I'm not a Purina fan as they tend to use least cost formulas (any thoughts, Holly? ) From my understanding, their product that is a fixed formula is Wellsolve, which is why it's the one that's more expensive.
I had horses on Strategy for several years till they "improved" their formula-then all my horses got thin.
Anymore, I wouldn't pick Strategy unless I had a race type horse. I don't like high starch feeds, period. If I had to pick a Purina product I'd go with Enriched 12 or 32, depending on hay.
Purina doesn't least cost formulate. Least cost formulating means using whatever ingredients are cheapest to manufacture the feed. Fixed formula is the other buzz word out there and it means to use the exact same amount of the exact same ingredients everytime. Purina actually uses neither of these systems, Purina uses Constant Nutrition Formulation. Purina does have a set formula of ingredients set up for each product but within some of those ingredients is a little flexibility. NOT to swap the ingredients in and out, but a small parameter to add a little bit more or a little bit less in. Let me explain why.... Every single ingredient that comes into the plant is inspected for quality both visually and with testing to insure a quality product but even high quality, highly digestible ingredients can vary slightly in there nutrient content. Think about your hay for example. You could bring me 3 bales of alfalfa hay from different places that were all high quality hay but if tested one could be 16% protein, one could be 17% protein, and one could be 18% protein...catch my drift? When companies fix formulate, they assume the nutrient content of the ingredients they are formulating with to be a certain book value, but we know that every load of ingredients can vary a little bit. Purina takes bin bottom samples of the ingredients prior to manufacturing feed and uses a process to measure the actual nutrient levels of the ingredients used, rather then using a book value or a supplier's average, to help increase nutritional consistency. Basically they formulate on the actual nutrition of the ingredients used. Again this does not mean they drastically change the amount of ingredients used in the product, it just means that say the oats used in today's batch were 10.5% protein instead of the book value of 11.5%...maybe a little extra soybean meal would be added to make up for it. Purina puts way to much money, time, effort and energy into research and into it's products to just throw it away by putting in cheaper ingredients. Purina spent 4 years of research when putting together the Ultium Growth product, 2 of those years they spent directly watching feeding & measuring foals from birth to 2 years of age. Again, it would all be wasted if they did not maintain consistency in their products. Sorry to type so much, but this is the biggest misconception I see out there on the internet about Purina and I try to correct it whenever I can. I think the real issue is that on a lot of products Purina uses collective term ingredients on their feeds and people assume that they least cost....also just because a company lists out the exact ingredients does not mean they fix formulate.... because they do not list out the amount of the ingredients in there. And remember, with fixed formulations - there is no accountability for variations in ingredients.
Sorry you had an issue with Strategy, I think there will always be folks out there that love the product and some that don't. As for the change in Strategy that happened a few years back...at the time the biggest change was an increase in fat and fiber and I think a little decrease in starch (although this was already a lower starch product). The calories did not change. Were there any changes in your hay or pasture?
Glad you like the Enrich, it is a great product. Only thing is that it can only be fed at a rate of about 1 - 2 lbs/day so it depends on the calorie needs of the horse they are feeding it to. If they need more calories then that , then they shouldn't feed a ration balancer....if they have an easy keeper and great hay it can definitely work!