Balancer help?

harrietmina

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So I'm desperately trying to build up topline/general condition on my anglo arab, who I've had for 6 months after he came to me looking pretty horrendous. He doesn't hold weight too well (although our grazing is poor over winter) and his hips/bum are atrocious.
I put him on 365 balancer about a month ago, starting on 30g and working up, been on 50g (maximum) for the past week. There has been no fizzing, no naughtiness, but hugely improved work in the school from him, he seems to be finding everything easier. Not much weight change yet though.

Had a weigh in with a nutritionist from TopSpec today. She said I need to get rid of the 365 and use their balancer, swap my Alfa A for their brands Alfa A and also add their Cool&Condition cubes. The cubes I will definitely do because I can see that helping....but the rest?!
Has anyone used their balancer? Should I really chuck my £65/200 days worth of 365 balancer or is their product pretty much the same? And is their Alfa A any different to other brands?!

She also told me that the balancer might make him a bit nutty for a while but to 'ride through it'.....and if I can help it I'd really rather not go back to having a nutty 5 year old when he's doing so well after a lot of hard work!
 

be positive

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Of course they will tell you to change to their brand, their job is based on selling their own product whether it is suitable or not, I wouldn't chuck out a supplement based on the advice of a biased nutritionist unless it had been having a negative impact on the horse, in fact at this time of year when the grass will be coming through I would probably be reluctant to change anything if the horse is generally doing well. Once the grass picks up I would see how he is doing and it may be all he requires to add that bit of extra weight, adding linseed or oil if you don't already will give extra calories without fizz.

The problem with Top spec from my understanding is that you have to feed the balancer with any of the other feeds as they do not have good levels of vits and mins in, so from my point of view it is an expensive way to feed when there are other options available that do have higher levels in or you can top up with a general supplement rather than a balancer which may make the horse "nutty but ride through it", if that is how they sell it that would be enough for me to forget their feeds altogether, I don't want nutty horses thank you!!!
 

Pinkvboots

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agree with be positive when you ask advice from a feed company they will always say use there brand, I fed top spec balancer and the conditioning cubes to my young Arab some years ago and it sent him off his head, I tend to feed nothing high starch or with molasses for my Arabs as they are very sensitive to a lot of feeds, alpha a sends them mental as well, as your is an Anglo Arab I would do the same.

so mine have graze on chaff it's just chopped grass nothing else, they either have fast fibre or un molassed sugar beet, and they have micronised linseed and I vary the amount depending on how they look, as both mine tend to hold there weight well, if your horse is not holding weight you could add some copra as well I find that very good for that, or another feed I like for conditioning is equi jewel with all the feeds I have mentioned none of them should really have a negative effect on behaviour, I really rate the Allen and page low starch molasses free range.
 

Maesfen

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I have to admit to not liking Top Spec at all, it didn't suit mine when I tried it but I know it suits some (like all things!) and alfa is a strict no for me too, it seems to give quite a few problems with behaviour (to some) so I would think it's the last thing you should be adding to the mix.

I'd be inclined to keep your balancer but top up with micronized linseed and either sugar beet of some description or soaked grass nuts (not the alfa ones!) I use the Graze On ones (same as chaff mentioned earlier) http://www.northerncropdriers.co.uk/products/graze-on-grass-pellets.
I've had a lot of success using either D & H Barley Rings or Baileys Stud Cubes (not stud mix) for putting and keeping weight on to, they're worth a look. Believe it or not, oats are good for weight gain and don't produce as much fizz as some believe! I'm a firm believer of brewers yeast which is a good aid for digestion, has B12 vitamins and is the base for Pink Powder without the price tag; added benefit it aids skin and hoof condition too. You could feed the 365 alongside these too but just check the ingredients so you don't give too much of one thing if you use a ready made feed.

I have a young Anglo Arab here; like most of them, he'll never be a fatty but he looks very well on D & H Suregrow (youngstock balancer) Speedibeet, micro linseed and brewers yeast plus ad lib hay/haylage of course. Underneath the mud his coat is like a mirror.

