Smart Pack IR Suppliment - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-08-2012, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Smart Pack IR Suppliment

I have an IR pony. I am currently feeding her SmartPak EZ Keeper Grass and Quiessence in Smart Paks with Animed Remission dressed on top. She wears a grazing muzzle when our with her buddy for 8 hours, she is dry lotted for another 8 hours, and then she's stalled another 8 hours. She gets 4 flakes of hay a day in a nibble net (2 in the dry lot and 2 in the stall). The vet says, "She's doing OK. Not great, not fantastic, but OK."

I asked him if I should try SmartPak IR Control. He said he didn't know much about it, but I could try it to replace the Quiessence. But it's expensive, and I'm wondering if it will really make that much of a differnence. Does anyone use it here who has an IR horse? What do you think? Should I bit the bullet, stop the Quiessence (which has helped with her nervousness, too), and start the IR? If I do that, should I stop the Animed, too, and just feed Probios or keep feeding Animed? She actually enjoys the Animed and eats it pretty well, so I don't want to rock her boat too much. But I've heard too much of a good thing is too much, and they all have magnesium.

The vet was nice, but kind of noncommittal. I know it takes a few months for a horse to get the effects, so should I just try it for awhile and bit the bullet? This horse is a pain to manage! Her crest has gotten softer, she has no back ridge line, no fat on her tail head, but she's got some behind her shoulders, and her ribs are there, but you gotta poke for the them. I'm so worried about her all the time. Plus, she's better on Quiessence, but she still has her little tweaker moments.

My husband wants me to sell her, but I love her and I can't. Plus she's fun to ride and though she's not affectionate (which is really why he wants me to sell her, and the fact she's more $$ than the other horse), we have a respectful relationship. She does what I ask and I've make good headway getting her to sidepass, spin, send, and back up on the ground and under saddle. She even lets me touch her ears now with no problems. I am just wondering if the Smartpak IR control is really all it's cracked up to be. I want to try it, but don't want to break the bank for something that might not make any difference.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-09-2012, 07:59 AM
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I have two metabolic horses; one is IR, the other has Equine Metabolic Syndrome which is similar to IR but a bit different. They are treated the almost the same when it comes to diet and herbs.

I apologize to the entire SmartPak world but I am not a fan - ESPECIALLY when it comes to these metabolic horses. One has to be absolutely sure of the ingredients in the package.

Regarding the Quiessence: Are you buying SmartPak's? The strength doesn't seem to be the same as from Foxden who is the originator of the product. If they are buying from Foxden then re-packaging, I would be asking the question "why does the strength appear different on each website?

While I would find someone more reliable to buy the magnesium/chromium from (I don't buy from either of the above), don't give it up. I tried as an experiment and my 24 yr old got jittery. He's been with me 21+ years and has never been a jittery horse, so I know he needs the magnesium.

Formula 707 does makes a calmer that might work and is reasonably priced. It has the Magnesium but not the chromium. I used it once when I ran out of my regular stuff but it was after the weather had cooled down and high sugar content in the grass wasn't an issue.

Formula 707 - John Ewing Company | Specialized Health Products | Nutritional Supplements for Horses

MedVet Pharmaceutical makes a formula which is what I use and seems to be working.

Regarding SmartParks grass pellet vitamins. They are showing an iron amount. Not much but more than enough when everything a horse eats naturally has iron in it.

Metabolic horses do not need added iron as it blocks the efficiency of copper and zinc to help stabilize insulin.

I only feed white salt to all my horses because I don't want the metabolic ones to be licking traces of iron in a mineral block. Feeding these horses is about splitting hairs and always trying to stay one step ahead, I'm afraid

Do you buy hay by the season? If so, get it tested. Mine is grown five miles away and is high in the dreaded iron, just like my pastures

Were she mine, I would completely change her diet, except for the grazing muzzle and the hay and the slow feeder net.

If you sell her, you would have to discloe the metabolic issues and in today's world that will most likely get her on a truck bound for a Mexican slaughter house because most people don't understand what-all's involved in dealing with the disease (essentially a Type II diabetic) nor the expense involved.

Regarding her being stand-offish. She is probably an alpha dominant horse. My 24 yr old has always been stand offish; he's the strong alpha-dominant leader and he "talks" to me all the time. While he is not the "huggy kissy" type the general public seems to need, he is loyal extremely intelligent, keeps his herd safe in severe storms, has never refused to do anything for me and has never bucked, kicked, bit or reared a day in his life. He is a perfect gentleman who delights in telling me I'm an idiot if he thinks he needs to

The disease can be managed but it's find the right key to unlock the management door. Metabolism is involved, so product and even dosages vary with each horses.

