Between clever marketing and promises, well intentioned horse owners spend hundreds in supplements they hope will help their horse. How many times have you looked at an ad for a supplement that lists symptoms that sound exactly like your horse??!! Then you look at the ingredients of this miracle powder and see: Proprietary Blend, a guaranteed analysis in ppm’s and percentages you can’t decipher, or worse yet…no guaranteed analysis at all. What’s a horse owner to do??
Stop. Put the supplement back on the shelf and spend some time doing a bit of math (yes, you can use a calculator, or better yet…an app!) and research. If a company does not clearly state what their product provides your horse; ingredients and amounts per serving, a red flag should automatically fly high.
To ensure you are paying for something that will truly benefit your horse, the first step is to call the company. Hopefully you will get a live person and not a voice mail. I myself have been attempting to reach a company that provides a lot of promises with no analysis (or even a serving size). Although I have called at various times all week, I continue to go to voice mail…. My red flag gets higher and higher. Once you are speaking to a representative, ask them how many grams or milligrams their supplement provides per serving. If they respond with a percentage or PPM’s, kindly reiterate that you would like the grams or milligrams.
If there is a guaranteed analysis you can do some math. Remember, a company does not need to list everything on their guaranteed analysis. Look at the ingredients also. Some things can be hidden under different names; such as iron would be listed as Ferrous Sulfate. You will need two bits of information. The nutrient amount (either in percentage of ppm) and the serving size. I could type up instructions for you on how to calculate this all out, but what’s better is a handy app for your phone! You will want an app that calculates concentrations. A good one is “Equal = it”.
You are now armed with the actual amount per serving, the last question…. Is it enough? This is where your research comes in. Know what the optimum amount is. The key word here is “optimum”. There are a lot of supplements that will give you a little bit of what your horse needs. This tiny amount makes the horse feel or look slightly better and owners think they have hit the jackpot with a supplement. Can you imaging how your horse would feel if the supplement contained “optimum” amounts?!
There are a few companies out there that provide absolute transparency on what their supplements will provide your horse. They are golden and deserving of their customer loyalty. They will save you time (no phone calls or math) and you can rest assured that you are paying for something that will provide optimum nutrition for your four-legged family member.