Just the other day I received the following via e-mail and thought it brought up a few topics that need commenting:
Now THIS is annoying.
I took my horse to the vet last week, and found myself in a conversation about a supplement I should put my horse on. Normal horse forage should take care of every horse nutritional need, and I know all about depletion of our topsoil and even human food not providing what we need, but the horse supplement industry is full of a dizzying array of claims about what to feed our horses. In my lifetime I have seen the quality of hay deteriorate drastically. But I make a point of getting the best I can.
I have friends who swear by a certain supplement, and when I look at their hay, the hay is crap. No wonder the horse does better with the supplement.
I still get sucked into driving long distances to get “the best quality hay”, only to find the same stuff I get in my own area.
I am aware of all the pressures on hay dealers right now, but I do get annoyed with feed store personnel who insist that the hay they have is “great”! I now do business with a small feed store that fesses up about the quality of their hay.
With only one horse, I’m not too concerned about the price of hay. $35 for a bale of timothy I can handle, but when I have to throw about half of the bale out, I am annoyed.
Am I going to get this supplement? Of course! I get sucked in again and again. But it is annoying.
- Hay testing is an underutilized resource that doesn’t break the bank and yet can save gobs of money down the road. How simple it is to know exactly what is lacking in your horse’s forage, therefore only needing to supplement that which is deficient. And in most cases you don’t even need an overinflated priced ‘equine’ supplement. There are no statistics on how much it costs an owner in healthcare for a horse that doesn’t have a balanced diet, but I think most of us know of several examples of horses that have suffered because of a poor diet. Junk in equals junk out and no horse can perform and remain healthy and sound on junk. At some point it catches up to all.
- Farming isn’t easy and it’s not for the stupid. Unfortunately, like any industry, farming isn’t immune to individuals who suck at what they do. To be able to produce healthy, nutritious crops year after year takes knowledge, hard work, AND some weather luck. The first two we are at the mercy of others so must do due diligence, but the last… Raise your hand if your region has been bombarded by unusual weather patterns over the last decade or so that have affected forage crops and increased the costs that you’ve had to endure.
- The premium price gouging by the ‘Equine Supplement Industry’ – do they really deserve the capitalization, Mercedes? – is a crime on par with the government taxing me up the wazoo and then cutting funding to the social programs that money was intended for (and that they told me it was for) so they can indiscriminately spend it on useless…deep breath… Okay, it’s not the same, but I still want to hurt somebody.
- I hope that’s one big ass bale of hay for $35.
- Do I understand correctly that your vet talked you into the supplement? Before or after the blood results? And what’s the vet’s margin on that supplement?
- I’m annoyed too, and frankly I’ve never been able to forgive Rick for riding that horse into the city and getting it eaten by zombies. What the hell was he thinking?!
Thanks to pallas broy for sending her thoughts on this recent experience and allowing me to put them up on Hooves for others to comment. Remember: firstname.lastname@example.org