As I said in Part I, I don’t love supplements, but I don’t hate them either. My philosophy is if the horse needs it, he should have it. I felt very confident in my choice to begin feeding Miles ProBios (a digestive supplement) because there was a very clear problem that needed to be addressed. I also liked the ProBios supplement in particular because it simply gives more of what is already naturally produced in the body.
In this next installment, I want to talk about coat and skin supplements, which I feel less confident about. I’ve talked a few times before about Miles’s poor coat quality and dry skin. And while it’s certainly improved since I started brushing him more, it’s still not quite where I’d like it to be. Of course, there are lots of factors that play into this issue, some of which I can change (more currying) and some of which I can’t (no baths in the winter and wearing blankets for five months straight).
But the reality remains: Miles’s coat and skin could use some help.
I’ve used coat supplements in the past, including Ultimate Finish (which really doubles as a weight gain supplement), as well as SmartShine from SmartPak, and I liked them both well enough. But Miles doesn’t need pure fat (remember when he ate too much food and went crazy?), and part of me feels guilty for wanting to feed my horse a supplement just so he looks pretty.
But just like Miles’s loose stool, there is a real problem here (blanket rubs, dull coat and dry skin) that needs to be fixed. And the fact of the matter is I live in Ohio: it’s going to be too cold to bathe for months on end and Miles has to wear a blanket so he doesn’t freeze to death.
So I’m seriously considering putting Miles on SmartShine Ultra, at least for a year, to see how things go through next winter. Has anyone used this supplement before? And, more importantly, am I a terrible person for wanting to “cheat” on getting Miles’s coat and skin up to snuff?
What do you think?