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The modern horse’s diet is often at odds with how he was designed to live and eat, but there are realistic steps you can take to build your horse’s ideal diet from the ground up. Instead of continuing to reach for the feed scoop because “that’s how we’ve always done it,” challenge yourself to rethink your feeding program and check “better diet” off your horse’s list this year.
Considering that your horse was designed to spend about 17 hours per day roaming and grazing, it’s no surprise that the foundation of his diet should come from forage. Whether it’s fresh pasture, hay, or a combination of the two, your horse should be eating 1–2% of his body weight in forage every day (for a 1,000 lb horse, that’s 10–20 lbs daily). The best way to mimic Mother Nature would be to provide free-choice access to hay and/or pasture all day, but every barn is different and resources are limited, so work with what you’ve got and make sure you’re meeting that 1–2% requirement.
If your horse is getting the recommended amount of forage, he’s also getting a solid source of calories. However, some horses — “hard keepers” or those in hard work — may require additional calories to maintain their ideal weight. If your horse can’t maintain his weight on forage alone, consider adding a more calorie-dense feedstuff, like a commercial grain. But because your horse was not designed to digest large amounts of non-structural carbohydrates like grains, you should aim to feed the minimum amount needed to maintain his ideal body condition score. Not sure how to determine your horse’s body condition score? Click here to learn how!
Hay and/or pasture only While your horse’s forage supplies some minerals, vitamins, and protein, it may not be enough to fulfill his daily requirements. To find out, you can do a hay analysis or forage testing. In many cases, you’ll want to provide a ration balancer to complement your horse’s forage and ensure he has the protein, vitamins, and minerals he needs.
Hay and grain If your horse is getting a full, recommended serving of fortified grain, his mineral, vitamin, and protein needs should be met. However, as discussed above, most horses simply don’t need that much grain. If your horse isn’t getting a full serving of grain, he also isn’t getting a full serving of vitamins or minerals, and a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement can help bridge those gaps. Not sure if your horse is getting a full serving? Visit our grain feeding guide to learn how to check.
Salt is an essential part of your horse’s diet. It supports healthy nerve and muscle function and encourages your horse to drink, helping to avoid dehydration. Even a horse in no work needs at least one ounce of salt per day, and that need increases with exercise and hot weather. Hay, pasture, and commercial feeds provide very little salt, so top-dressing meals with a supplement like SmartSalt® Pellets can help your horse get what he needs.
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are both important to your horse’s well-being, but maintaining the correct balance between the two is critical. Because omega 6 fatty acids support pro-inflammatory reactions, your horse should have two to four times more omega 3s than 6s. Fresh pasture is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, but many horses don’t have access to pasture grazing. In addition, grain is very high in omega 6s. These two factors are the reasons that the modern horse’s diet often has too many omega 6s and too few omega 3s, which sets the horse up for a chronic state of inflammation. Luckily, supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids like those in SmartOmega 3 & E™ Ultra is an easy way to help correct this important dietary balance and let your horse’s good health shine through.
Once you have the foundation of your horse’s diet squared away (Steps 1–5), consider whether he needs specific supplements for proactive support, or to help manage any special health issues he may have. Popular areas of support include joint, digestion, hoof, and gastric health.
Knowing how to take your horse’s vital signs, which include his temperature (T), pulse (P), and respiration (R), is a basic barn skill every owner should have. Abnormal vital signs could be a signal that your horse is in pain, in distress, or experiencing colic, laminitis, or an infection, so being able to take them is key to helping you quickly detect when he’s not feeling well.
To recognize when your horse’s vital signs are abnormal, you first need to be able to recognize what’s normal. And because normal for one horse is not necessarily normal for another horse, you should take the time to log your horse’s vital signs at different times of the day so that you know what his normal ranges are. For example, for a couple of days take his measurements early in the morning, around midday, and in the evening. We’ve included the typical ranges for normal below, but keep in mind that your horse may be at the low or high end of these ranges, or even slightly outside the range, and still be normal.
The typical ranges for normal are:
How to take your horse’s vital signs Like with any new barn skill, practice makes perfect! Check out our how-to video or our instructions below and then head to the barn to practice with your horse.
Every barn should have at least one thermometer! There are two kinds of large animal rectal thermometers, and it’s a good idea to have at least one of each: a digital thermometer and a glass thermometer. Both have their pros and cons. For example, a digital thermometer only requires 60 seconds to take a reading but you have to hold on to it the whole time or the horse may push it out. You also have to remember to turn it on and let it calibrate before using. A glass thermometer (which requires at least two minutes) can be left in the horse’s rectum while you perform the rest of your exam but you have to attach a cord and clip first. You must also shake the mercury down beforehand.
Both require some lubrication before insertion and having someone else hold your horse is helpful. To take your horse’s temperature, stand to one side and gently move the horse’s tail out of the way. Slowly insert the thermometer nearly all the way inside, allowing the horse to adjust. Take your time and be patient. The digital thermometer will beep when it is ready but the glass thermometer has to be timed. Remove either slowly and read the number. Clean the thermometer by wiping it off with a soapy damp cloth then remember to write the temperature down.
There are three ways to measure your horse’s heart rate. You can use your fingers to feel for a pulse in an artery, a stethoscope to listen to his heart, or a heart rate monitor. There are several places to check your horse’s pulse, such as the inside of the jaw, the inside of the front leg above the knee, the outside of the hind leg, underneath the tail, or the digital pulse. All of these can be challenging to locate so ask your veterinarian to help you. Here are steps for finding and taking the digital pulse:
To take your horse’s heart rate using a stethoscope (which every barn should have), place the buds in your ears so they point forward, slide the stethoscope head forward underneath your horse’s elbow on the left side until you hear the heartbeat, and count only one of the sounds (so lub-DUB is one beat) over a 15 second period, again multiplying by four. You may have to experiment with how hard to press the stethoscope head against his chest to be able to hear clearly. Using a heart rate monitor is even easier, as the number of beats per minute is displayed on a separate wrist watch.
Counting your horse’s respiratory rate, or breaths per minute, can be done three ways: by watching the nostrils flare, by watching the flank rising and falling, or by listening to his trachea with a stethoscope. The first two methods can be done outside the stall or at least without touching the horse and may provide a more accurate resting respiratory rate. Remember that one breath is a complete cycle in (inhalation) and out (exhalation). Because the horse’s normal respiratory rate is so low, count for 30 seconds or a whole minute to get a more accurate reading.
