Vision should be covered by my employer because these horses are so shiny they’re blinding!
But seriously, I’ve never been so happy to scrape off piles of fur off of my horse before. Spring has been welcomed quite fervently this year. Even though I feel like I just got settled in for winter with our waterproof sheets and packed away all of our fly sheets and masks and such.
I’ve been very busy lately with work and other responsibilities so I haven’t been able to update much, but there are so many things I’ve wanted to share. I finally was able to pack enough dirt into my horse’s stalls that I think it may withstand any more rain that this season has to throw at us. The boys are looking nice and fat and I’m really happy with their improvement as well as looking forward to seeing how things go over summer. I was recently talking with a good friend of mine who got her first horse and has been having trouble keeping weight on her. I’m certainly not an expert. The whole reason I started this blog was to share my trials and errors (mostly errors) so that hopefully some others will have an easier time than I am. Others who were influences for her weren’t able to give much advice but since I went through that same thing with my horse, I was really happy that I could help.
I realized that this is a really big struggle for so many people but few actually know how to handle it. Throughout this process with Rapture, I have come to know one thing for sure; a horse cannot be healthy without the right forage. If you are having a hard time with this too, the best advice I can give you is to load up on good forage. Spend your energy first understanding how much forage your horse should really be getting and then add extra to accommodate for the weight loss. No amount of supplements or anything else you’re doing for any health issues, et’c will have any effect until you get the forage right. Once we had that in order, everything else fell into place.
I used beet pulp, rice bran, and a pelleted senior feed because these three things can be fed in fairly large quantities without posing a risk to the horse. Ease into the larger quantities to avoid digestive upsets, but the key is patience and persistence. You have to stick with whatever you start and give it time or else nothing will work. Once my boys had been on the right amount of forage for a few months and about 6 weeks of buckets almost every evening. I also kept them blanketed often both to keep them clean and also to keep the heat in so that they weren’t burning off everything they were gaining. Fortunately, we live in pretty mild climate.
That was their Christmas present, actually. Aside from a heaping pile of carrots, apples, sugar cubes, grain and other goodies, I got my boys two matching teal and brown Tough-1 waterproof sheets and well as blanket liners in the event that it got actually chilly. Those blanket liners did come in handy because of a random super chilly few weeks in December.
Anyways, before I had gotten to that point, I had wasted so much money and time on supplements which weren’t able to do much because I hadn’t gotten down the key variable of forage. After we had gotten the forage and grain worked out, I began to add the supplements again. This time though, I tried Platinum Performance per the recommendation of my boss and good friend. The key to a supplement is less what the label says and more about the quality and the combination of the right ingredients. If your supplements don’t have those two things, they simply won’t work. I was drawn in by Platinum Performance because of the quality of ingredients. After the first month, I was really happy that I did. I started seeing results right away. My horses have been feeling much better and putting on more muscle. Rapture has been moving so much better, he fights less about working to the left (he’s always hated going left) and his strides have begun to lengthen. I really feel that this is due to his overall health improving significantly. A horse can only do as much as it’s body will allow. I’ve always said he’s like superman in a body made out of tin foil. His body is becoming much more capable of facilitating his passion and will to work.
Not only that, but both of my horses’ hoof health has seen improvement since starting Platinum Performance. Gemini, who has always had a bit of thrush, but never too bad, had a major outbreak where the soft tissue of the frog was exposed and he was very uncomfortable when picking his hooves. He is still in the recovery process but even in the rain and the mud, his hooves continued to improve and I feel like that has a lot to do with this supplement working from the inside out. Rapture, whose pen had less of a pond after the rain, made a big leap in the improvement of thrush. His hooves do have some cracks, but I know that has more to do with the length of time between trims that month. All things considered, his hooves are much stronger than they used to be but I think that is more due to the forage since he hasn’t been on Platinum Performance long enough for the hoof wall to grow out that much. Still, I’m really excited to see how that turns out after about six months of use.
