Thursday, 15 October 2015

Tip Top with TopSpec

I've always been a fan of TopSpec products, not just because of their product range, but also their feed & nutritional advice is fantastic. Not only do they listen to the needs and requirements of your horse (& you) to make their recommendation, they also aren't wholly biased to just their products... This shows that for them, it's not just about selling to you.

I've been really impressed with how well Louie has done on a basic diet, with standard grazing and good haylage. In the 9 months that I've had Louie, I feel he has developed well, with a combination of a good exercise regime & well balanced diet.

Every horse I've had, has been on TopSpec feed balancer, with what I think as a simple but effective diet - Alpha A Oil & Pony Nuts! Since getting Louie, a weak, just broken 3 year old, I've had him on the TopSpec Comprehensive Joint Balancer. It's a product I really believe makes a different, ensuring that they are taking in all their nutritional requirements, in proportion... & tasty!!

There been no heating effect with Louie, he's never not eaten it, and it's saved me buying lots of feeds & nutrients to add to his feed. From the name, it clearly supports healthy bone & joint development and growth, great for a youngster starting his working life, but it also promotes topline and muscle development. It's even got ingredients in for promoting healthy hooves and supporting the quality of the hoof. 

An added extra, is the support it has to produce supple skin, and that all important glossy coat!



The product comes in a 15kg bag and costs around £34-35 per bag. It should last a 500-550kg horse about 4 weeks.

Top tip: TopSpec have a coupon scheme. Collect the coupons from the side of your used bags to build up your points. Points equal various rewards - I'm now up to a free bag!!!

I feed TopSpec Joint Feed Balancer along with TopSpec Calmer

Louie has always shown some small signs of anxiety, and while calm and soft, can express anxious behaviour when adapting routine (such as tacking up when he should be going into the field).

The behaviour isn't a concern, as it is very mild, but I made the decision that I didn't really want Louie feeling like this. After speaking with TopSpec at Bramham Horse Trials, I bought a 3kg tub (it lasts about a month). I was told it would take about a month to see the change, however, I didn't. I'm not sure if this was because the behaviour was mild, or because it genuinely didn't work for us.

Within a very short time, I'd realised that it did make a difference, as the anxiousness returned, in part. I popped him straight back on it, and almost immediately saw the improvements. As with a lot of youngsters, it can depend on which side of bed they get out of as to how they behave, and Louie definitely has a case of this, but the Calmer definitely made a difference.

The Calmer is more cost effective if you purchase a larger tub, but the 3kg one is a great test, but I would recommend trying two back to back, because of my experience with how it effected Louie. The product is also highly palatable, and easy to feed - a simple small scoop 2x a day for Louie.



A 3kg tub should cost around £24, & lasts about a month for the typical 500-550kg horse.

In addition to the two TopSpec products, Louie is also fed Allen & Page Calm & Condition, soaked. Dry, Louie has approx 0.75kg of this (1/2 a Stubbs scoop), split across a morning and evening feed. This is a great all round feed, from horses in rest, to ones in hard work - it promotes maintenance of weight, and aids those that need to put some on. It contains a blend of pre and probiotic ingredients, and is safe for horses with barley & molasses intolerance. Soaking time is from just 10 minutes, though I always like at least double that. It's also a ratio of double water to double dry feed, but again, I add a bit more to ensure that it soaks through.



The other (& final) feed is a handful of Alpha A Oil. Some horses do find that the oil element can create excess energy, but used correctly, it should suit your horse's requirement for energy. I increase this feed when Louie is needing more condition, through the increased oil, but I know that this equally needs an increase to exercise. This product and the Calm & Condition, I feel work well together for development of muscle and condition.




Although Louie's diet contains four items, they are all simple feeds, with basic functions. The balancer is feed in one, a cup in each feed, and all the nutritional needs are catered for. It's important to remember that the energy that goes in the front end, needs to be burnt off through natural functions and exercise.

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