Your horse’s vital signs aren’t the only things that are helpful to track! From wellness records to farrier visits to observations of your rides, there are a number of activities that you may want to record to track trends in your horse’s health and training progress. Whether you decide to record every last detail of your horse’s day in a daily planner or simply jot significant health changes and events down on a wall calendar, you’ll be one step closer to getting to know your horse like the back of your hand. Here, we’ve included some of the sections that us SmartPakers have used in our horses’ journals for you to consider.
Wellness Records It’s important to keep track of your horse’s routine care so that you know when it was done last (and what was found) and when it should be done again. Consider keeping track of the following services:
Month-at-a-Glance The “month-at-a-glance” pages of a daily planner are helpful for assessing “the big picture” of your horse’s management each month. You can use these pages to record things like changes in feed, supplements, medication, or turnout time; updates on existing or new health issues; which days you worked your horse; and any events, lessons, or clinics you did.
Daily Diary In the daily diary section of your horse’s journal, you can document as much detail about your horse’s day and your rides as you’d like. You may find it helpful to document the weather, your horse’s general attitude and energy, and then a description of your ride. By keeping track of these things, you’ll be able to look back and identify trends that can help you have your best rides in the future.
As horse owners, we often don’t think about our horse’s joints until there’s a problem. But when it comes to joint health, waiting until there’s a problem may be too little too late. Read on to find out the top six things you need to know to make smart choices about your horse’s joint health this year.
Joint deterioration is permanent, progressive degeneration of articular cartilage, meaning once it starts it will only continue to get worse. It’s a cascading cycle of wear and tear within the joint. Over time, joint structures develop scarring, the synovial fluid (the “lubricant”) dries out, the articular cartilage is worn down, and finally, the bones themselves become thick and scarred. As you can imagine, this is an uncomfortable condition that can severely limit your horse’s performance and soundness.
A 1999 study in the Equine Veterinary Journal identified joint changes in a herd of wild mustangs. The research concluded that the degenerative process was naturally present in horses.
The same researchers also suggested that the stresses associated with training may accelerate the condition that can severely limit your horse’s degeneration process. That means if your horse is in regular work, his joints are more at risk for early joint deterioration that could affect his comfort, soundness, and future performance.
No matter your horse’s age, discipline, or workload, the best time to start supporting healthy joints is now, with a joint supplement targeted to his unique situation.
Joint supplements provide your horse’s body with the key ingredients he needs to maintain healthy cartilage. Ideally, this means the best time to start a joint supplement is before your horse starts showing signs of stiffness and discomfort.
However, horses already displaying signs of discomfort may also beneﬁt from joint supplements, as they can help support healthy articular cartilage, synovial ﬂuid, and normal response to inﬂammation. So, no matter your horse’s situation, if he’s not already on a joint supplement there’s no time like the present to start.
Several studies show that all the major joint supplement ingredients – glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid (HA), and MSM – are absorbed from the digestive tract and available for use throughout the body. To read more about some of the research that’s been done in this area, click here. You’ll find those common ingredients as well as other revolutionary ingredients for supporting a normal inflammatory response in the top picks below.
Your horse has been giving you his best for years, and he’s only gotten better as he’s aged. Unfortunately, years of wear and tear can leave your older horse’s joints feeling stiff and uncomfortable. Supplements designed with seniors in mind provide targeted ingredients to help keep your horse comfortable along with the key ingredients found in other joint supplements. Whether your senior is fully retired or still going out on adventures, supporting him with a senior joint supplement is a smart way to put the “gold” in his golden years.
Top picks for joints
A revolutionary joint health formula with cutting-edge ingredients
SmartStride Ultra Pellets
Comprehensive support for hard-working joints
SmartFlex Ultra Pellets
Scientifically tested resveratrol-based joint support
Equithrive Complete Joint Pellets
Our top pick for helping seniors stay comfortable
SmartFlex Senior Pellets
#1 veterinarian-recommended joint health supplement brand
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has estimated that 700,000 horses will colic each year in the United States alone, and colic is one of the leading causes of equine death today. Even worse, there are a number of common, unavoidable barn events that can increase your horse’s risk for colic. But that doesn’t mean you have to stand idly by and wait for your horse to become the next statistic. Read on to join our stand against colic and to find out how you can help your horse.
Your first step is to educate yourself about the risk factors for colic because, unfortunately, what you don’t know can hurt. Here, you’ll learn about some of the most common risks and the smart management practices you can use to help your horse cope.
Changes in hay, including switching types or feeding a new cut, can increase your horse’s chances of developing colic by 10x!
How You Can Help Change hay as gradually as possible, ideally blending the old and new hay for 7–10 days, to ease the stress on your horse’s hindgut.
Studies have shown that horses fed large amounts of grain (more than 5lbs/day) are at a greater risk of developing colic.
How You Can Help Make sure your horse is receiving 1–2% of his body weight in forage every day. If he still needs grain, feed the minimum amount possible in multiple, small servings throughout the day
Lack of turnout is unnatural for your horse, and increased stall time can increase your horse’s chances of digestive upset.
How You Can Help Because your horse was designed to move around for up to 20 hours per day, give him as much turnout as possible.
Lack of access to water has been associated with greater risk for GI trouble, including impaction.
How You Can Help Make sure that your horse has access to clean, fresh water at all times.
Sudden changes in exercise or activity level have been shown to increase digestive disruption, increasing colic risk. The most problematic change is a sudden decrease in work and turnout, which is often associated with a horse going on stall rest due to injury.
How You Can Help Keep your horse’s exercise and turnout schedules as consistent as possible, and make any adjustments as gradually as possible.
Want to learn more about the risk factors for colic? Take our quiz to determine your horse’s current risk for colic and then find out what you can do to help.
Protect yourself and your horse with ColiCare When it comes to serious problems like colic, you want as much support as possible in your corner. That’s why the second step in your stand against colic is to protect yourself and your horse with ColiCare.
ColiCare combines the comprehensive support of clinically proven digestive health ingredients with a veterinarian-directed wellness program for the ultimate digestive health care. Best of all, it provides up to $7,500 of colic surgery reimbursement should your horse ever need it. So what are you waiting for? Keep to ﬁnd out how to get started today!
Peace of mind starts at just $41.25 Every ColiCare™ eligible product shares the same foundation—comprehensive digestive support from the clinically researched hindgut ingredients in SmartDigest Ultra—and they’re all backed by up to $7,500 of colic surgery reimbursement.
In addition to this original formula, we offer five options that include SmartDigest Ultra together with ingredients for joint, hoof, coat, temperament, and/or gastric health. To find the ColiCare eligible product that meets your horse’s needs, check out this chart.