Oh! And if you’re wondering what I treated the thrush with… I found a cheaper generic of Thrush Buster (same ingredient, same quantity, same color) and scrubbed their hooves first with dawn dish soap and the brush side of the hoof pick to remove the top layer of dirt, scraped out as much of the old gunk as I could, picked out every nook and cranny with the hoof pick and a dental pick and then scrubbed it all down with Betadine and a tooth brush. Then, I applied the thrush buster generic (I can’t remember the name, I’ll add it later) all over until the hoof was completely stained purple. I reapplied the thrush treatment as much as necessary, about every 5 to 8 days depending on the weather, and scrubbed the hooves if they got built up with gunk again. I saw improvement pretty quickly. It’s not perfect but we’re getting there.
Now, if you’re wondering about the Heart to Horse Box I’ve got a story for you.
When I received my very first Heart to Horse Box, I couldn’t wait to rip it open. What I found inside, though, dampened my spirits. There was a little bottle of shampoo, a bag of treats, some socks and a weird square bag which I couldn’t quite figure a purpose for. I didn’t immediately love anything in there. All I could think was, “I spent $37 on this?” I threw everything in my car and forgot about it, reasonably disappointed. The socks were the first thing I tried since I did actually need more riding socks. They are Justin’s mid calf boot socks and although they are a tad bit scratchy, they’re pretty good quality and I feel like they will last. They are very comfortable to wear all day and I only notice the roughness when I put them on. The next thing I tried was the Elite Equine Evolution waterless shampoo with Argan oil. I actually really like this stuff! It goes really far and smells amazing. Plus, I do like that brand. I like it so much that I might actually buy it again.
The treats also came in handy, not that treats ever don’t come in handy. There was a little girl who came to the ranch for a pony ride and I happened to open my trunk and notice the treats while she and her mother were browsing the ranch and talking to the horses. She had fun learning how to feed the horses and instantly made some furry friends.
Then, there was that weird bag. It’s a professional’s choice bag so it had to be worth something. It folded into a peculiar rectangle and had four triangular zipper compartments inside, with a velcro closure and handles. I decided to look it up. Basically, it’s like a roll up caddy for your tiny but important items that you need within reach but might easily get lost in your grooming tote.
Altogether, I spent $37 or something on the box and got…
- Socks worth about $12 to $16
- Shampoo worth about $11
- Professional’s choice accessory bag worth $27
- 1lb bag of treats worth $3
So overall, I did get my money’s worth and ended up finding a use for everything. But would I buy it again? Probably not, at first. However, being forgetful as I am I didn’t unsubscribe and ended up paying for a second one.
Now, the first box fell short but the SECOND box was definitely redeeming! I just received it in the mail today and I was pretty pessimistic about what I would find inside. Maybe my lowered expectations had something to do with it, but I was pretty pleasantly surprised to find a mini purple Wahl clipper, a shedding stone, heart shaped curry and purple mane and tail brush with a nice gel handle, plus a massive bag of Magesty’s Omega Wafers, a TWO month supply! (that’s the same as one month for two horses, so I like it when things come in two month supplies) Plus there was a little sample of dog treats. I don’t mind getting those because I HAVE dogs, but sometimes I wonder why they bother throwing those in there when they don’t even know if the person has a dog…
Anyways, I feel like this box was perfect for this time of year and I really applaud “Cassie”(I think?) whoever you are, for putting it together. I’m so excited to take it all to the barn tomorrow. Not only that, but getting the Wahl clipper with it’s little pile of accessories gave me something to put in my ridiculously expensive and strange looking Professional’s Choice accessories bag from my last box!
I do rather like the excitement of these boxes. I don’t really spend much money on things for myself but I’m working on that now so this makes me feel like I’m having some frivolous fun for myself but also getting useful things for my horses at the same time. It’s like the Christmas present to me, from me, that’s technically for someone else!
i’m thinking of trying out the box from another site and comparing them, but I’m not sure yet.
We will see!