It really is a case of finding out what suits your horse then adapting it to suit your needs; if the 365 does that, why change it unless it's for something better?
 

supsup

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I've had a google to see if I can find the analyses for the 365 complete, and Top Spec balancers to at least tell you if they are comparable in terms of vit & mineral levels. But it looks like neither company posts their full list of ingredients on their webpages. I found an analysis for the 365 on another forum (emailed from the company, then posted), but I'm not sure if that is up to date. If it is, then I would say that the 365 balancer is not particularly high-spec. By that I mean that the daily dose (50g) does not supply the full daily recommended amounts of some of the key minerals. That can be okay, since forage and other feeds also supply them on some level, but other balancers will have the full daily dose. It's also not wise to just feed more than the recommended dose of this balancer because you may then end up supplying too much of certain ingredients (selenium levels are quite high in this one, and you don't want to supplement too much selenium).
How this compares to Top Spec, I can't say. I wouldn't fall for the sales hype though.
If your horse is already showing improvement in such a short period on the balancer you've already paid for, I'd continue with it at least until you've used it up. You can do a bit more research until then and see if you might want to switch to another brand when the bag is used up.
The Alfa A versions are probably very comparable, so I wouldn't bother switching brands unless there's something on the ingredients level in one that you like/dislike that the other doesn't have, or if one is cheaper.
I wouldn't expect to see weight gain in too short a period. A week is not enough, really. Maybe you could do weekly condition scoring/weight taping, and see where you are in a month's time.
 

wench

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I haven't used 365 for a while. But it is designed to be able to be fed at an larger dose if the horse requires extra condition
 

eggs

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Try contacting Saracen. I was very impressed with them as when I discussed what my five horses were being fed (none were on Saracen products) and they recommended that I keep all give of them on what they were already getting and to add Equi Jewel for weight gain for just one of them.
 

thatsmygirl

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I'm really not a topspec fan either, over priced feeds and believe it or not low amounts off vits/mins. I feed equimins advance complete and a 40g dose gives more key vits:mins then a 500g dose off topspec balancer. They push their products hard and at 1 show desperatly tried to get me on it, what they didnt seem to understand was my grazing is high iron, low copper so why would I feed their balancers which funny enough is high iron! The equimins has no iron and high copper and works spot on with my grazing. The rep couldn't or wouldn't understand what I was saying so I gave up and walked away
 

harrietmina

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glad to hear a unanimous no for topspec! while it was great to have him weighed I felt they tried to group all horses into one single category..of course my slim arab is not going to have the same voluptuous rump as the cob they weighed before us! I've also left the bag of their cool&condition cubes safely tucked away in the feed room as in all truthfulness i'm too scared to open it. Heard far too many reports of horses going bonkers on them! Thank you for all your responses- going to stick with my alfa a and balancer (see how he is when the tub is finished, may consider a different brand), bulk up with pony nuts and veg oil and hopefully correct schooling will help build up his topline. Got momentarily swept up by the flashy brand appeal!
 

stimpy

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It's funny I have just been investigating 365 Complete myself this week. I got their spec sheet a couple of days ago and when I plugged the numbers into a spreadsheet I was appalled to see that it really isn't high spec at all. They claim "The spec on 365 Complete is the highest on the market" but this is patently untrue! For example, it compares very unfavourably to Equimins Advance Complete so their false claims have really put me off using their product. It may well be a better spec than Top Spec's balancer but IMO that's not saying much at all.
 

harrietmina

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It's funny I have just been investigating 365 Complete myself this week. I got their spec sheet a couple of days ago and when I plugged the numbers into a spreadsheet I was appalled to see that it really isn't high spec at all. They claim "The spec on 365 Complete is the highest on the market" but this is patently untrue! For example, it compares very unfavourably to Equimins Advance Complete so their false claims have really put me off using their product. It may well be a better spec than Top Spec's balancer but IMO that's not saying much at all.

Such a shame. I think his good progress has just coincided with the good grass and his new bit rather than the balancer being particularly effective. Its not doing him any harm for sure so I guess I have no choice but to keep tapping away at the 200 days worth that I have of it :') I'm pretty sure I went for 365 complete due to a promotional flier in the BHS magazine...took that as a good sign. But Equamins has been mentioned a few times so i think that'll be the one I go for next!
 

MuddyTB

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Top spec has had a bashing on this thread and I'm not saying it is perfect, but it is far higher spec than 365 Complete. It's better than most of the big feed company balancers too for content.

However, Pro-Hoof or Equimins are much higher again. You get what you pay for as ever.
 

Makemineacob

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Another no vote for top spec, totally unimpressed by their products. I've heard a number of success stories with Equimins so hope you have success if you go for that.
 

thatsmygirl

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Please do try the equimins it is fab stuff plus its linseed based so no cheap fillers. Topspecs main ingrediants is wheatfeed oatfeed which is cheap by products which I won't feed, very over priced.
 
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