Top picks for digestive healthColiCare eligible supplements
Complete GI support for horses under stress
SmartGI Ultra Pellets
Support for horses in recovery
Multi-purpose support for active seniors
SmartCombo Senior Ultra Pellets
Multi-purpose support for performance horses
SmartCombo Ultra Pellets
Our very best support for any horse
SmartCombo Ultimate Pellets
Whether you have a competitive show horse, a pleasure horse, or a retired senior, he was designed to spend most of the day outside roaming and grazing. While the challenges of modern horsekeeping can make it difficult for all horse owners to mimic this natural state, allowing for as much turnout as possible is key for supporting a happy, healthy horse. That’s because turnout (especially when it involves grazing) benefits a number of areas in your horse, including:
Joint health Consider how stiff and uncomfortable you get when you’re forced to spend an extended period of time in the same position, like when you’re sitting on an airplane for a long trip. A horse that spends 23 hours a day standing in his stall and 1 hour doing forced exercise may feel stiff and uncomfortable, too. On the other hand, a horse that spends most of his time turned out will be able to spend his days doing slow, continuous exercise. That kind of exercise is essential for helping keep his joints flexible so he can move comfortably. If you aren’t able to increase your horse’s turnout time, look for other ways to allow him to get as much exercise as possible, such as hand walking or lunging in between rides.
Hoof health Your horse’s hoof surrounds, protects, and supports bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, nerves, and an intricate circulatory network. These vascular pathways — composed of arteries, veins, and capillaries — function as a key element in maintaining the health of the foot. That’s because the strength of the equine foot depends on nourishment provided by good circulation. By supporting healthy circulation, you’re ensuring nutrient rich blood is pumping throughout the foot.
But how do you support healthy circulation? That’s where exercise and activity, like turnout, come in! In order to promote good blood flow, the frog and the entire solar surface of the foot need to be engaged — in other words, your horse needs to get moving! Maximizing your horse’s turnout time and space is a great way to help promote healthy circulation and strong hooves.
Gastric health Your horse was designed to spend most of his day grazing, so his stomach was designed to continuously produce acid to aid in digestion. In a grazing situation, where a horse is eating and chewing all day, the stomach acid produced is buffered by forage and saliva, keeping it from damaging the sensitive stomach lining. If a horse isn’t able to constantly graze, excess acid can build up and eat through the unprotected stomach lining, creating painful ulcers. Ulcers can cause a variety of issues in your horse, including a reluctance to eat or drink, a worsening attitude, less-than-optimal performance, weight loss, and more. If your horse can’t have access to fresh pasture due to geographic limitations or health conditions, make sure you’re providing plenty of quality hay throughout the day (free choice is ideal, but be sure to check with your veterinarian to ensure that it’s appropriate for your horse).
Healthy hooves are grown one day at a time. Just like our own fingernails, the hoof wall is composed of dead tissue, so it can’t mend and heal. Instead, damaged sections have to grow out and be replaced with new, healthy tissue. Even with the best care and nutrition, that’s going to take time. While you can’t fix your horse’s hooves overnight, you can start by taking these four steps in the right direction today!
Whether your horse is shod or barefoot, partnering with a qualified hoof care professional and getting your horse on a regular maintenance schedule is critical. Get tips for choosing the right farrier from expert farrier Danvers Child when you visit How to Choose a Farrier.
All horses have certain nutritional requirements that need to be met in order for them to maintain healthy, resilient hooves. Hoof health supplements provide the key building blocks your horse needs to grow strong, healthy hoof wall all year long, such as biotin, lysine, methionine, threonine, copper, and zinc.
The strength of the equine foot depends on nourishment provided by good circulation and vascularity. That’s where exercise and activity come in—to promote good blood flow, your horse needs to get moving through turnout, riding, and other exercise.
Frequent environmental shifts from wet to dry and vice versa can take a toll on hoof health, so try to limit these changes as much as possible. For additional support, consider a topical that helps stabilize moisture levels in the hoof, like Keratex Hoof Hardener and Keratex Hoof Gel.
Top picks for healthy hooves
#1 farrier-recommended hoof supplement
Farrier’s Formula Double Strength
25 mg of biotin for under $21
Comprehensive support for healthy circulation
SmartHoof Circulate Pellets
Just like you can fall into a rut in your everyday life or job, you and your horse can get bored doing the same exercise routine every day, too. That’s why this year, we’re challenging you to change up your routine and try something new with your horse. Not sure what to try? We’ve got a few ideas to get you started:
Take a lesson in a new discipline No matter what discipline you normally ride in, giving a new discipline a try can be fun, challenging, and help you and your horse develop new skills that you can incorporate into your regular riding routine.
Head out on the trails If you spend most of your days in the arena, consider heading outside the ring. Whether you just take a stroll around your farm or hit the nearby trails, you and your horse will both enjoy the change of scenery.
Try clicker training Clicker training can be used to teach a good habit or skill or behavior, or discourage or remove a bad habit. If you've got a horse who kicks or bites or doesn't trailer load or moves away from the mounting block, all things we would consider negative, you can clicker train. On the other hand, if you want a horse to do some positive behavior like drink water, you can also use clicker training.
Whether you tackle one of these challenges or change up your riding routine in another way, learning a new skill will be fun and engaging for both you and your horse!
The barn should be your happy place, but sometimes nerves - whether they’re your own or your horse’s - can make your riding time more stressful. Instead of just heading to the barn with your fingers crossed, try our favorite tips, tricks, and smart solutions to help you and your horse stay cool and confident this year.
Tips for you “I always try and hum, sing, or just breathe really deeply when I ride when I’m nervous. My trainer tells me to focus on my horse’s rhythm; whether you can really feel their hind end or if they breathe on a consistent rhythm. Breathing out on the way to the fence seems to be the most helpful for me.” –Keli, Customer Care
“Being well prepared and organized works the best for me – it keeps me from being distracted by undone details and lets me feel confident that I’m ready to go. I also try to always show a level lower than I’m schooling, which helps me to be less worried about the movements of the test or the heights of the jumps so I can focus more on details in my riding and having fun!” –Jen, Web Merchandising
“I lead my pony around the ring first. She looks at everything and I see if it’s going to be a good day or ‘one of those days.’” – Katie, Merchandising
“If you feel more confident when you lunge your horse before you get on, or when you stick to riding in the indoor, or when you use just half the ring, do it. There’s no shame in doing what makes you feel comfortable, even if you think you should be able to do without your ‘security blanket.’ As you gain more confidence, you can start moving out of your comfort zone until you don’t need your ‘security blanket’ anymore.” – Lexi, Marketing
Tips for your horse An excitable, spooky horse can totally take the fun out of your barn time, so it’s an important problem to solve. But where do you begin? Start by working with your trainer and veterinarian to get to the root of the problem, whether it’s medical, physical, or behavioral. Once you’ve checked out the common root causes of “bad” behavior, like the examples listed here, you’ll be one step closer to calm!
