Smartpaks. Are they worth it?

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Smartpaks. Are they worth it?

This is a discussion on Smartpaks. Are they worth it? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • If a horse used to be malnourished is it more likely to colic
  • Are smart paks worth the cost horse supplements

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    09-07-2012, 11:47 AM
Smartpaks. Are they worth it?

My one mare is a hard keeper. When we got her she was severely malnourished. As a result, she had rainrot, ulcers, and had began windsucking. She is also 17 and had terrible teeth. The vet has come out, floated her teeth, and has given her the okay. I've been keeping her on some U-guard and it has been working, but I saw today that smartpaks has a new program starting up for their SmartDigest supplement. It would cost me $34.95 for a 28 day supply, but they also cover up to $7500 of colic surgery coverage. My mare meets all of their requirements and since she is more likely to have colic than my other horse due to her windsucking (collars didn't work), I thought it might be a good idea to get her on that supplement as well. Smartpak also has my normal supplement, so I could just buy them together then. Any thoughts on this program? Is it worth the money? Have any of you used smartpak?
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    09-07-2012, 11:51 AM
Green Broke
I personally will not use smartpaks. I did the math and it would literally cost 5 times the monthly price to get my stuff in smartpaks rather than buy individually.

But if it saves you money then it would be a good idea. I'm not understanding the colic surgery coverage though?
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    09-07-2012, 11:53 AM
I like SmartPak stuff but I do not like the premade packs. They're convenient but it's cheaper to buy the bag and make your own servings and set them in baggies or little containers. However if money were not a factor, I'd use the packs.
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    09-07-2012, 11:54 AM
Imo, it all depends on what you find to be worth the money. If you don't mind putting supplements into baggies/cups/whatever then it may be cheaper to buy the supplements in bulk. However, some barns don't want all kind of different baggies/cups/etc. all over the feed room and require the smartpaks.

For me personally, it's more cost effective for me to buy my supplements in bulk/buckets and fill my supplement cups myself once a week. I've done the smarkpak supplement wizard and it literally comes out to TWICE what I pay now to get them in smarkpaks. *shrug* however, the colic surgery coverage may be worth it to you.
    09-07-2012, 12:00 PM
ColiCare - Horse Colic Reimbursement Program from SmartPak Equine

This explains the coverage a little more. Thanks for the feedback, guys.
    09-07-2012, 12:05 PM
My mom uses them, and it actually was cheaper (not by a lot, just a few cents) to get the packs. So combined with not having to mix supplements, and the fact they automatically send the next months supply so she doesn't need to worry about running out makes it worth it for her.
    09-07-2012, 12:09 PM
Green Broke
They are more pricey than buying supplements in bulk BUT if you are at a boarding facility or have multiple horses, they can be worth the extra cost.

There are 8 horses where mine is now. 8 horses that all qualify as "high maintenance" when it comes to food. I feed quite often and it literally takes me 20-30minutes to go through and this horse gets this grain, beet pulp, that grain and his Smartpak. This horse gets this, that and the other plus Smartpak AND you have to soak it all for 15minutes and so on..... not even counting when a horse is sick/injured and needs meds added, hidden, jammed down their throat...

I can't imagine how much time or the potential for mixups if each horse had to have 3-4 supplements measured out and added, rather than ripping open and dumping a Smartpak.
    09-07-2012, 12:21 PM
If I weren't on a budget, I'd get the smartpaks in a heartbeat. As it is though, I'm in college with a child and need to save money wherever I can. I order the supplements in bulk and then I have these little tupperware cup things for each day, and I just measure it all out for each day. Same thing.
    09-07-2012, 12:26 PM
Any thoughts on the coverage program? That would be the main reason for me to start getting smartpaks.
    09-07-2012, 01:07 PM
Green Broke
From what I have read it only covers surgery not a regular emergency vet visit for colic that does not result in surgery.

Very strict rules that will cost more per year. It seems like a rescue horse or any horse lacking full medical history would not be admitted to program as they want to know full medical history of any colics. They can cancel your participation at anytime for any reason.

I personally see no reason to enroll. But if you are that worried about colic and would be putting your horse on this supplement anyway, I suppose it is worth a shot.

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