Does your winter joint supplement routine feel a little, well, disjointed? Just because the weather cools off doesn’t mean your horse’s joint support should. Whether your horse takes the winter off, competes on the Florida circuit, or continues the same training routine at home, he can still benefit from a joint supplement. Three SmartPak employees, with horses who spend the winter in very different ways, share their secrets for supporting their horses’ joints all winter long. Steal some secrets from the scenario that best matches your horse’s winter routine (we won’t tell), or call our Supplement Experts at 1-888-540-1019 if you need additional help finding the perfect fit.
Winter off, supplements on
A quality joint supplement will help keep your horse happy and healthy during his winter off, and it will help make the transition back into work that much smoother come spring.
Employee Profile: Elizabeth Robinson
Horse’s Name: Desert Lynx (“Sam”)
Discipline: Trail Riding
Fun Fact: Sam’s nickname around the barn is “Moo” because he has a very low nicker that sounds like a cow.
“I keep Sam on SmartFlex Senior through winter to keep him comfortable and make sure he is ready to work when the snow melts.”
“I found Sam when he was 15. He was my first horse, and I had always dreamed of owning an Arabian. Turns out we are a perfect match! We’ve been inseparable the last six years, doing dressage shows, local club shows, parades, drill team, trail riding and teaching lessons. All of our activities are definitely affected by unpredictable New England weather since my barn does not have an indoor arena. When the snow and ice begin to accumulate past rideable levels, we focus on groundwork, bonding and generally staying warm and healthy. I keep him on SmartFlex® Senior Pellets straight through the winter, not only to keep him comfortable but to make sure he is ready to work as soon as the snow melts. I also add SmartOmega 3™ to ensure he still gets omegas and vitamins A and E when the grass disappears. Putting it all in a SmartPak makes it that much easier to feed when your fingers are frozen! Plus, it makes me feel better to know his supplements are fresh and fed right, no matter who’s feeding him. All of this support means that we can be extra ready when everything kicks off again in the spring, whether it is marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade or trotting down centerline in the dressage ring.”
Stepping up support for the winter show circuit
If your horse steps up his game to compete on a winter show circuit, you might want to consider stepping up his joint support as well, like Veronica does for Leroy. Add it to your Pre-Travel To Do List, just below “buy bathing suit.”
Employee Profile: Veronica Bruce
Horse’s Name: Be-Dazzled (“Leroy”)
Fun Fact: When we’re away at shows, Leroy will only eat if I personally hold his feed bucket. Spoiled much?
“SmartFlex IV Ultimate not only covers his joints, tendons and ligaments, but it also provides powerful antioxidants!”
“I’ve had Leroy since I was 12 years old, so we’ve been together for most of our lives! During the regular show season, we compete every other weekend, but in the winter we will be showing on the Florida circuit. The schedule in Florida is extremely grueling, so I want to make sure Leroy has the best joint supplement possible. That’s why I will be switching him from SmartFlex® III Resilience to SmartFlex® IV Ultimate or added support. I love that SmartFlex IV Ultimate not only covers his joints, tendons, and ligaments, but it also provides powerful antioxidants that he will need throughout our time in Ocala! Leroy is an extremely picky eater, but he has no problem gobbling up his SmartFlex pellets!”
A change in weather, but no change in training
When it comes to supplements, consistency is key. So if your training schedule isn’t going to change, your joint supplement routine shouldn’t change either. Read how Jennifer supports May’s joints while training year round.
Employee Profile: Jennifer Mott
Horse’s Name: May
Breed: Danish Warmblood
Fun Fact: May is half sister to Team SmartPak rider Arlene “Tuny” Page’s mare Alina, who was on the front cover of our Spring 2012 catalog.
“Since May is in full work year-round, I like Cosequin ASU because it protect her joints from the day-to-day stress of training.”
“I’ve had May, my eight-year-old Danish Warmblood, for over three years. I’m lucky to board at a great dressage barn with a beautiful indoor, so I’m able to ride even during the worst New England weather. Our training routine is pretty much the same regardless of the season because my horse does best with a really consistent and predictable schedule. Since May is in full work year-round, I like Cosequin ASU because it protects her joints from the day-to-day stress of training. Although she doesn’t have any joint problems, I know that the daily stress of collection and lateral movements can wear down the joint cartilage over time. I feel confident knowing my horse is getting the support she needs year round. I love SmartPaks because I never have to worry if May is getting her supplements every day. Before I found out about SmartPaks, I used to spend an hour each week bagging her supplements together. I never realized how much time that took until I didn’t have to do it anymore!”
Winter road to recovery
Some horses don’t have a choice when it comes to taking the winter off. If your horse is laid up, the right joint supplement may help support the healing process.
If your horse is going to spend the winter recovering, make sure he has everything he needs to come back strong. Instead of using a traditional joint supplement, which is designed for a horse in active work, look for one that contains ingredients to help minimize the inflammation associated with normal healing, alleviate discomfort and support the recovery process. SmartFlex Rehab and Recovery EQ Extra Strength are two great joint formulas specifically designed to support recovering horses.