Lameness/soreness Focusing on training isn’t easy if your horse’s back, legs, feet, or other areas are hurting. (Be sure to consult your vet and farrier!)
Ill-fitting tack Imagine trying to run a race with pants or shoes that were too tight —ill-fitting tack can be similarly bothersome for your horse
Too much grain With grain comes sugar, and with sugar can come excitability; that’s why we recommend feeding the minimum amount of grain to maintain your horse’s ideal body condition (which may be no grain at all).
Too little turnout If arena work is the only time your horse gets to stretch his legs, it should be no surprise when he’s wild; increasing turnout time can help improve your horse’s focus under saddle.
Dental problems As your horse chews and wears down his teeth, sharp points can occasionally develop and, if they become painful, that can come across as uncooperative behavior during your rides.
Nutrient deficiencies If you’ve worked with your veterinarian and your trainer to cross off the other possible reasons for your horse’s bad behavior, a nutrient imbalance may be part of the problem. Some horses need more magnesium than a typical diet provides, and clinical signs of magnesium deficiency include nervousness and muscle tension. Similarly, horses lacking in vitamin B may be anxious, spooky, or unfocused. Calming supplements may help by providing these nutrients, along with amino acids that support a balanced nervous system, to help your horse feel focused and at ease. For moody mares, herbs like raspberry leaf and chaste berry may help support normal hormone levels and a balanced temperament.
Choosing the right calming supplement for your horse Here, we’ll take a closer look at the three types of calming supplements and get a better of understanding of how they work, so you can find the right support to help your horse relax and enjoy the ride.
Nutrient-based calming supplements Horses whose diets don’t provide enough of the nutrients necessary for proper nervous system function may be anxious. These formulas are designed to bring your horse’s dietary levels into the optimal range for a correctly functioning nervous system. Nutrient-based calming supplements are an ideal starting point for horses that are nervous, reactive, or spooky. Plus, if you compete in rated horse shows, they may be your best option, as herbal calming supplements include ingredients that may be forbidden by competitive organizations.
Ingredients to look for
Herb-based calming supplements Herbal ingredients can provide soothing support for tense, anxious horses. Some of these supplements combine herbs with the nutrient-based ingredients listed above. If you don't compete, an herbal calming formula may be a great option to consider. Additionally, if you've tried a nutrient-based supplement and didn't see the results you were hoping for, consider trying an herbal formula as a next step.
Ingredients to look for
Moody mare supplements If your sweet mare turns into a moody monster during or around her heat cycle, her poor attitude could be related to hormonal fluctuations or discomfort in her reproductive tract. These formulas include ingredients that support balanced hormones and an even disposition. When choosing a supplement, keep in mind that some herbal ingredients are forbidden by competitive organizations.
Ingredients to look for
Top picks for temperament support
Budget-friendly nervous system support
Comprehensive nutrient-based support
SmartCalm Ultra Pellets
#1 for supporting moody mares
SmartMare Harmony Pellets
Because your horse's body was designed for constant grazing, his stomach wasn't meant to sit empty for long periods. But modern horsekeeping often means a diet that's composed of infrequent meals of hay and grain. This schedule leaves your horse's stomach empty and exposes his sensitive stomach lining to excess gastric acids, which can lead to uncomfortable sore spots.
Add to the mix that training, travel, and more can increase your horse's risk of developing gastric issues, and you've got a recipe for a seriously stressed stomach and an unhappy horse. Fortunately, you can follow our simple three-step recipe and support a healthy stomach and a happy horse this year!
If you're worried that your horse already has trouble brewing in his stomach, talk with your vet about your concerns. Should your horse be diagnosed with gastric issues, you'll want to work with your vet to develop a treatment plan, which may include FDA-approved prescription medication.
From limited grazing to high-grain diets to changes in routine, many of the risk factors for gastric issues can happen any day of the year. That's why it's a smart choice to provide your horse with a daily supplement. Start building a strong foundation today by supporting your horse with a gastric health supplement, even if he has a normal, healthy stomach right now. These formulas provide ingredients to help neutralize excess stomach acid and support gastric tissue health so that your horse always has what he needs to maintain his stomach health.
Times of excess stress, such as traveling or competing, can lead to tummy troubles in even the most well-cared for horses. Consider giving your horse UlcerGard, the only non-prescription medication approved by the FDA for the prevention of gastric issues, during times of additional stress to help reduce your horse's risk.
Top picks for gastric health
Comprehensive gastric support, backed by clinical research
SmartGut Ultra Pellets
Budget-friendly support for a healthy stomach
The fundamentals for under $15 per month
Leg Up Stomach Pellets
As we mentioned in the previous challenge, the common practice of feeding your horse large, infrequent meals can set him up for tummy trouble. If giving your horse access to free choice hay and/or pasture isn’t possible, consider providing his hay in a slow feed hay bag like the SmartPak Slow Feed Hay Bag. Slow feed hay bags feature small holes that help slow your horse’s eating down, making his hay last longer. Since he’ll be able to spend more time munching, his stomach will stay full and protected from harmful gastric acid for longer, too.
And slow feed hay bags aren’t just beneficial for gastric health – they can help both easy keepers and hard keepers achieve their ideal body condition, too! Easy keepers may not be able to have unlimited access to hay, but restricting hay can lead to a cycle of bingeing and fasting that can cause digestive upset. Giving your easy keeper his hay in a slow feed hay bag will help him slow down so the hay he can have will last longer, reducing the amount of time that he spends without hay in his belly.
Just like with easy keepers, it’s important to have hay in front of your hard keeper as much as possible. Feeding your hard keeper’s hay in a slow feed hay bag will not only keep hay in front of him for much longer, but it will also slow down his chewing. By slowing down his chewing, you’ll improve his digestive function and nutrient absorption, helping him to utilize his feed better.
How much do you know about equine muscle health and muscle disorders? Check out the top eight things you need to know!
In order to build muscle, your horse needs a combination of both amino acids and stimulus, or exercise. That’s why muscle supplements like SmartMuscle Mass Pellets and Leg Up Muscle Pellets include several key amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Along with regular riding, training tools such as the Pessoa Lungeing System, hill work, and/or cavaletti exercises may be helpful additions to your horse’s exercise program if you’re looking to build strong, healthy muscle.
