Ever wish you could take a sneak peek inside our horses’ and dogs’ SmartPaks? Now you can! Check out the supplements we love, for the animals we adore.
This Month’s Pick
Staff Member: Kristina S.
Department: Customer Care
Horse: Cocoa, 20-year-old Quarter Horse
I first met Cocoa seven years ago when we worked together as a team doing therapeutic lessons. When she retired from the program, I was able to buy her and start my adventure as a first-time horse owner.
In the years I’ve known Cocoa, we’ve been through a lot together. We primarily ride for pleasure but will jump at the chance to go to a local fun show. I love taking her on trail rides to get out of the arena once in a while and she definitely enjoys the change in scenery.
Cocoa is not only my riding partner, she’s my best buddy, so making sure she is on the best feeding program possible is very important to me. Here’s what I feed Cocoa to keep her healthy and happy:
Through my training at SmartPak, I’ve learned that the best joint care is proactive joint care. Though I can’t rewind the clock and bring Cocoa’s joints back to the condition they were in when she was five, I can help protect them from further damage. I like SmartFlex Senior Pellets because not only does it provide a nice combination of the three big joint-supporting ingredients, but it also has digestive support as well as a mix of anti-oxidants tailored specifically for the senior horse. I love that it is in a pellet too because Cocoa gobbles it right up. At 20 years old, Cocoa still thinks that she’s eight, which is why I love this supplement.
Despite being such large animals, horses are very fragile, and stress from workouts can be hard on their tendons and ligaments. I support Cocoa with SmartTendon because she recently recovered from a suspensory ligament injury. It makes me feel better to know that she is being healing from the inside out. The extra collagen and silica in this formula will provide targeted support where she needs it most as she continues to recover.
When I bought Cocoa, I was told to make sure to keep her on a hoof supplement because bad feet ran in her family line. Not to mention Quarter Horses are notorious for having big bodies and little feet, so I wanted her to have the extra support. I had her on it for years but found out later how much I took it for granted. I took her off of it a few months ago to try and save money. Boy did I regret it! After a month or two, I noticed her new hoof was growing in really flaky, soft and not smooth and firm like the way her feet had always been. I immediately put her back on SmartHoof Pellets right away. Now every time I run into another rider who owns one of her relatives they always tell me how lucky I am that she has such good feet.
One of the biggest things I took away from my supplement training at SmartPak was how important essential fatty acids are in a horse’s diet. What I didn’t know was how different the Omega 3s and 6s were from each other. Omega 6s promote an inflammatory response in the body while Omega 3s are anti-inflammatory. I was shocked to discover that grains are higher in Omega 6s than they are in 3s. Since Cocoa was recovering from an injury, I immediately put her on SmartOmega 3 to help balance out the levels of Omegas she was taking in. This great supplement also provided her with extra Vitamin A and E that she wasn’t receiving while on stall rest. I was concerned that she wouldn’t eat this supplement at first because it was a powder, but she ate it right up and even licked the bucket clean after.
Making sure that Cocoa is getting all her vitamins and minerals is an essential part of designing her feeding program. Since she is a senior horse and still rehabilitating, she is in very light work and does not need very much grain. Because she is not getting a full serving of grain I use SmartVite Senior Grass to complete her ration. I love how the SmartVites line is specifically designed for many different types of horses in different situations, so I know she is getting exactly what she needs.
Though this supplement is not part of Cocoa’s permanent SmartPak, I could not go without mentioning SmartFlex Rehab Pellets. In the fall of 2011, Cocoa was diagnosed with PSD (proximal suspensory desmitis) or an inflammation of the suspensory ligament in her hind leg. My vet said that if we couldn’t get her leg to heal she could potentially need surgery down the road to correct it. I immediately put her on the SmartFlex Rehab and after a month on it, the inflammation of the suspensory had noticeably decreased and she had not received any other treatments during that time. She continued to stay on stall rest with some hand walking and a few shock wave therapy treatments for about five more months before I got cleared to ride her. I have been slowly rehabbing her under saddle for about a month now and she’s looking great! My vet doesn’t think I’ll have to worry about surgery anymore! I really stand behind this product and would highly recommend it to anyone who’s dealing with a horse on lay-up. I don’t know what I would have done without SmartFlex Rehab—it made a huge difference for Cocoa.
Why Kristina Uses SmartPaks
I use SmartPaks because it gives me a peace of mind to know that Cocoa is getting the correct dosage every time and that it’s fresh. SmartPaks are easy to use, and they’re the best way to feed supplements, especially if you’re in a boarding situation like me. I used to feed at a barn in the mornings and SmartPaks made my life a whole lot easier. I also love having everything personalized, so seeing my horse’s name printed on each little pack is priceless because I know they were made especially for her.