphorus, calcium, & zinc. I am not sure what difference those ingredients make with regard to probiotic support. But that appears to be one difference.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  16. #16
    Lori B is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Default

    Anyone familiar with Focus WT? Good price, and all the main ingredients of ABC's Plus. Hmm.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  17. #17
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    Default

    Keep in mind that some of the probiotics (probios for example) do not stay happy in less than ideal conditions. I made my own supplement packs many years back and in the summer the probios always turned into a huge solid clump and changed color from more white to more yellow.

    That is one of the advantages of Smartpaks, your supplements stay all sealed in their little cells until time for use.



  18. #18
    Lori B is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    If I keep the big containers at home (in the air conditioning) I am assuming that problem will be solved. Yes? Is the problem time, or is it heat / humidity?
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  19. #19
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    Jul. 27, 2011
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    Going back to the original problem of shipping charges... Had to put my thinking cap on, but remembered that Bit of Britain does not charge freight. They carry the Vita Flex brand MSM, but not the ABC's Plus nor even Probios. They do however carry other digestive supplements, so might be worth checking in to and seeing if they carry anything you might would consider using. Unfortunately, their supplement selection isn't the biggest, but then they've always been more of just an eventing tack/gear store rather than an all-around horse item store.

    It's hard, because everyone (besides SmartPak, natch) charges extra for weight. I know Big D's sometimes offers free weight shipping, but those specials are few and far inbetween. You might want to check what you could get these products for at your local feed/tack store and compare that versus what price+weight from someone else would cost.
    "...That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear." --Stephen King



  20. #20
    Lori B is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    realrush, all good ideas.

    I have decided that I am still willing to pay for the convenience of shipping, because it doesn't make sense (for me) to create a bunch of extra trips to 3 different tack/feed shops to save small amounts of $.

    The new recipe is:

    Focus WT (probiotic / weight)
    VitaFlex MSM
    Animed 100 Biotin supplement

    This bundle, purchased from KV Supply (and Southern States near my house), comes to $21.68 (28 days), and replaces:

    ABC's Plus
    SmartPak MSM
    Farrier's Formula

    that ran to $62.85 per 28 days.

    This saves over $535 a year. All I have to do is bag it up once a month, and order the containers when they run low.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09



    4 members found this post helpful.

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