Sugars, starches, fats, and protein are all potential energy sources for your horse, but they each have very different impacts on energy and attitude. Nonstructural carbohydrates, like sugars, provide a highly concentrated energy source that is rapidly digested and utilized, causing spikes in blood sugar that can make your horse more excitable. Interestingly, pound for pound, fat supplies more than twice as much energy as either carbohydrates or protein, but because it doesn’t cause the same blood sugar spikes, it’s considered a “cooler” energy source. That’s why feeding fat is a smart choice for hard keepers. Protein is not very easily converted into energy, and instead benefits the horse by supplying amino acids, which are critical for the formation of muscle tissues, for intestinal tissue repair, and for many metabolic processes.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids, or BCAAs, include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Limited research in horses suggests these specific amino acids are mobilized during exercise and used by the body for energy. This preserves muscle glycogen and other, structural amino acids. BCAAs are therefore believed to delay the onset of fatigue during aerobic activities, and aid in the repair of muscle tissues after exercise. That’s why they’re some of the key ingredients in SmartMuscle Recovery Pellets.
Vitamin E is most recognized as an antioxidant that works to protect the body from the oxidative stress of exercise, illness, and certain medical conditions. Found in high amounts in fresh pasture, levels begin to decay the moment pasture is cut for hay. Due to this, any horse that does not have access to grass — regardless of his activity level or health — should receive Vitamin E supplementation.
Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM), also called Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (EPSM or EPSSM), is likely an inherited condition, occurring most commonly in Quarter Horses, draft horses, and warmbloods, but also showing up in other breeds. The muscles of a horse with PSSM are unable to properly store glucose (sugar), so it is unavailable when needed for energy. Two forms have now been identified: Type 1, which is caused by a genetic mutation, and Type 2, the cause of which has yet to be determined and is sometimes referred to as "Equine Myofibrillar Myopathy".
Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP) is a muscle disorder caused by a dysfunction in how the electrolyte sodium moves in and out of muscle cells, due to an inability to regulate potassium. HYPP is found only in horses that are descendants of the famous Quarter Horse stallion Impressive. Horses can have one or two genes for HYPP, and thus can show a varying degree of signs, from mild to severe. Mild signs generally include sweating and twitching in the neck, shoulders, and flank, while more severe signs may consist of muscle trembling and cramping, which can cause the horse to sway, sit, or even go down. The entire event lasts anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes, and horses can actually die during episodes due to cardiac or respiratory arrest.
Ample turnout time and a consistent exercise program with controlled activity are essential for horses with HYPP or PSSM. Paired with a diet that’s low in non-structural carbohydrates, activities such as hand walking, lunging, riding, or driving can be very beneficial for these horses.
The signs of tying up—which include firm, painful muscles over the loin and croup, excessive sweating, muscle tremors, a reluctance or refusal to move, and lying down or the inability to rise—can range from mild to severe. In addition to those already listed, other signs to look for are quick and shallow breathing, an increased heart rate, and reddish-brown colored urine.
Even the youngest among us fondly remember the good old days of the rotational deworming chart. You could tear out a simple calendar from any horse magazine, hang it up in the barn, place one order from your favorite catalog (ahem), and BOOM—you’re set for the year!
Alas, as is often the case with the “good old days,” those days are long gone. Nowadays, industry experts and veterinarians are increasingly focused on “resistance” among parasites, meaning that the worms are less and less sensitive to the active ingredients in the dewormers we’ve been using for the last ~40 years. That means we have to change up our strategy.
Modern deworming is focused on managing the herd, not just the individual horse, and working to reduce the parasite load on the entire property. Instead of trying to eliminate your horse’s parasite load completely (which is impossible), your entire barn should work together to reduce the parasites present on the property. This means deworming the high shedders most frequently and the low shedders as infrequently as possible (to help reduce further parasite resistance).
When we talk about shedders, we’re not talking about hair coats. A horse’s shedding status refers to how many eggs are present in the manure when you perform a fecal egg count test. The higher a horse is classified, the more eggs are present in his manure, which means he’s contaminating the pasture at a higher rate, and therefore exposing his pasture/barn-mates to more risk of disease. Sound complicated? Don’t worry, it’s not! We’ll walk you through how to handle your horse, and then you should chat with your barn manager and veterinarian to address the whole herd.
Generally speaking, worms are dormant when it’s regularly under 40° F or over 90° F. Your vet will be able to give guidance on when you should complete this deworming based on your individual climate. When you’re deworming your horse, you want to use a product that works. How do you know it works? Use something that doesn’t have widespread resistance (check out the chart on this page to learn more) and use a fecal test! Test your horse before, deworm, and test 10–14 days after. If the counts are reduced by a certain percentage (your vet can help you with this), you’ve got a product that works great for your horse.
A fecal test may sound hard (and gross), but happily, it’s neither! If your vet will do a fecal test, you don’t have to do anything but ask. If you’re more of a DIY-er, our Equine Fecal Test Kit makes it easy & clean. Just wait for your horse to pass manure, use the scoop to drop a bit into the collection container, close it up, put it in the envelope, and drop it in the mail. You’ll have your results in less than two weeks!
Use a fecal egg count test to determine which horses on the property are high (500 eggs per gram), medium (200–500 eggs per gram), and low. Any horse identified as a high shedder should be dewormed at every ERP (this is based on the type of product you last used to deworm that horse).
You can use the same product selection guidelines you used in Step 1!
Want to learn more about the parasites that could be affecting your horse? Check out this blog to see the enemies that your horse is facing and to understand whether or not they currently resist the active ingredients found in dewormers.
A shiny coat is a sign of a healthy horse, and every horse owner loves hearing that they’ve got the best - looking horse around. Check out our three easy ways to take your daily routine to the next level and help your horse get glowing!
Elbow grease is one of the best ways to bring out your horse’s shine. If you’re looking for a better way to groom than with your old rubber curry comb, consider the HandsOn® Gloves for Grooming. These five-fingered grooming gloves have scrubbing nodules on the fingers and palms, making it easy for you to groom your horse and give him a massage at the same time. For the rest of your grooming necessities, consider getting a grooming set like the SmartPak Grooming Tote & Brush Set, which includes a hard brush, soft brush, and face brush to finish off your horse’s shine.
Adding a skin and coat supplement like SmartShine® Ultra to your horse’s AutoShip supplement program is almost like grooming him when you’re not there! This targeted formula supports a beautiful coat from the inside, out with omega 3 fatty acids from stabilized flaxseed and chia seed.
Once your horse is clean, you want to keep him that way. Along with adding an extra sparkle to your horse’s coat, using a spray like Absorbine® Santa Fe™ Coat Conditioner & Sunscreen on your clean horse will help prevent grass and stable stains. (Just be careful not to use coat spray on your horse’s saddle area, because it may make his or her coat slippery.)
