|February 6, 2017||Posted by Melinda under Equine Endurance, Nutrition|
As I watched Farley float across the arena I realized that I was going to have to change my long-held beliefs about nutritional supplements and feed-thru joint supplements.
There’s nothing like endurance and medicine to make you eat your words, question your beliefs, and keep you humble.
In January I decided to give Platinum Performance another try. My previous experiences with Platinum Performance were all pre-blog and pre-vet, fed to Minx and Farley. I really wanted it to work – it was a sexy expensive product with great customer services and I felt like I was doing good stuff for my horses….but I saw no difference. In fact, I tried it twice. Both times I had given it a fair trial – used it for 6 or more months at the recommended amounts, given *almost* every day.
Today, ten years later instead of managing two adult horses, I have a senior horse still in performance work and a young horse that’s coming up. I’ve gradually started to add different things to my feeding program out of necessity – vitamin E, oil, selenium, probiotics – as free choice good quality hay and a mash or two just isn’t giving me the same results any more. To try and simplify I tried Equilix’s block free-choice product and got variable results that in the end I felt like didn’t make enough of a difference to justify the cost. Another blogger I respect and trust was seeing differences in her horses on Platinum Performance. Maybe it was time to give Platinum Performance another try. Maybe my adult in-their-prime horses didn’t need the nutritional support, but it would make a difference in my active senior?
The problem is, gone are the days I’m at the barn every day to feed a supplement, and I don’t board at the sort of barn that will do it for me long term. Twenty-nine days into my #100DaysofHorses challenge, I decided that if I was making an effort to go out to the barn 4-5 days a week, I may as well try a Platinum Performance trial at the same time. Not ideal and probably not fair to the supplement, but it was the best I could do.
When I asked the Platinum Performance rep if I could get some stuff for a blog giveaway…they gave me a TON of stuff including a 25-pound bucket of their “Platinum Peformance CJ”.
CJ differs from the regular stuff with the addition of joint stuff in it. I’ve never consider it before because….
- I don’t believe feed through joint stuff is effective – just pay the money for injections.
- It contains an ingredient that is prohibited in AERC endurance competition – MSM.
- It’s as expensive as sh*t. $4.73/day for the recommended 2 scoops per day.
Farley is an old slightly crunchy horse and it was free. Why not give it a try?
17 days later I had fed it 13 times.
12 days into feeding this we went on a trail ride and she never stopped and asked me get off on a downhill. I didn’t think much of it – she can have a bit of a forward mare attitude in the spring and I chalked it up to a bit of forward naughtiness I was having with her on the ride.
5 days after that I turned her out in the arena and watched her float across the arena without even a hint of unsoundness.
And that’s when I started to put the pieces together.
Going down hill like a boss? Incredibly sound with that “float” that I haven’t seen in a while, much less in the middle of winter when she’s been standing in a muddy paddock for a week? Could it be? Could FEEDING something be making this big of a difference.
My best guess is that it’s the MSM and possibly the ASUs in CJ. Cosequin ASU, which is the only other joint supplement I’ve been convinced over the years actually may have some effects, is a similar profile. It’s difficult to say because the synergy between ingredients in nutrition are sometimes more important than any one component.
But the MONEY. My God that stuff is pure gold from the cost.
I did some cost analysis on some different products. MSM by itself is cheap – a couple dollars a day or less – to feed. Adding in the other things – HA, ASUs is when the price starts to go up. Reducing the CJ to one scoop a day (from 2) still has enough MSM, ASU, HA etc on a mg/kg basis that keeps these things in the estimated theraputic levels. In fact, 2 scoops of CJ is similar to the “loading” dose recommended by other products that is given for 2-4 weeks, before being reduced to a maintenance level. Reducing the CJ to 1 scoop per day puts the price point very similar to other similar products available (~$2.30/day).
I’m hesitant to go back to feeding things singularly – there’s a synergy between ingredients and by the time I’ve separately bought all the things I need to be feeding, I’m close to the cost of just giving an “all-in-one” anyways. This is WORKING. I don’t want to waste a bunch of time and money mucking about.
By some obscure reasoning that I’m not privvy to, Adequan is AERC competition legal (sponsorship dollars???? *snark* Maybe because it’s not technically an anti-inflammatory?), so unlike MSM which I will have to discontinue prior to a ride, Adequan could be given right up to the day of the ride. But….
- The Platinum CJ with MSM is working REALLY well WITHOUT sticking a needle into my horse every 4 days or once month.
- Adequan costs work out to be more than feeding CJ on a daily amount, depending on how long you continue Adequan. It’s $300 for the first 28 days, and then about $45 a month. That’s $10/day for the loading dose period, and $1.50 a day for the maintenance period. If you do a loading dose of Adequan and then 2 more months of maintenance for a total of 3 months, it about the same cost as CJ if you feed 2 scoops. If you feed 1 scoop of CJ (which is my plan), then even up to 6 months of Adequan therapy the CJ is cheaper.
So what’s my plan?
- Reduce the CJ to 1 scoop daily from 2 and see if I get the same effects. This puts it in the doable cost range, and I consider it fair for keeping Farley in the sport.
- Continue to feed as many days a week as I can – I’m currently seeing results on 2 scoops fed 4-5 days/week.
- Discontinue it the week before a ride.
- Continue to assess her comfort and willingness to work and do this sport. She wants to do this, and if I can make it easier for her with a minimum of risk, I will.
I suspect that using it in training to keep Farley moving better and reducing inflammation on a day-to-day basis is going to result in performance improvements during rides, even when observing withdrawal periods.
No, I’m not giving away a bucket of Platinum Performance CJ (it’s mine!!!!! All mine!!!!!), but I am giving away a big bucket of the regular wellness Platinum Performance along with some other goodies.
Don’t have a horse? No problem! There is a “human” package as well.
Go to this page for details….all you have to do is be the person that guesses closest to my actual time at the Black Canyon 100k! (No fair guessing a DNF! Yes I’ve been sick and not running and it’s been horrible storms and I’ve been doing more reading and wine drinking on the couch than usual…but you believe in me right???????).
PS – still waiting on the results of the ML’s next blood test. I’ll let you know when I do!
PSS – Platinum Performance didn’t ask me to write this review, share my experience, or promote their products in any way. There is always a potential bias or conflict of interest, even when the author swears up and down it can’t be true, so in the interest of full disclosure, even though I was planning purchasing Platinum for full retail and just nabbing goodies for you guys it needs to be said….they gave me free stuff and I fed the free stuff :). And I LOVED the free stuff. Regardless on potential bias for Platinum Performance’s specific products, the bottom line is….this is me officially eating my words on feed-through joint supplementation. :).