My IR horse does not get everything the EMS horse gets. They both are on chondroitin/MSM because metabolic issues exacerbate arthritic issues, but the EMS horse gets a couple different things and a stronger dose.

My new vet is a lot more up-to-speed on metabolic issues than most vets. He even keeps "Target IR" in stock. I was thrilled he even knows what it is

He gives my horses twice-yearly physicals and checks their insulin level each time.

My vet tells me the 24 yo is the "least healthy" of all my horses because of the side-effects of the EMS. He looks at my 24 yo, shakes his head and tells me to "just keep doing what I'm doing".

It will be five years this May the 24 yo was diagnosed. Two years this June for the 16 yr old. So far they are doing well on my current plan; a diet plan that has changed more than once until I got them each regulated. There's nothing saying it won't change again.

It is crucial to keep the hooves short. The horse is better off barefoot unless you're doing a lot of rock riding. My 24 yo has always been flatfooted but his hooves are in better condition since the disease exploded than they've ever been, due to the major diet overhaul and keeping up with the trimming.

I do my own trimming and keep them both barefoot. The 24 yo gets trimmed every 2 - 3 weeks because he has always grown enough hoof in that time to help out a needy TB.

I would not give up on her at all. My belief is she might need her diet to go in a different direction. Some of the products need to go, some need to stay and maybe some pure Chastetree added, but they need to be bought somewhere else to where you know the product is pure for the money you're paying

My apologies for this being so long but this is a passion with me since I have two horses with metabolic issues.

If I haven't made any sense, I will try to re-say things and I am happy to give you my feed regimen. It will raise some eyebrows but it's working so far - the blood results, hoof health and energy level on my two fellas don't lie.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-09-2012, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your post! I would LOVE to see your feeding regimen! That would give me an idea of a direction to head in.

The pony isn't shod, and she's only stand offish to everyone but me because I'm the only one that will take her into the round pend and make her mind. She is very smart and always learns quickly, and she is such a nice ride (but only if you are soft on her mouth and use mostly gentle leg pressure).

I will look about for something else to feed her to get more nutrients. My appendix gets Seminole Equalizer (an RB). I'll look on the bag to see if it is high in iron or not and then do the math to figure her ratio. She likes the Animed ... should I not feed that? I was only using smartpaks because it's easier for my husband who doesn't really like her all that much and it's easy just to dump in the food and leave. The Appendix is like a big dog, so he thinks all horses are supposed to be really friendly. He did not grow up on a farm and read too many Black Stallion books, I think.

I heard of a product called Heiro, I think, but the website made it look like snakeoil to me ... just looking all over trying to get rid of that big crest and the fat behind the shoulders ...

Thank you so much for your help!!
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-09-2012, 12:46 PM
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My take on Heiro is right up there with yours

I understand the simplicity of SmartPaks. If you do change to different companies, you could buy WalMart's cheap sandwich baggies and make your own SmartPaks. That way hubby still couldn't complain any more than he is now.

I have one of those too, by the way - a city slicker - lollollol He is so wonderful helping with the heavy stuff (went and got 125 bales of hay Saturday) but he's been around my horses since 2002 and STILL only knows about 20% of what he needs to know, just for simple maintenance.

His idea of feeding is "at least everybody got something" That was before two of mine developed metabolic issues. Now I will crawl on my hands and knees to the barn if I have to, so they get what they need in the correct amounts

Is it Animed's "Remission" you are feeding? I haven't tried that but have heard 50-50 reports on its success. I think it may be one of those things that depends on the horse. I am a bit hesitant on it because it does not have all the vits/mins a horse needs and they still need supplemented in that department. It seems by the time one does that, then the Remission becomes too much of certain things

These horses have to be watched so close for the slightest change in behavior, energy, attitude, that it almost puts you in a state of paranoia

When my 16 yr old has an insulin spike he gets really nippy.

When my 24 yr old has an insulin spike, he gets very lethargic, either drops his head to the ground because his neck gets so hard it hurts him, or he will lay his chin on the pipe rail and go to sleep as soon as he gets in his stall at night.

One of the things you could do is talk to an equine nutritionist. I am sure that's what saved my 24 yr old's life when he was first diagnosed.

There are a lot more variations to metabolic diets today than there were even 4+ years ago when Duke was diagnosed.

To keep things simple for your husband, I might recommend the vit/min supplement "Target IR". My vet sells that and I would use it if the day ever comes I can't get EquiPride.

Vet-A-Mix • Equine Target IR If you click on the little "Product PDF" icon on the right, it will take you to the guaranteed analysis. Please note the protein source is NOT soy. Yahoo Yahoo as keeping soy out of a metabolic horse's diet is just as important as keeping their iron intake to "naturally occuring".

It is bloody expensive but, anything that is pure and works on these horses is not going to be cheap.