Because most modern horses are subjected to the same common stressors, including time spent in stalls, forced exercise, and unnatural feeding routines, many horse owners have found that they want to provide ingredients for the same key areas. That’s why multi-purpose supplements have become so popular – because they make it easy for you to target multiple areas of your horse’s health with one formula. Read on to learn more about the different types of support you may find in a multi-purpose supplement, and to find out why horses from across all disciplines may benefit from them.
Joint health Your horse’s joints help power his motion, and keeping them healthy is key to keeping him moving comfortably. However, a 1999 study in the Equine Veterinary Journal identified joint changes in a herd of wild mustangs, and the researchers concluded that the degenerative process occurs in all horses. That means that all horses, including yours, are at risk for progressive and permanent joint deterioration. Your horse’s body is designed to repair and rebuild minimal “wear and tear” to joints, but the increased demands of riding and training often cause more damage than your horse’s body can keep up with. Joint supplements help ensure that your horse has a steady supply of the key ingredients he needs to maintain healthy joints so he can keep going strong for years to come.
Hoof health Your horse’s hooves are his foundation, so keeping them healthy is essential. Along with regular professional maintenance, plenty of exercise, and other management, proper nutrition plays a vital role in hoof health. In fact, research shows that a daily serving of 10–30 mg of biotin supports the growth rate and quality of hoof wall. Daily provision of a biotin-containing supplement that includes other key nutrients for strong, resilient hoof horn is a smart way to ensure your horse is always ready to step up to the challenge.
GI health Your horse’s gastrointestinal tract, which is made up of the foregut and the hindgut or large intestine, is incredibly important to his overall health and performance. The foregut (which includes the stomach and small intestine) and or the hindgut (which includes the cecum and colon) each have their own functions, as well as their own unique health concerns. While both are susceptible to issues, an unhealthy stomach is at higher risk for lesions, while an unhealthy colon is at a higher risk for digestive upset like loose stool. Problems in either area can lead to poor health and poor performance, so it’s important to ensure that your horse is getting the support he needs to keep his entire GI tract running smoothly.
Skin & coat health Your horse’s skin is a master multi-tasker with a number of important jobs. It’s his first line of defense against injury, insects, infections, and more. It helps with thermoregulation by activating the sweat glands when it gets too hot and by puffing up the coat to seal out the cold. It turns sunlight into Vitamin D and is loaded with nerve endings that keep the brain up to date on changes in the surrounding environment. Clearly, healthy skin is vital to a healthy horse, but it can be challenging to monitor the health of your horse’s skin because, well, most of it is covered in hair. Luckily, your horse’s coat can help serve as a report card for his skin health. A soft, shiny coat is an indicator of healthy, resilient skin, while a dull or rough coat likely suggests there’s room for improvement.
The categories listed here are just some of the more popular areas of support that you may find in a multi-purpose supplement. Depending on the brand and the ingredients, a multi-purpose formula may combine ingredients that support some or all of these areas of your horse’s health, or even other areas that aren’t listed here. Due to their comprehensive coverage, these multi-faceted formulas are a smart choice for any horse owner who wants to give their horse a strong foundation.
Top picks for multi-purpose supplements
High levels of ingredients for joint, digestive, hoof, and coat health
SmartCombo Ultra Pellets
Well-rounded support at an unbeatable value
Leg Up Combo Pellets
Targets six key areas for optimal performance
Following trends in your horse’s weight throughout the year is one of the most important things you can do to track your horse’s overall health. Both underweight horses and overweight horses face unique health challenges, so knowing your horse's body condition score can help you develop the right diet and management plan for a happy, healthy horse whether he’s currently underweight, overweight, or just right.
The Henneke Body Condition Scoring Scale is the ideal tool for taking this measurement because it provides a standard system for you, your veterinarian, and other equine professionals to use and compare. It runs from 1, which is “poor” (the thinnest), to 9, which is “extremely fat” (the fattest). A score of “5,” or “moderate,” is ideal for most breeds and disciplines. However, in some equine sports (like racing) and some life stages (like pregnancy), a higher or lower score than the moderate “5” may be preferred.
When body condition scoring your horse, you evaluate the amount of fat cover he has in six key areas: the neck, the ribs, the withers, the loin, behind the shoulder, and the tailhead. When evaluating the level of fat in each location, be sure to feel the thickness with your hands — looks can be deceiving! Use the guide below to assign a numerical value to each area, then average them to come up with one final score.
1: Poor Animal is extremely emaciated; vertebrae, ribs, tailhead, and pelvic bones projecting prominently; bone structure of withers, shoulders, and neck easily noticeable, no fatty tissue can be felt.
2: Very thin Animal is emaciated; slight fat covering over tops and sides of vertebrae, but the vertebrae, ribs, tailhead, pelvic bones are still prominent; withers, shoulder, and neck structure faintly discernible.
3: Thin Fat buildup about halfway on tops of vertebrae; sides of vertebrae cannot be felt; slight fat cover over ribs; vertebrae and ribs easily discernible; tailhead prominent, but individual vertebrae cannot be identified visually; sides of pelvis appear rounded but easily discernible; back of pelvis not distinguishable; withers, shoulders, and neck accentuated.
4: Moderately thin Slight ridge along back; faint outline of ribs discernible; tailhead prominence depends on conformation, fat can be felt around it; the side of the pelvis is not discernible; withers, shoulders, and neck not obviously thin.
5: Moderate Back is flat (no crease or ridge); ribs not visually distinguishable, but easily felt; fat around tailhead beginning to feel spongy; withers appear rounded over vertebrae; shoulders and neck blend smoothly into body.
6: Moderately fleshy May have slight crease down back; fat over ribs spongy; fat around tailhead soft; fat beginning to be deposited along the side of withers, behind shoulders, and along the sides of neck.
7: Fleshy May have crease down back; individual ribs can be felt, but noticeable filling between ribs with fat; fat around tailhead soft; fat deposited along withers, behind shoulders, and along neck.
8: Fat Crease down back; difficult to feel ribs; fat around tailhead very soft; area along withers filled with fat; area behind shoulder filled with fat; noticeable thickening of neck; fat deposited along inner thighs.
9: Extremely fat Obvious crease down back; patchy fat appearing over ribs; bulging fat around tailhead, along withers, behind shoulders, and along neck; fat along inner thighs may rub together; flank filled with fat.
