In June I began riding an aged (20 year old) Hanoverian gelding. He is very cool, sweet and deserving. He began to show his age due to lack of regular exercise. His owner is a busy Mom that can only ride once or twice a week so his body condition started to reveal this.
Gus had developed a fiber belly, lost his top line and had ribs and hip points showing. As a former equine nutritionist (do we ever stop being one?), I felt the need to see if we could improve on these things. Top line is developed through exercise conditioning and protein. Fiber bellies are evidence of not enough protein. The rest of his body condition could be attributed to unbalanced diet and exercise conditioning.
After evaluating his current diet, I decided to add more fat to his diet, as well as more protein via a supplement. Since I write a popular blog, I get offers to do product reviews on a regular basis. So I wrote to Equinety. According to their website, the benefits of Equinety included:
- Improve muscle support for strength and recovery
- Stronger Collagen for healthier coat and bones
- Maximize performance with cell regeneration
- Calmer & More Focused
- Less stressed & faster recovery
Since we were dealing with a protein issue, a lack of muscle tone, and would be increasing his exercise for conditioning, I liked the idea of adding an amino acid supplement to his diet.
Equinety has a terrific Amino Acid profile:
Amino acids are the building block of muscle and bone. Think of them as the foundation of a house. Every other thing is built on them. If a horse is lacking in amino acids (or at least the essential three) it’s difficult for the body to re-build after work. This is magnified in an older horse as their body is already in decline, PLUS they only absorb about 60% of the nutrients they consume. That’s why most Senior feeds have 14% protein (some higher). To read more about amino acids check out my other blog The Equine Nutrition Nerd
This is Gus on the day we added Equinety to his diet. You can see his lack of topline and muscle in his hind end. Also, his big belly and ribs.
We added one scoop of Equinety to his diet daily. I also began to teach Gus long-and-low stretches under saddle, and began to do “carrot exercises” to help with his topline.
I took pictures after two weeks and, as you can see below, we started to see some improvement in his topline. With the change in diet, (more fat and protein), his fiber belly was improving.
After another two weeks (4 weeks in all) we assessed his condition. His attitude was terrific. His stamina had improved under saddle, his coat was amazing, and his muscle tone had improved.
We kept Gus on the product for a total of 45 days. At the end of the trial I could definitely see an improvement in all the areas we had hoped to address. Of course, we had also changed his diet and exercise protocol, but I am certain that Equinety contributed to his ability to develop his topline and sustained exercise sessions. (He is wet in these pictures but you can see how much his topline has improved and he has filled out his belly.
I will give this product two thumbs up. At about $1.00/day the cost is not prohibitive. And in the case of an older horse, injured horse, or one in a highly demanding discipline, the benefits far outweigh the minimal cost.
Here is the link to their website for more info and to order >> Equinety
Peace and good rides,