EQUUS - - Eq Tack& Gear -

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.

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