She could not have the Seminole RB if she gets this because of double-dosing on the vitamins/minerals.

I would still keep the mag ox/chromium, without question.

You might consider adding pure chastetree, a/k/a Vitex, a/k/a chasteberry. That's the same chastetree women use for PMS. I think it can be bought in bulk berry form at Sam's Club, then you grind it up.

I buy it already ground from an herbal company in Memphis. My 24 yr old gets it, my 16 yr old does not --- yet.

I also feed Omega-3 Horseshine which you can find at Tractor Supply. It started out costing $21.99 4+ years ago and it's up to $39.99/20 lbs now. A little goes a long way. I feed 1/2 cup daily.

If you decide to buy the Target IR, don't buy a ration balancer because you'll be overdosing on many of the vitamins/minerals. Just buy whatever type of hay cubes you normally buy for her, soak them really well and mix the other stuff in. A nice wet mash is good every day of the year, not just on the coldest days of the winter

I also feed Equine pelleted rice bran. Yes it is very high in NSC but it is healthy fat and provides the horse with cool energy. All my Walking Horses get 1/2 cup daily. The little 13.3H Arab is almost 26, a hard keeper, and gets 2 cups daily.

Manna Pro's "Maxi Glo" rice bran can also be found at Tractor Supply in the meal form or pelleted. It is calcium fortified to keep the cal:phosphorous ratio in balance and stabilized so it won't turn rancid.

So the bottom line to keep Mr. 2SCHorses on the happy side:)

Make your own SmartPaks of:

1. Magnesium/chromium of pharmaceutical grade.
2. Target IR.
3. Omega-3 Horseshine.
4. Rice bran (optional).

It will all interact nicely with each other and mix up nicely in the warm soaked hay cubes.

Keep the grazing muzzle and nibble net

Weigh your hay - sorry Four flakes from "this" bale won't weigh the same as four flakes from "that" bale. You could take an old set of bathroom scales to the barn and weigh out the hay for your husband so he doesn't have to. You will be amazed at the difference in flake weight once you do that --- I sure was.

The weight doesn't have to be exact and I would rather see it go over than be under.

Just an FYI on the nibble net that my vet told me: My 16 yr old has one because the insulin issues have caused him to have a voracious appetite. The vet said I did him an even bigger favor with the net because somehow the digestive acids get involved, over-react when there's no forage to process and that can possibly lead to ulcers. I had no idea on that part

My horses come in around 6:00 PM and won't see me again until 6:30 or 7:00 the next morning. They are big Walking Horses, so I give them 4-1/2 - 5 lbs of hay every night which is a lot more than 2% of their body weight but they aren't getting fat and I want the warmth on them for winter. I'll worry about pulling those few extra hay pounds off them come spring

I should add, I get my hay tested and it always comes back around 9% - 9.3% NSC, so I can get a little sassy with the hay

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 01-09-2012 at 12:49 PM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-09-2012, 03:04 PM
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Mag Ox

I've got an old fatty too.
I just called the nearest feed mill and they are sending a bag of Mag Ox to my local feed dealer for me. Price for a 50lb bag of Magnesium Oxide was 19.95. By far cheaper than a pack of supplements. It will outlast the horse by years.

1tablespoon everyday as maintenance dose and 3tablespoons as loading dose each tablespoon is approx 1oz in weight
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-09-2012, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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OK! I sent away for a sample of the Target IR. I like Equipride, too, but she wouldn't eat it! I think she's really picky about the smell. I was super disappointed. I hope she eats the Target IR sample! Is it a meal or pellets? She does better with pellets, but she does eat the Remission (but I put it over the pellets).

Do you have a Mag Ox suppliment with Chromium you recommend? I suppose I could buy Quiessence in bulk from the source ... just hoping to get it cheaper.

I will get the Omega 3, too, as we have a TSC not terribly far. We also have a WalMart practically next door to the TSC, so I can get the little baggies. That way when he does the PM feeding while I'm at work, it won't be a hassle because he has to feed the dogs, cats, goats, and chickens, too. He likes it simple!

Thank you!!
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-09-2012, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 2SCHorses View Post
OK! I sent away for a sample of the Target IR. I like Equipride, too, but she wouldn't eat it!Mine aren't fond of it either; that's another reason for the rice bran and making a warm mash out of everything, as they all love rice bran - lollol

I think she's really picky about the smell. I was super disappointed. I hope she eats the Target IR sample! Is it a meal or pellets?Meal, unless they've changed it since I got my sample a few years back.

Don't forget to remind hubby that she cannot have the Seminole Ration Balancer as he'd be over dosing her on vitamins.

She does better with pellets, but she does eat the Remission (but I put it over the pellets).