If you get a score in the 1-4 range or the 6-9 range, talk to your veterinarian about whether your horse is at the ideal score for his individual situation. If you determine that your horse needs to gain or lose weight to help achieve his ideal condition, ask your vet if the smart solutions below may be appropriate for your horse.
Easy keepers: It’s hard to resist the urge to squeal over how adorable a chubby pony is, but unfortunately, overweight horses and ponies aren’t cute — they’re unhealthy. Fortunately, with smart management practices and the right support, you can help your easy keeper achieve his ideal weight.
1. Talk to your veterinarian If you’re struggling to help your easy keeper maintain a healthy weight, talk to your vet about the possibility of your horse having metabolic issues. Though not every overweight horse has metabolic issues, it is enough of an indicator to justify a chat with your vet and possibly testing for a metabolic condition.
2. Manage your horse's portions Easy keepers may not be able to have unlimited access to hay, but restricting hay can lead to a cycle of bingeing and fasting that can cause digestive upset. The SmartPak™ Slow Feed Hay Bag can help your easy keeper slow down so the hay he can have will last longer.
Turnout is key for every horse’s health, but unlimited grazing on pasture isn’t recommended for easy keepers. The Tough 1 Easy Breathe Grazing Muzzle can help your horse enjoy his turnout time without packing on the pounds.
Many easy keepers get little to no grain, but that can leave their diets lacking in key vitamins and minerals. Click here to learn more about how to help ensure that your horse is getting the nutrients he needs.
3. Consider supplemental support Along with proper management practices, a metabolic health supplement may be appropriate. SmartMetabo-Lean® Pellets provide ingredients to support proper insulin function and help maintain normal blood sugar levels, helping to support a healthy weight.
Hard keepers: No one wants a ribby horse that makes them feel like a bad mom, but some horses are just harder to keep weight on than others! These horses can beneﬁt from extra care and support year-round, and a great place to start is by following these three steps.
1. Rule out medical reasons If you’re concerned that your horse is underweight, ask your veterinarian to perform a complete physical examination to ensure there isn’t an underlying medical cause for your horse’s weight troubles. Some of the health reasons that your veterinarian may check for include dental issues, gastric ulcers or other digestive problems, a chronic infection, or parasites.
2. Evaluate your horse's diet He should be getting at least 1–2% of his body weight in forage every day (for a 1,000 lb horse, that’s 10–20 lbs daily!). If your horse gets grain, take a look at the feed bag and compare his daily serving in pounds to the amount recommended on the feed label to make sure he’s getting the right serving. Not sure how to read a feed label? Click here to learn how!
3. Consider supplemental support If your horse needs more calories in his diet, you don’t have to heap on the grain. Weight gain supplements like SmartGain® provide a “cool” source of calories so that you can support a healthy weight without the excess energy and digestive problems that can come with too much grain.
Just like it can be easy for us to over-indulge on goodies, it can also be easy to over-feed our horses with sugary treats. Instead of reaching for the more indulgent, high-sugar treats on every barn visit, save them for special occasions and stock up on healthy options for day-to-day rewards.
And luckily for your horse, there are treats available that are both healthy and irresistibly tasty! Our SmartCookies have a healthy base of coconut meal, beet pulp, alfalfa, and flaxseed oil, and are available in several flavors that got a four hooves up approval from horses like yours. Plus, SmartCookies contain no added sugar, making them a great choice for horses on low-sugar diets or for smart snacking for any horse.
As horses get older, they may struggle with things that were never problems before, such as pituitary gland function, normal shedding, and hair coat length. That’s why if you have a shaggy senior, it’s important to monitor how well his coat sheds out in the spring.
If you notice that your horse has a long, curly hair coat that fails to shed this spring, be sure to talk to you veterinarian about your concerns. Once your vet has examined your horse and made a diagnosis, you should work together to design a treatment, dietary, and management plan for your horse’s individual needs. Depending on your horse, his overall management plan may include support from the right supplement, like SmartPituitary Senior Pellets.
SmartPituitary Senior Pellets are designed to help support normal function of the pituitary gland in aged horses. The comprehensive formula provides ingredients for endocrine health, muscle development, skin and coat health, and immune function, which are all areas of support that may be helpful for many senior horses.
It may seem early to be thinking about bug season, but a little planning can go a long way when it comes to battling the bugs. If you follow our simple four-step plan, victory can be yours this fly season!
The best way to keep the fly population on your farm in check is by making sure fly larvae can’t mature into adult flies. Luckily, it’s easy to do just that by starting the farm’s Fly Stopper shipments at the right time. These tiny, beneficial bugs stop adult pest flies from developing by feeding upon and breeding within the developing (pupal) stages of manure breeding flies. Because Fly Stoppers must be reintroduced to your property on a regular basis, we recommend releasing a shipment every three to four weeks throughout fly season for maximum results. To learn more about the best time to start releasing Fly Stoppers in your area, visit this link and click “Find zone.”
To give your horse his own personal no-fly zone, start him on an insect defense supplement about four weeks before the start of the fly season. SmartBug-Off® Ultra Pellets provide high levels of garlic, brewer’s yeast, and apple cider vinegar to help discourage bugs from bothering your horse.
Your next step is to make sure that your horse’s physical barrier of protection is ready. A few weeks before you’re expecting to start using them, make sure that your horse’s fly sheet, fly mask, and fly boots are clean, in good shape, and still fit him. Starting early gives you plenty of time to get the right fit if your horse needs new gear. Don’t forget, SmartPak offers free return shipping on all sized items, including fly gear!
Don’t forget about your horse’s last line of defense! If you place your fly spray order on AutoShip now, you’ll have fresh spray on hand before the bugs arrive so that you and your horse can enjoy fly-free rides all season long. Plus, you’ll save 5% on every AutoShip order of your favorite fly sprays, including OutSmart Fly Spray!
This year, you can change the world for your horse while saving money when you complete our final Horse Health Challenge: choosing AutoShip for his supplements. Why should you choose AutoShip, you may ask? Check out the top three reasons why below!
Supplements work best when they’re fed consistently – after all, your horse's joints are under stress every day, even if you're not working hard (that's why wild mustangs who've never been ridden a day in their lives still get joint degeneration). And your horse is constantly, slowly growing new hoof wall, which needs proper nutrition to provide a solid foundation. From calming to digestive health and beyond, supplements work best when fed every day, which is why smart riders choose AutoShip when ordering their horse's supplements.
Besides helping you take great care of the horses you love, ordering supplements on AutoShip saves you time, stress, and money. You can save up to 20% off every shipment of hundreds of supplements from your favorite brands when you order them on AutoShip in SmartPaks or buckets!
