I’ve tried a few different supplements with Henry throughout our 2 years together. When I first bought him and was bringing him back into work after having sat in the pasture for a year, I put him on DMG and MSM, since he had a lot of muscle soreness in the beginning. Eventually I tapered him off that and he remained supplement free until the magnesium experiment. Eventually I let him run out of that too, and since I didn’t notice an obvious difference, I never ordered more. Henry gets really good food, good hay, and pasture, so I don’t feel the need to give him extra stuff that he doesn’t really need. I’d rather not insert money into the horse’s mouth so that he can literally shit it out, at least not any more than I already am.
But I did just order him a new supplement, which he started last week. Anyone who has read this blog for any period of time knows that Henry has a hard time breathing in really hot/humid weather. We’ve run a million tests and he’s been looked at by 2 vets… the most we’ve found is scar tissue in his lungs that can inhibit his ability to take in enough air when he’s truly taxed. One vet thought it might be worthwhile to try putting him on Tri-Hist, thinking part of his problem might be allergy-related, but since that stuff is notorious for causing anhidrosis (and the one thing that keeps Henry from dying in the summer is the fact that he’s an excellent sweater) I’m terrified to get anywhere near it. If he stopped sweating we’d be in major trouble.
So after a lot of internet scouring and research to find something that might work similarly, I opted to try Lung EQ from Uckele. It came down to: had to be show legal, had to have a lot of good reviews, had to be fairly affordable. There’s really not much to it: spirulina (blue-green algae), vitamin C, MSM, Flaxseed, and jiaogulan. Will it help? No idea. The allergens thing is really just as guess as to what might be exacerbating his problem, since we never could find a really clear-cut answer.
Uckele recommends starting the supplement about a month before the horse typically starts experiencing symptoms, so I started it a week ago. Usually Henry starts getting bad in May. So far he hasn’t had any issues, but it’s only been around 80 degrees with 40-50% humidity… not that hot yet, compared to what’s coming, so not that taxing on his respiratory system. Even after our long conditioning ride on Tuesday he was cooled out and back to a normal respiratory rate by the time we had walked back to the barn.
So as reluctant as I am to hop back into the supplement game, I figured it’s worth a try. I’m always hopeful that something will work, because I do have to be really careful about what we do in the summer. It’s really the whole reason we’re going to spend 2 weeks in the high desert, where the average high temp in July is 75 and there’s really low humidity. I didn’t think any of the other 3 Days would work for him.
I will say, he really hated the supplement the first time he had it. He would take a bite, toss his head around, glare at me, paw at his bucket, etc. By the next day he had come to accept his fate, though, and now eats it just fine. I’m trying to help you Henny, I promise!