Nutrena "Safe Choice: Special Care"? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 05-15-2012, 01:22 PM
Green Broke
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I'll second making the call as suggested by Jolene -- I know my favorte little feed store has the access to a LOT of feeds they don't normally stock. If I were to just visit the store and look around, I may think they won't have what I want - but by asking I can often get exactly what I want as he just tacks it onto his next weekly order. He just doesnt' have the room or demand to stock every feed he can get - but is always more than happy to get what I want.
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post #12 of 20 Old 05-15-2012, 01:34 PM
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Thanks for the help! Ill be calling around.
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post #13 of 20 Old 05-15-2012, 02:50 PM
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Hey All,

In my post earlier, I mentioned Empower Boost and meant to put Empower Balance...sorry for the confusion.

Empower Balance is a supplement to grass hay or pasture and is fed at rate of 1 lb a day for overweight horses or easy keepers.

Empower Boost is a high fat supplement for hard keepers or horses that need a little extra to maintain weight.

Sorry for the confusion! Jolene from Nutrena
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post #14 of 20 Old 05-15-2012, 03:01 PM
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A friend of mine's older gelding is allergic to everything, and one of his main allergies is corn, so he had to be on just plain oats, and the poor guy was looking terrible because of it. My friend just switched him to this and hes already starting to look so much better, also a gelding I have in training just got switched to the Special care because he ties up really bad, so he needs a low sugar, high protein grain to keep weight on, but not make him anymore tight than he needs to be, so far I love all of the safe choice products!
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post #15 of 20 Old 05-15-2012, 03:36 PM
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Great, thank you. You make a good point that SafeChoice Special Care is designed for horses that ty up or have PSSM. Having no corn makes it a great product for horses allergic to corn. You can write a review on the nutrena web site.
Thanks for sharing! Jolene from Nutrena
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post #16 of 20 Old 05-15-2012, 03:47 PM
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Atwoods, is another dealer close, Wichita Falls, TX area. Just looking everytime I can go, I look to see if they have it in.
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post #17 of 20 Old 05-15-2012, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SueNH View Post
I have a real old pony that doesn't chew hay real well any more. I've been giving her a handful of the special care with her hay pellets. The soil in my pasture isn't the greatest and I worry about nutrition from the grass.
Yeah, this feed isn't a 'ration balancer' though & feeding a handful a day wouldn't give her much of anything, so feeding a ration balancer or complete nutritional supp would be a good move.
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post #18 of 20 Old 05-15-2012, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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So basically, in "layman's terms", this stuff is grain (aka a nutritional supplement providing all the necessary nutrients for a horse, who's in the case of this feed, on grass/grass hay, but in not as compact of a package as a ration balancer would) without anything that might push an IR/Cushings/easy keeper/prone to tying up horse "over the edge", so to speak?

I guess I still don't really understand why feeding Safe Choice: Special Care would be "better" than a ration balancer, maybe someone can fill me in on that?

I have nothing against it, of course. I liked it enough to walk out of the store with it! I'm just trying to become more educated about horse nutrition and I figure that understanding the whys and wherefores of this product is a good first step. :)

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #19 of 20 Old 05-16-2012, 12:05 AM
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Whether to feed SafeChoice Special Care or Empower Balance (ration balancer) really depends on what the horses needs are and what the customers preference is for managing their horses nutrition.

Empower Balance is a grass formula supplement (ration balancer) that is concentrated in nutrient levels to allow for low feeding rates. This product is designed to be fed with grass hay or pasture and therefore is high in protein (30%) so horses reach crude protein requirements and more importantly amino acid requirements that grass hay alone can't provide. This product is for over weight horses, easy keepers, or even over weight horses with insulin resistence. A horse owner may choose this product because their horse gets free choice hay (such as round bales) or free choice pasture and they just want a balancer to make sure the horse gets all the amino acids/vitamins/minerals required in a day. A customer may also choose this product if they have an over weight horse that needs to lose weight. This is also a good choice if you feed plenty of hay and your horse is just an easy keeper.

SafeChoice Special Care is designed to be fed with grass hay or alfalfa. This product is not as concentrated in crude protein or amino acid levels or as highly fortified in vitamins/minerals as Empower Balance. This product would be more likely to be fed to horses getting controlled amounts of hay. The minimum recommended feeding rate of SafeChoice Special Care is 0.25 lbs per 100 lb body weight so that would be 2.5 lbs for a 1,000 lb maintenance horse. So a good rule of thumb would be if your horse weights 1,000 lbs and you were feeding the minimum 2.5 lbs of SafeChoice Special Care and your horse was too fat then a ration balancer such as Empower Balance may be a better choice. If this same horse was maintaining a healthy weight on the minimum feeding rate of 2.5 lbs of SafeChoice Special Care then Special Care would be a better option. Special Care would also be a better option if the horse required 3 lbs or more to maintain weight. A good rule of thumb is you must feed the minimum recommended amount of feed the label directs for your horse's weight and workload to get the correct amount of nutrients needed for your horse.

I hope this information is more helpful! Jolene from Nutrena
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post #20 of 20 Old 05-16-2012, 07:47 AM
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Loosie, I didn't break down exactly what the pony gets. Didn't matter in this instance. She is 11 hands, 37 years old and just doesn't need much to stay fat. She would probably even do fine on just hay but I worry.

Nutrena feeds are rarer than hens teeth in this area. I just got a bag of their ration balancer a few days ago after 7 months of trying to get somebody to order it. Tractor supply isn't always so cooperative. I had to corner the store manager and lay it on the line about an old IR pony and how I'm fighting a battle at this point in her life that I know I will eventually loose. They either blew me off or screwed the order up on 6 other occasions.

I was using Poulin's ration balancer EquiPro MVP over the winter. It seemed to work well but my hours at work have been cut back and it's a long trip to the Poulin grain dealer. My gas hog truck doesn't move unless I really have to at this point. I really liked the Poulin dealer and their feed. The staff knew the product and was able to answer questions. I did stump them on one but they called and got the answer. They weren't afraid to say I don't know but will find out for you. At Tractor supply they have no clue and don't offer to find out.

The Special Care I'm liking the idea off. I got my free bag and a neighbor gave me her free bag claiming her horse didn't like it. I wasn't seeing anything gone but maybe a cup or two from the bag so she didn't give it much of a chance. Her horse is spoiled rotten anyway. My horses all liked it just fine, so did the goat. It may be what I need for my other 2 horses but not the pony. One bag isn't going to tell the story. I'd like to give it a fair chance. I think a dealer for Nutrena is in the works in this area.

But...being that Nutrena is creeping this thread...I suspect in an effort to keep my life simple I will eventually go with the ration balancer and just add a cup of rice bran to the one who needs a few more calories. Less worry if I have to have the kids or my husband feed about giving somebody the wrong feed. Nor will they stand out there guarding food dishes in all kinds of weather like I do.
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