Have any of you horse people ever heard of Total Equine? I have always fed 12% feed to my horses twice a day with good quality grass hay. Recently, I purchased Brandi from a kill lot. She was skinny, her hooves were in bad shape and her coat was dull. The mare that I have had for several years, Jetta, didn’t have a weight problem or bad coat but she did seem slightly lazy and had kind of a bad attitude. We all know mares. I assumed her attitude probably had to do with her gender.
After getting Brandi to healthy weight I sent her to the trainer for retraining. Since she was off the track she would need to be trained for western cues. While she was at the trainer for 30 days he fed her Total Equine. I had heard of the feed but kind of brushed it off. Some of my friends used it and talked about how much they liked it but like I said before, I have always used 12% sweet feed. I grew up around horses so all of my life, 32 years, I have used sweet feed. When Brandi came back she looked even better than she had when I sent her!
According to Total Equine’s site they have been selling it for 17 years. They based their formula on 40 years of scientific research and the finding of what horses actually needed to thrive. It states that it maximizes health, attitude and performance. The base of the feed is Alfalfa which makes the feed more appealing to horses. It provides 70% to 80% of the needed fiber (totalfeeds.com). The daily ration is four pounds. I was feeding so much more of sweet feed daily!
After doing some research of my own and talking with some friends I decided to become part of the Total Equine family. I went to our local Total Equine dealer, Better Equine, and purchased some of the feed. I have been feeding both horses and a rescue pony who needed to have weight put on as well Total Equine twice a day. Brandi has now been on Total Equine for six weeks and Jetta and the Pony, Dusty, for almost two weeks.
Brandi continues to improve daily. Jetta and Dusty are already showing improvements! I know that two weeks is a short period of time to already notice improvements but they are consuming less hay, their coats already look better and the best improvement with Jetta is her mood. She has always been a sweet mare but would act kind of marish and a little pissy if I asked her to do something she didn’t really want to do. She would always do it without much of a fuss but you could tell she wasn’t happy about it. I have been so pleased the last few times I’ve ridden her because she seems to be in a better mood.
I can’t say enough good things about Total Equine! I have already seen so many positive changes in such a short amount of time that I am a “Total Believer”. I am so excited to see what the future holds for my horses as we continue our new journey with this wonderful feed. Total Feeds also carries a line of feed for many other animals such as dogs, birds, deer, goats, and more, If you haven’t tried it. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it!
Brandi is 16 hands tall. She is coal black in the winter and a bleached out brownish in the summer. Her eyes are kind and gentle and have started to show a hint of happiness. When we brought Brandi home her eyes were sad and distrustful. She had given her heart and her all just to be thrown to the trash as soon as she wasn’t useful any longer.
Brandi is an OTTB or off the track thoroughbred. She trained as someone’s best chance of winning big time thoroughbred races as a two year old. She was a beauty who sold for thousands of dollars at a racehorse auction because she was thought to have just what it would take to be in the winners circle. And she did win some races, I’ve found some pictures of her on the internet with her owner at the time and her proud jockey atop her back. She was the proudest in the picture. She was beautiful and confident with her head held high. This picture was a far cry from the sad, broken mare that I hauled home from the kill lot. Yes, you read that right, kill lot.
On Facebook I’m a member of several pages that try to save horses who are bound for the horror of Mexico. The horses are purchased by a ‘kill buyer’ at an auction. The buyer doesn’t care if the horses are great riding horses or sick old horses who were someone’s pride and joy as a young horse, and then striped of their right to a retirement just because the owner didn’t want to care for an old horse who was of no use. To the kill lot pounds are money. Brandi was neither of these she was a skinny, lanky thoroughbred who had had her shot at fame. She was not broke for regular riding only for running so she would have to be retrained. She wasn’t old but to her previous owner she was useless because she could no longer race or maybe she just hadn’t won them enough money. Whatever the case she had been sent to die.
The kill lot where I purchased her luckily allows people a chance to purchase horses before they are sent on their finally journey to hell. When I say hell, I don’t mean I think they are headed to a fiery underworld, I mean that these horses endure hell up until the moment where they are murdered for some human’s mistake and turned into dogfood or some European delicacy.
As I was scrolling through my newsfeed I saw an ad come up for Brandi. I could see that her eyes were kind but that she looked sad and defeated. I could see she needed her second chance, as do many others. I wish I had the ability to save them all but that just isn’t the reality of things. Her eyes spoke to me and her horribly emmaciated frame begged for just a bite of food. I contacted the kill lot and made arrangements to bring this sweet girl home. That is a choice that I will forever be greatful for. In her short time here it has brought me so much joy to earn the trust that someone else took for granted. I have so enjoyed watching her blossom into the kind, gentle soul that she once was.
About a month ago after I got Brandi’s weight back where it needed to be I sent her to my trainer for some retraining. Since she had only been trained for the track she had no idea what the cues for western riding mean. I got her back the day before yesterday and cannot stay off of her! She is such an amazing ride and so willing to please. It fills my heart with sadness to think of how close she was to making that horrible trip to Mexico stuffed into an over-filled semi trailer with other horses who were also getting ready to suffer the same fate as she. The fear those poor horses must feel about the uncertainty of what will happen next but I know they know it is bad.
I am so glad that I chose to give Brandi the second chance she so deserved and show her that not all humans are selfish and only want her when she is filling thee pocket book. Brandi and I give each other something that no amount of money can offer. The friendship, kindness, happiness and love shared between a horse and her owner are priceless and are something that every horse should know.