Fall is here! Are you and your horse ready? Here is what one horse owner does as she and her horse head into the colder seasons.
By SmartPaker Katrina Clark
Photo courtesy of SmartPak
Fall is upon us—whether the weather here in New England acknowledges it or not! We are still having some warm days with record-setting humidity, as evidenced by the funky crud that persists on my horse’s pasterns. As the calendar days progress and with the kids back at school, I finally had a chance to sit down to evaluate my horse’s evolving supplement program and determine what supplies and apparel I’ll need going into the fall and winter!
Seasonal Supplement Evaluation
I put my Quarter Horse gelding Finn on Smart & Simple Flax last spring to keep his skin and coat in top shape for show season. According to my farrier, however, Finn’s feet grow incredibly fast—the most he’s ever seen! When I previously had him on a hoof supplement, it accelerated his hoof growth so much that my farrier had to come every four weeks. While I’m fortunate for his speedy hoof growth in the event of a hoof issue, I ended up taking him off the hoof supplement since it didn’t seem necessary with his natural growth and strong hooves.
The Smart & Simple Flax definitely helped his skin and coat, but it also seems to have helped his hooves and accelerated their growth (again!). We had to go back from being shod every five weeks to every four weeks. Again, I’m grateful that he has such healthy hooves, but I decided to remove the Smart & Simple Flax from his SmartPaks for the fall.
Finn is already on SmartGut Ultra Pellets for gut health, but this fall I decided to add the SmartFlex Ultimate Pellets to his SmartPaks, because I felt he needed extra joint support. He turned 9 this year, but he’s in training for hunt seat and Western events and works pretty hard, so I’m confident that adding a joint supplement will be beneficial for him.
In addition to adjusting Finn’s supplement program, I was finally able to sit down and put together a list of things that were on my “oh yeah, I need to get that” list. First on the list was getting Finn a new nameplate for his halter. I’m ashamed to admit how long his current nameplate has been electrically taped on to his halter—possibly two years, but at minimum one year!
One of the screws came off at a horse show, so I used electrical tape to tape it on. I keep telling myself that I should have immediately contacted one of my wonderful coworkers on SmartPak’s Customer Care Team to request an additional screw, but I just got busy and forgot. Since it’s been at least a year (proves how multi-purposeful electrical tape is and why it’s always smart to have on hand at the barn and shows), I decided Finn deserved a new halter nameplate. I went with the Halter Nameplate and had his name engraved on it. I bet everyone at my barn will be surprised to no longer see the electrical tape on his nameplate!
Fall Shopping List
As I mentioned, Finn developed fungus on his pasterns after wearing boots at a horse show in muggy weather. Despite carefully washing his pasterns with medicated shampoo, he’s still fighting off that crud, so I purchased the Silver Honey Medicated Shampoo to replenish the medicated shampoo we’d been using from the barn. Made out of manuka honey and MicroSilver BG, this shampoo is antimicrobial to treat fungal and bacterial skin conditions while also soothing his itchy skin.
My daughter took a brief hiatus from riding after a fall that shook her confidence, but I’m thrilled that she’s getting back into it, so I’ve also been shopping for new apparel for her, as she’s grown a bit since she last rode consistently! In anticipation of the cooler months fast approaching, I got her the Piper Kids Vest by SmartPak, which I think she’ll be excited about. My daughter is almost 11 years old, so she’s at the age where unicorns and glittery things aren’t “cool” anymore, and she likes more subtle and basic pieces like the Piper Kids Vest.
The last item on my fall to-do list was to purchase the Back on Track Scandic PK Performance Wrap. I am a huge fan of Back on Track products and was excited to see that these could be used during riding and also as standing wraps. I can’t wait to see how these work for Finn!
As we continue to move into the cooler months, I’m sure I’ll be adding to my fall shopping list—and making a Christmas wish list—but these items helped me kick off the fall and get the new nameplate I’ve needed for two years! Additionally, I always like to review Finn’s supplement program as the seasons change and his needs shift.
You can find this and more on the SmartPak blog.
Happy Monday, Horse Nation. Go riding!