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The seasons are changing. Are your horse’s needs?

Posted on: October 20, 2016 by SmartPak

Editor’s Note: Since this article was published, our SmartFlex line of supplements has been reformulated and the ColiCare program has been upgraded to provide up to $15,000 in colic surgery reimbursement. Click here to learn more.

The weather is cooling down and the leaves are turning colors, which means there’s something else that may be changing: your horse’s needs. If your horse’s workload, diet, or living environment is changing with the seasons, he may benefit from different areas of support than he does during the summer.


Minuet: Taking it easy this winter
10-year-old dressage horse

Minuet in the summer
During the summer Minuet was ridden five to six times a week, received regular training, and was taken to some recognized shows. She had plenty of access to fresh pasture, and didn’t get much grain because she easily maintains her ideal body condition.

Minuet was in heavy work, so her owner supported her joint, tendon, and ligament health with SmartFlex® Ultra Pellets. Since she was working up a sweat all summer, her owner also gave her SmartLytes Pellets to help replenish the minerals she was losing in sweat and to encourage normal drinking. She also had SmartVite Perform Pellets in her SmartPaks to help ensure that she got the vitamins and minerals she needed to support her workload without a full serving of grain.

Minuet in the winter
With the temps cooling and the days getting shorter, Minuet’s workload is cooling down as well. She’ll still be enjoying plenty of turnout during the cooler months, but her pasture is starting to look a little barren.

Why are Minuet’s supplements changing?
Decreasing joint support
Minuet’s workload is decreasing, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t still need joint support. Minuet’s owner is switching her to a lower level of joint support to match her decreased workload while still ensuring that she’s ready to spring into action when the weather warms up. She chose SmartFlex® Pellets because they provide the fundamentals of joint health for horses in moderate work.

Switching ‘lytes for salt
Cooler weather and easier work mean that Minuet isn’t sweating much, so she doesn’t need the support of a comprehensive electrolyte. However, her owner still wants to support healthy hydration and help ensure that she meets her daily requirement for salt. She’s now getting SmartSalt Pellets in place of SmartLytes Pellets because they provide one ounce of salt per serving.

Adding omegas
Now that Minuet doesn’t have access to plenty of fresh, green grass, she isn’t getting a steady supply of omega 3 fatty acids anymore. Because omega 3 fatty acids are essential to her health and well-being, her owner switched her from SmartVite Perform Pellets to SmartEssentials Pellets. This comprehensive formula provides a hearty serving of omega 3 fatty acids to help promote overall wellness along with vitamins and minerals to help meet her nutrient requirements in her lower level of work.

Cash: Working harder this winter
8-year-old All-Around horse

Cash in the summer
Cash spent the summer traveling to horse shows and perfecting his performance in everything from pleasure to trail. While he doesn’t have any specific issues, his owner knows that most performance horses can benefit from support in several key areas due to the challenges of modern horsekeeping (like stress from training, traveling, etc.). Cash’s owner put SmartCombo Pellets in his SmartPaks because they provide a foundation of support for his joint, digestive, hoof, skin, and coat health.

Cash in the winter
After seeing plenty of success over the summer, Cash’s owner wants to add more classes to his schedule next show season. He’s starting to work on lead changes to prepare for Western Riding and is increasing his training regimen to ensure that he can meet the demands of his new competition schedule.


Why are Cash’s supplements changing?
Increasing support for increased stress
Since Cash’s workload is increasing, his owner wants to increase the level of support he’s getting in his SmartPaks, too. She decided to switch him to SmartCombo Ultra Pellets because they provide higher levels of support in the same key areas: joint, digestive, hoof, skin, and coat. Plus, she can now apply to enroll Cash in ColiCare, our free $7,500 colic surgery reimbursement program.

Adding immune support for a horse on the go
Cash’s owner recently learned that research has shown how stress compromises immune function. Because traveling and competing is stressful, she decided to start Cash on a targeted supplement designed to support his immune health. She chose SmartImmune Pellets because they contain a comprehensive selection of ingredients to protect cellular health and fight free radicals, which are a damaging byproduct of stress.

Lucky: Staying the same this winter
20-year-old trail horse

Lucky in the summer
Lucky enjoyed the sunshine-filled days of summer with plenty of turnout and a few trail rides per week. Though he’s happy to continue working through his golden years, over the summer he started to experience some of the stiffness and discomfort that comes with aging.

Lucky’s owner put SmartFlex Senior Pellets in his SmartPaks because they provide targeted support to help senior horses stay comfortable. Since Lucky is kept at a barn that frequently gets in new loads of hay, his owner also gives him SmartDigest Ultra Pellets to help him manage digestive stress.

Lucky in the winter
Just as he did over the summer, Lucky will spend the winter enjoying turnout and heading out on the trails. While he tends to maintain his ideal body condition well during the warmer months, his owner has noticed that he sometimes struggles to maintain a healthy weight during the winter.


Why are Lucky’s supplements changing?
Keeping things consistent
Since Lucky’s workload will be staying the same as his workload during the summer, his owner will continue to keep SmartFlex Senior Pellets in his SmartPaks to support healthy joints and help manage stiffness and discomfort.

Lucky’s owner knows that winter horsekeeping brings its own unique challenges, and those challenges can wreak havoc on Lucky’s digestive system. She keeps SmartDigest Ultra Pellets in his SmartPaks year-round to ensure that he has the support he needs to help maintain a healthy hindgut and so that he can remain enrolled in ColiCare.

Helping manage winter weight woes
Along with adding extra hay to his diet, Lucky’s owner added SmartGain to his SmartPaks to help him maintain a healthy weight this winter. This formula is perfect for him because it provides a “cool” source of calories from healthy fats.