When you take great of your horse by ordering his supplements on AutoShip, you deserve a reward. That’s why when you order your horse’s supplements in SmartPaks or AutoShip buckets, you’re eligible for our free SmartPerks benefits, including:
Free shipping on every order We get it. No one wants to pay for shipping on a $15 bottle of fly spray. And now, you don't have to! If your AutoShip supplements order is over $40, you're eligible for FREE* ground shipping on what you want, when you want it.
10% off all SmartPak brand gear every day Your exclusive VIP SmartPerks discount gets you 10% off all of our SmartPak brand gear, from halters and headstalls to breeches and blankets!
Exclusive offers, gifts, and deals As an AutoShip supplement subscriber, you also get exclusive access to flash sales and other special emails no one else sees!
Ready to get started? Call our Supplement Experts at 1-800-461-8898 to get a free supplement consultation and start your horse on an AutoShip supplement program. Or, if you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, you can visit SmartPak.com/Wizard. You’ll just have to answer a handful of questions about your horse and our Supplement Wizard will give you supplement recommendations customized to your horse.
Already a SmartPerks member? Visit SmartPak.com/SmartPerks to start taking advantage of your free SmartPerks benefits today!
*To activate SmartPerks benefits, at least one supplement bucket/bag, or one horse's individual SmartPaks must be over $40. AutoShipping buckets/bags must ship within one multiple of the standard days supply to qualify. Some exclusions apply. Call 1-800-461-8898 for details.
Enter for a chance to be our Ultimate Horse Health Challenge winner and get a $2,000 prize package! It’s easy! Just read all of the challenges above and complete the quizzes at the end of each challenge. You’ll unlock an exclusive deal each time you beat a quiz, and you’ll be on your way to unlocking this entry form! Once you’ve completed all of the quizzes, you’ll be able to fill out this form and enter for a chance to win.
1. ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia (excluding Veterinarians and all US licensed Physicians in California, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island and Vermont), who are at least 18 years of age or the age of majority in their state of residence, whichever is greater at the time of entry. “Physician” is defined as any (a) doctor of medicine or osteopathy; (b) dentist; (c) podiatrist; (d) optometrist; and (c) chiropractor. Void where prohibited by law. This contest is governed by US law and is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Employees of SmartPak Equine, LLC (“Sponsor”) and its affiliates, subsidiaries, parents, advertising, contest and fulfillment agencies and members of the immediate family or household of each, are not eligible to participate. Immediate family member is defined as a parent, sibling or any person residing in same household as employee.
2. CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION: Further required information may include, but is not limited to entrant’s name, date of birth, phone number, mailing address, social security number. Failure to provide necessary and truthful information may result in disqualification of the entrant and forfeiture of any awarded prizes.
3. ENTRY: Contest begins on February 1, 2019 at 12:01 AM EST and ends on April 30, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST. No responsibility is assumed by Sponsor for lost, late, misdirected, or for any computer, online, telephone or technical malfunctions that may occur. All entries become the property of the Sponsor and will not be returned. To enter, complete all of the Horse Health Challenge quizzes and fill out the entry form located at SmartPak.com/HorseHealthChallenge. Entries will be accepted beginning February 1, 2019 at 12:01 AM EST through April 30, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST. One entry per person will be accepted.
Providing a photo constitutes entrant’s consent to give Sponsor a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, create derivative works from, and display such photos in whole or in part, on a worldwide basis, and to incorporate it into other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, including but not limited to on any and all Internet media, including Sponsor’s web sites and properties and on social networking sites (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.), for any legal purpose whatsoever. Further, by providing a photo entrant consents to photo’s being cut, edited, reformatted, rearranged, combined with other materials and/or otherwise modified, in Sponsor’s sole and absolute discretion.
4. PRIZES/ODDS: One (1) prize package will be awarded:
The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. ALL EXPENSES, TAXES AND COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ACCEPTANCE AND USE OF PRIZES NOT SET FORTH IN THESE RULES ARE THE OBLIGATION OF THE WINNERS. The prizes are non-transferable and no substitution is permitted, except by Sponsor, who reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to substitute a prize of equal or greater value, if prize, or portion of prize, becomes unavailable.
5. SELECTION PROCESS: The winner of this contest will be selected by a panel judges selected by SmartPak. Entries will be judged based on the entrant’s commitment to taking great care of their horse, as represented in their entry. The winner will be announced on May 15, 2019 at approximately 12:00 PM EST on Facebook. The potential winner will be notified by email within approximately 48 hours and the winner’s names (first name, first initial of last name, city and state) will be announced on the Sponsor’s Facebook Page Timeline. If Sponsor is unable to contact the potential winner after reasonable effort, or if the potential winner fails to respond within three days of first attempted notification, prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner.
7. INDEMNIFICATION: By participating in this contest and/or by accepting any contest prizes that you may be awarded, you agree that Sponsor and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliated companies, units and divisions; and their advertising and promotional agencies and prize suppliers; each of their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives and employees; and each of these company’s and individual’s respective successors, representatives and assigns (collectively, the “Indemnified Parties”) shall not be liable for any and all actions, claims, including, but not limited to, any third party claims, injury, loss or damage arising in any manner, directly or indirectly, arising from or relating to this contest, including entry and participation in this contest, or the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize. By participating in the contest and/or accepting any prize that you may be awarded, you agree to fully indemnify each Indemnified Party from any and all such claims by third parties without limitation.
8. DISPUTES Except where prohibited, each entrant agrees that (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and any judicial proceeding shall take place exclusively in a federal or state court located in Massachusetts; (2) any and all claims, judgments, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this contest, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (3) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, special, and consequential damages, and any other damages, including actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of entrant and the Sponsor in connection with this contest shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions (whether of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any other jurisdiction), that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than those of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
9. INTERNET: If, for any reason, the Internet portion of this contest is not capable of running as planned, whether due to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which corrupts or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this contest, Sponsor reserve the right at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest. In the event of termination, random drawings to award the prize will be conducted from entries received up until the time of termination. Sponsor assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. Sponsor is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail or entry to be received by Sponsor on account of technical problems, human error or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any web site, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in this contest. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY A PERSON TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. In the event of a dispute, entries will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at time of entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, on-line service provider or other organization (e.g., business, educational, institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.
10. WINNERS LIST: For the name and state of residence of the winner, send a self-addressed stamped envelope by June 15, 2019 to SmartPak Equine, #UltimateHorseHealthChallenge, 40 Grissom Road, Suite 500, Plymouth, MA 02360.
11. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is SmartPak Equine LLC, 40 Grissom Road, Suite 500, Plymouth, MA 02360.
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