Horses are expensive no matter what but once you start down the path of supplements it can get outrageous. Not only does it get expensive, it gets confusing too. With the number of supplements out therefore one ailment alone it can seem overwhelming. Sometimes, for the sake of your pony, you have face the huge selection and make some choices. How to do it on a budget? That makes it even more of a task!
Here’s a couple of recommendations and tips to get you started:
- Ask around, find out what your trainer, friends and your other horse show companions recommend
- Ask your vet but don’t necessarily buy it from them. Even if it’s a prescription, vets can sometimes double the price of a product. Ask for a recommendation and if it is for a prescript (even for Bute and Banamine) ask if they will fax the prescription to a vet supply. It can save you up to 50%!
- Read online reviews, lots of them!
- Compare ingredients, there are many big name supplements that contain almost the exact same ingredients and measurements as more generic brands. Buying generic or store brand can save a lot!
- Trials, some companies offer trial items on things like joint supplements and hoof conditioners…use those to find which works best for you
- Buy in a larger bulk and store well when you find a product you really like. Buying in larger quantities can cost more initially but over the long run can save you a lot in shipping and general cost.
So, how have put these recommendations to use? Mostly through research and vet consultation. I already have Milo on a Majesty Flex Wafers which are great for his joints but not super heavy-duty (which he doesn’t need). This fall he will be going on two more supplements one for digestion and colic and the other for Cushings (which the vet and I have discussed he is showing beginning stages of).
Initially, I considered SmartPak for his 3 supplements as that is where I did a lot of my research, but to keep him on Majesty Flex and add Vitex Plus and U-Gard it would cost me $135.00 ever 28 days. That’s a price I just can’t afford. So, I did some looking around and came up with a solution that will cost me about half per month.
Milo will stay on his Flex Wafers bought from their regular source, and will add Balance EQ in place of Vitex Plus and Ration Plus in place of U-Gard. He will be getting the same supplement value at half the price! That’s something I can live with!