Grand Prix riders used to jump 6′ fences in what basically amounted to a velvet-covered baseball cap. These days, you’re crazy if you don’t wear an approved helmet. While a lot of traditions still hold true, there are some things we can be smarter about in the barn.
Buckets of Supplements
THE OLD WAY Take a peek in your feed room or barn dumpster and count how many empty supplement buckets you see. Some will get re- purposed as step stools or bathing buckets, but most end up in landfills. Even while they’re still in use, your buckets aren’t doing you any favors – they get left open, spilled and “borrowed” from. Worst of all, if you’re buying in buckets, you may not be getting what you pay for. Even if you’re careful, only opening your bucket once a week to make baggies, and tightly resealing it every time, your supplements can still lose up to 20% of the potency of their key ingredients!
THE SMARTER WAY SmartPaks are great for your horse’s supplements and the environment — plus they can save you time and money! The clearly labeled, daily dose paks are tightly sealed to preserve 100% potency, meaning your horse will always have the freshest supplements available. Made from entirely from recycled PET plastic, SmartPaks are already on their second life, and can be recycled again. Best of all, SmartPaks over $40 always ship free, and they’re delivered automatically each month so you never run out! To learn more about the convenience of SmartPaks, visit http://www.SmartPakEquine.com/WhySmartPak.aspx.
THE OLD WAY Deworming may be something you’ve been doing the same way for as long as you can remember—most likely rotating between ivermectin, pyrantel pamoate and a handful of other chemicals about every 8 weeks or so. However, as parasite resistance becomes an increasing concern, more and more horse owners, barn managers and vets are rethinking the way they deworm their horses.
THE SMARTER WAY Your horse is an individual, and we now know he should be dewormed that way. The first step is to ask your vet to perform a “fecal egg per gram” test, also known as a “fecal egg count”. This test should be done at least once per year, or as often as your vet recommends. Based on your horse’s results, your vet can help you choose which chemical dewormer to use and how often. Targeting your horse’s specific deworming requirements is the key takeaway, and those factors will vary quite a bit based on how heavy an egg shedder he tends to be, your geographic location, how often your horse is exposed to other horses and the manure management on your farm. Whether your vet recommends ivermectin, moxidectin or another active ingredient, you can find the most popular paste dewormers at great prices at SmartPak.com.
THE OLD WAY When people want to add shine or weight to their horses, they often reach for the corn oil. It’s a cheap fat source, but this is definitely a case in which you get what you pay for. Corn oil contains about 70% Omega 6 fatty acids, and virtually no Omega 3s. This is critical because Omega 6s are generally considered pro-inflammatory, while Omega 3s are more anti-inflammatory. Too many Omega 6s in the diet puts your horse’s body in a state of chronic inflammation, which can lead to degenerative health conditions.
THE SMARTER WAY For a healthier alternative, consider a supplement that’s specifically balanced for your horse’s nutritional needs. If your horse is short on shine, try SmartShine ($10.95), Omega Horseshine ($22.95) or turn to page 20 to learn more about skin and coat health. If you’ve got a hard keeper on your hands, consider SmartGain 4 ($25.95), Cocosoya Ultra SPTM ($23.95) or turn visit our website for more information on weight gain supplements.
THE OLD WAY We’ve all seen them, heck, we’ve probably all used them at one point or another — those big, white salt blocks. They hang out in your horse’s stall, largely ignored and generally sort of grubby, or they sit forgotten in the field until it rains and they start to melt. While they’ve been a staple in barns for years, they may not be the most efficient, effective or healthy way to provide your horse with salt.THE SMARTER WAY Himalayan Salt (from $9.95) is delicious and long-lasting. The blocks are literally “rock hard” — so you can say goodbye to big chunks breaking off. They’re also much more weather-resistant, so they won’t melt away, even out in the turnout. If your equine athlete needs a consistent daily salt source (as opposed to just free choice) add Salt ($6.95) or a sugar-free electrolyte like SmartLytes ($7.95) to his feed.