Do you have a Mag Ox suppliment with Chromium you recommend? I suppose I could buy Quiessence in bulk from the source ... just hoping to get it cheaper. There's a lot of companies out there but I buy MedVet Pharmaceutical's "Anti-Carb" in pellet form.

I get it thru Valley Vet. Anti-Carb Med-Vet Pharmaceuticals (Equine - Supplements - Multi-Purpose)

Don't be upset at the inactive ingredients. "distillers grains" are ok to feed any metabolic horse. That means a whiskey distiller sucked the sugars out of the corn to make whiskey, then re-sold the "dried" corn so-to-speak.

I'm still not sure I am going to stick with this company because there are a lot of inactive ingredients in this. I need to call them and ask why that is. Just haven't had a chance and I know the product is working, so far.

I will get the Omega 3, too, as we have a TSC not terribly far. We also have a WalMart practically next door to the TSC, so I can get the little baggies. That way when he does the PM feeding while I'm at work, it won't be a hassle because he has to feed the dogs, cats, goats, and chickens, too. He likes it simple!I can see why he does if the farm routine was never his thing - how funny. I hope there isn't a big horned Billy Goat in the picture and he should never ever turn his back on the Rooster, like my friend did one morning. That was one rooster that would never peck her butt thru her flimsy night gown again

Thank you!!
You haven't mentioned founder, so hopefully you haven't had to deal with it yet.

By the time extreme heat is felt in the hoof, the hoof has already been pulsing for a few days.

Here's a link that tells how take digital pulse in the hoof.

First Aid: How to Take Your Horse’s Digital Pulse at the Fetlock

I had to print this off, laminate it and take it to the barn. I would never remember all this since it's something I don't do regularly.

You're going to be making quite a change to her diet, so that's my point for kind of monitoring those hooves for a bit of time

Good luck with all this and PLEASE keep us updated. Watch your mare close for any little changes - good or bad. If you think you're seeing something, you probably are.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-11-2012, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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We have been lucky she didn't founder and has not foundered. When we bought the farm here in SC, she 'came' with the property. She was pretty fat, like an 8.5 when I got her and disrespectful and kind of a nightmare. Now she's probably close to a 7, but she's still got the crest and some chub behind her shoulders, however, the crest is smaller and softer. I had her IR tested in October and when it was confirmed, I added the Mag/Chromium suppliment suggested by the vet. I've done a lot of reading, but I didn't know about iron, which is why I think I will go with the Target IR if she eats it. Otherwise, I can go with Micro Phase (no iron) and the Mag/Chromium. I've tried soaking her hay ... she doesn't like it (she hates being rained on, too, and baths). Is that normal? I was wondering about the IR suppliment from Smartpak, but it has so many ingredients and I just didn't know what to make of it. I'm looking forward to the sample of Target IR. I love her like crazy, but I will never buy another pony!!

I check her feet all the time, and I will start taking her pulse, too. That is really helpful! Thanks!
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-11-2012, 03:44 PM
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A lot of horses don't like they're hay soaked. It you are able to buy your hay by the season, you could get it tested for NSC and WSC values. if they're low enough you wouldn't have to soak the hay. That is an awful chore that gets more awful in the middle of winter.

Many folks use Equi-analytical Equi-Analytical Laboratories - Profiling Feed for Better Nutrition The price isn't too bad but you do need a corer to take a sample. Unless you have a blender that might chop the hay up fine enough to look like Oregano

Most horses, unless they have a health issues, will tolerate being out in the rain. It's possible she is literally uncomfortable in her skin (from the IR) when the rain hits her.

For example, my 24 yr old can't stand to have his neck pushed on (even with a brush) when he has an insulin spike.

Since she was disrespectful from the moment you inherited her, she may have bullied her way right out of ever getting a bath or they just never bathed her and she's not used to it.

I will be really anxious to hear how the Target IR works for you. It is something for me to consider if I ever need to make any diet changes; especially since my vet sells it.

I might set the SmartPak supplement on the back burner due to all the extra ingredients, at least for now.

Don't forget about the chastetree. That might be something to consider adding to her diet when spring grass comes on, you're pretty much done freezing up and if she is slow to shed her coat.

My 24 yr old gets a heaping tablespoon, daily, in the winter but I up that to 1/4 cup daily around the end of April. It helps him shed faster and seems to aid in controlling his insulin.

He has EMS and while his coat isn't "Yakky-looking" he gets a really thick, sort of shaggy coat in the winter. I worry that he may be leaning toward also developing cushings, thus the high dose of chastetree in the warm season.

The 16 yr old has IR and doesn't get chastetree. His winter coat is slicker than a whistle and is some horses' idea of a too-thick summer coat. He never has got much of a winter coat but doesn't get chilled that often. They all have waterproof coats if the weather gets too bad -lol

I am excited to hear how the Target IR works Good luck and fingers crossed for some success
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