Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping… especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Which is why I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to try out products, so that I may share my many adventures with all of you! Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope that you simply have fun and find entertainment while reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences might help give you factors to consider when you are on your own quest for new gear!
I have a lot of great memories from when I was a kid – hanging out with my friends, going on family vacations, and generally being fearless in the face of the world. As most of you may agree, I think that some of my favorite memories involve my early years spent riding.
Back then, there were times that I might have thought that my favorite lesson horse Trooper was the most stubborn a-hole in the world. But I’d give a lot to be able to see him again to give him a pat, and a hug, and a giant apple to thank him for everything that he taught me over the years.
In those precious days of teenager-dom, I chuckle when I remember the independent streak that I developed. Which became increasingly present when I didn’t want to be told what to do, and what not to do.
I don’t really know why, but one thing that sticks out in my mind is my mom reminding me to do some things daily…such as “remember to take your vitamins”. Now, the last thing that I was worried about was taking vitamins; I mean, I had super important things to be doing. Especially during the summer, when I was just trying to get out the door to go to the barn.
In reflection, each piece of advice and everything that my mom related to me over the years was pretty much spot on. And by pretty much spot on, I mean she was always right. Even something which seemed to be completely silly to me at the time, makes sound logical sense to me when I think about it now. Especially something as small as taking a daily vitamin.
In the half a decade since I’ve stopped boarding my horses, and have shouldered the responsibility of their care, I have tried to learn everything that I can about horse keeping. Back when I used to board, I left all feed, tack, training and routine healthcare decisions to my trainer. Since then though, I feel like I’ve not only learned a lot, but I’ve also had the chance to get to know my horses better.
After some very educational correspondence with an individual from Kentucky Performance Products, I found some gaps in the nutritional needs of my small herd.
In particular, Mark displayed behaviors that indicated that he would be able to benefit from the addition of Vitamin E to his diet. So I was glad to have the chance to start Mark on Elevate Maintenance Powder from Kentucky Performance Products.
Mark has always been a pretty unique horse – I’m lucky enough to be able to say that I bought him as an extremely large and awkward looking 11 month old. Mark will be turning 8 years old soon—actually on July 4th (so HAPPY early BIRTHDAY Mark). So we’ve developed what I’d call a pretty strong understanding of each other over the years that we’ve known each other.
Before I started him on Elevate, I had a small collection of words that I would use to describe Mark’s personality – moody, nervous, dependent, not confident, and spooky. When talking about Mark, I tended to also call him by one of my favored nicknames…which was “Diva-Boy”.
Unfortunately, Mark developed a habit that when I would go to catch him in his stall, he would swing his rear around to face me, and stick his head in the corner. This was actually a bad habit that he developed during his initial training, way back when he was a four-year-old.
From the time I would catch Mark, things didn’t get much better. He always wanted to be RIGHT beside me when I would be on the ground – like he was afraid that the boogie-man would get him if he detached from my side.
He then would not be pleased when I reached for the saddle to throw (way) up there on his back, and often side stepped from me. Even after I mounted up, Mark always seemed anxious—most of the time, he was a super quiet ride with an edge…like the wrong thing could set him off. And occasionally it did. Boy, is the trip to the ground a big one.
There were other things too though – I mean, Mark has always been a moody horse. If anyone other then me scolds him, his ears go right back. And sometimes they still do even when it’s me who is scolding him.
I’d also get the “the look” from Mark if I dared to put fresh bedding in his stall while he was in it. Or move him away from his hay. Or, there were even just some mornings when I would come out for AM feeding that Mark would already have on his “grumpy face”.
At my small farm, we don’t have a grand amount of pasture space – we have less than 2 acres of pasture for 3 horses. For Ripley, this works out great; as an easy keeper, I like that his grass is limited and that I can supplement it with hay. Because he would NOT stand for a grazing muzzle.
But I realize that since my horses are not able to get all of their roughage in the form of grass, that they are missing out on essential vitamins that their bodies need to function at their best.
I thought that starting Mark on Elevate Maintenance Powder would definitely be a good thing – because I know that he was definitely missing out on Vitamin E with the way that his feeding program is set up.
The Elevate container has a lid that twists off easily, and a scoop is included for easy measuring. The supplement comes in a white colored powder format, which makes it easy to see when added to grain and swooshed around – I like the light color, because I can tell when I’ve swooshed the bucket enough to attain an even coating of it on Mark’s grain pellets.
I started out by putting Mark on ½ a scoop of Elevate on Day 1, and within a week’s time worked him up to being on 3 scoops a day due to his size (Mark is a 17.3hh horse, and I’d say is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1400-1500lb).
The Vitamin E contained in Elevate is ALL NATURAL, and not synthetic. This means that the Vitamin E is highly absorbable by the equine body. Something else that puts my mind at ease is that Elevate contains no other vitamins or minerals, so I can give Mark the amount of vitamin E he needs, without being concerned that I will cause other nutritional balances.
Within the first two weeks of being on Elevate, I absolutely started to notice a difference in him. One of the first things that I really noticed about Mark once he was on the Elevate Maintenance Powder was his improved attitude.
My “Diva Boy” started to seem…well, happier. The changes were small to start out with. I noticed things like when working around him, he just seemed more like a giant marshmallow then a ball of ‘tude. Instead of Mark pinning his ears at me when I would ask him to move out of my way, he started to crane his big ‘ole neck around to sniff me. It was a little eerie, actually.
I’ve also found that Mark actually comes to the front of his stall to greet me now when I approach to slip on his halter for work him. Imagine that – instead of being greeted by a bum, I’m greeted by a happy looking face with ears pricked up. I’ll admit, it melts my heart every single time.
Mark also stands better for being tacked up, and act fussy when being saddled. But I also have noticed a significant difference in his demeanor when I am in the saddle. I used to feel like Mark was anxious when I hopped up into the saddle, and I wasn’t standing right beside him.
But since starting on Elevate, Mark feels to me to be an overall more relaxed and calm who I can depend on.
I also can say that he has become more active as well. Even from a young age, Mark was never an overly active horse. When he started in to work, he was not a very forward horse (for which I was glad–I prefer an easy going horse rather than a hot one). He is now more willing to move forward; even when he is turned out on pasture, I see him running and playing more.
I don’t really understand how the Vitamin E has been able to help Mark to be a happier and more relaxed horse…but it has. Maybe that’s because I’m not a scientist or any type of equine health professional. But I know my own horse, and I get to see the difference in him every single day.
Mark has now been on Elevate Maintenance Powder from Kentucky Performance Products for a little over 3 months at this point, and I plan to keep him on the supplement going forward. Once Mark finished his trial period of Elevate, I went ahead and purchased another, because I am happy to invest in a product that helps to bring out the best in Mark.
Elevate Maintenance Powder is available in a 2-lb container that retails for $58.50. The 2-lb container is enough for a 130 day supply for one horse on a maintenance dose–but of course, Mark requires a higher dosage since he is gi-normous.
Go improved attitudes and healthy muscles. Go Kentucky Performance Products. Go Eventing.