FEED IT RIGHT
Even if you’ve selected the ideal nutritional supplement for your horse, it may not be effective if you don’t feed it properly. Here are guidelines to ensure your horse gets the most from his supplement:
• Follow the label dosing instructions. Some product instructions recommend starting with a large “loading” dose for the first few days or even a week, then tapering down to a maintenance dose. Following this schedule can produce the desired effects sooner.
• Use the included scoop. All scoops are not created equal. Using the wrong scoop in a product can lead to an under- or overdose of nutrients. If you’ve misplaced or broken a scoop, call the
manufacturer for a replacement or the exact measurement of how much of the product to feed, then break out the kitchen measuring scoops to provide it.
• Watch for expiration and spoilage. Supplements can expire and go “off” like any other product in your feed room. Examine the fresh product closely when it arrives so you can learn what it is supposed to look, smell and feel like. Any change in that is cause to contact the company and/ or dispose of the remainder of the product.
Some products come with an expiration date. Find it and circle it in red so you’ll remember to check it often. If your product doesn’t have a date, call the manufacturer and ask how long it should be good for and write that on the lid.
• Reorder early. Most supplements work best when they are given consistently. Waiting for a reorder to arrive can set a horse back. To help remind you to reorder, bury a red poker chip deep in the supplement bucket. When you’ve used enough to reveal the chip, it’s time to reorder before you run out.
• Reassess the situation periodically. Feeding a supplement purely out of habit isn’t smart. Ask yourself at least once a year: Does my horse still need a supplement, and is this one still the best choice? You’ll want to ask yourself the same questions anytime you make significant changes to your horse’s diet and management.