I thought that this would be interesting since SprinklerBandits just posted about supplements here.
To start off I have to admit that I have a serious supplement addiction. Katai gets 5 SmartPak wells plus two additional supplements. Of course two of those wells are one supplement but still, that's 6 supplements. Of course she doesn't get any grain to speak of, just 3/4 of a cup (standard measuring cup not a scoop) of beet pulp and pretty much free choice hay.
It all started off with her magnesium. I've done my research and it's something that's lacking in our soil in this area. On top of that I've clearly seen the difference in her attitude and mindset when she was on it vs. off of it. She's gone off and on a couple of times because of various feeding plans and every time I could tell a huge difference despite not even knowing she wasn't getting it at one point.
Then, I researched and discovered DMG and how it can affect muscle recovery and reduce the buildup of lactic acid. Katai had rock hard muscles at one point and although I suspect that a large part of that was the training at the time (it was when I was riding with J) it's also a cheap supplement that I feel it's worth it to continue to give her.
Then, because her coat was horrible and her hooves had always been icky, I started giving her a general vitamin supplement and a Biotin supplement. I saw a huge difference in her coat and hooves with the biotin and although I realize that she doesn’t need to have a shiny coat but hooves are quite important and I feel like a frizzy coat despite regular grooming points towards a lack of something important. The Biotin supplement that I have her on now, Smarthoof, also has some other important vitamins and minerals so it’s one less thing to worry about and her hooves are looking even better!
Then, later this summer, I added MSM since there is so much research showing that it’s actually best to add this before there is a problem. I have noticed increased grumpiness from Katai since I’ve added it and I’ve read that some horses get more aggressive on it. I’ve been tempted to take her off and see what happens so I may do that at some point but honestly I feel like the grumpiness is worth it for a horse that will hopefully be sound and comfortable for longer.
Finally at my trainer’s recommendation I added raspberry leaf. L is actually a scientist for her day job and she does cancer research. While she doesn’t do anything with nutrition she also comes at supplementation the way that she does her job and does lots of research with great sources so when she suggests a supplement I do it without questioning. I had Katai on Mare Magic for a while previously and didn’t see a huge difference but I’m not sure that I was giving enough, now I have seen a difference in how uncomfortable she is and how reactive she is during her cycle. I also have been trying Chasteberry powder (which does test) just to see if it helps at all. I haven’t noticed a difference with this one so I’ll be taking her off it during the next few weeks.
The final list:
Has all the magnesium she needs plus the other important vitamins that she’s not getting from grain. I’ve compared ingredients in a -lot of different supplements and this is the best combination for what we are lacking in my area)-SmartHoof
Huge difference in her hooves and coat