About month ago I was forwarded an email by a fellow horsey friend from a company called Animalife. They were looking for equestrian bloggers to trial their new product and give them feedback, as well as promote their product on their blogs.
I thought this looked interesting, and I`m always looking for new topics to write about, so I applied. If I`m honest I didn`t really know what I was letting myself in for as there was very little information about the new product, Vetrofen Healthy, online. However, Otis is a fit, active and healthy horse, so I figured that he was probably an ideal candidate for trying a general purpose supplement.
I didn`t think anymore of it, until I received an email from animalife and within an hour the postman actually delivered my tub of Vetrofen Healthy.
The first thing I did was to read the blurb in the booklet provided. It told me that Vetrofen Healthy contains
“three plant sources known for the effective plant antioxidant support, Acacia catechu, Boswellia and Curcumin”.
I recently blogged about the fact that turmeric is becoming increasingly popular as a feed supplement for a variety of reasons, the main one being arthritis. Curcumin is the essential ingredient of turmeric. It was also promising to read that Vetrofen Healthy contained pepper to aid absorption – everyone knows that black pepper should be fed with turmeric to increase the uptake of curcumin by the body.
Acacia catechu has been used in Asia for many reasons, including anti-fungus, liver swelling, blood clotting, asthma, diarrhoea and constipation, and many skin afflictions. Similarly, botswellia is also from Asia and known for being an excellent anti-inflammatory; treating asthma, arthritis and osteoporosis.
Using this knowledge, I assume that Vetrofen Health, which is marketed as providing ongoing support of comfort and mobility in the equine athlete, works by improving the body`s response to inflammation due to work, and to help support the airways and speed up recovery of minor injuries due to work – such as fatigued muscles after going cross-country.
Another element I liked about Vetrofen Healthy is that it is completely free from banned substances, so you can compete whilst feeding it. But I`m sure I only need to worry about that when Otis and I go to Badminton …
My next step was to start feeding Vetrofen Healthy to Otis. When I opened the tub at the yard the next morning I was hit by the peppery aroma diffusing from the container. Now, Otis isn`t a fussy eater, but it would concern me that a horse with a sensitive palate may turn their nose up at the supplement. Having said that, the smell was more pleasant than some other supplements I`ve seen. It`s a very fine powder too, which probably means it`s more easily digested, but I did find that the powder got everywhere unless I was really careful!
Anyway, I started feeding Otis the recommended amount of 1.5 scoops per day. He`s a healthy horse anyway, so I didn`t expect a miraculous improvement in his general well-being, but I was interested to see if there would be an improvement in his recovery from tough workouts. Often I find him a bit flat for a couple of days after an event, or even the next day he can be flat after some interval training.
I had taken Otis to a BE90 the week before starting him on Vetrofen Healthy and he had had a good cross country round, but struggled with the deep going in the showjumping so hadn`t done brilliantly. I then decided to make my next event a BE100, which was last weekend – three weeks after starting the supplement. Although on a day to day basis I haven`t noticed a huge improvement in his performance, although he is working well at the moment, I did find that he performed very well at the BE100 last weekend. He seemed to pick up again after a good showjumping round really well, and put in a good effort in the cross country phase, only getting a handful of time faults and jumping clear and easily (he put in some extra effort and jumped the large flower pot on top of the table, which is not something I thought he was capable of). I was impressed the next time I rode him a couple of days later, however, that he was not flat, and worked really consistently and focused. So in that respect, I would say that Otis recovered from his physical exertions a lot better than he has previously.
If I`m honest, I would say that we are not the best combination to test this product as Otis is a very happy horse so always tries his heart out, which means that it is difficult to read him, and he has not got any underlying problems which could have been alleviated by Vetrofen Healthy – such as arthritis, so it is difficult to spot improvements in his performance. However, as the ingredients of Vetrofen Healthy are all natural, and to me the science is logical, I want to purchase another container of Vetrofen Healthy and continue my trial over the next few weeks as I think I would see more results after a few more competitions. He is a hardworking horse, and I do think that Vetrofen Healthy provides a safe supplement, which will do no harm if he doesn`t need it, yet should be beneficial if his joints and muscles need a helping hand.
Here is the link to animalife`s website