Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Purina Feed Greatness Challenge

*Quick note: I am taking up blogging again. It has been a long time. There have been many changes and loads of challenges. Since Cthulhu was killed by coyotes in January of 2016, it's been tough for me to write and share about my horses and our adventures. I intend to pick up here and leave the intervening time aside for now. Perhaps some day I can visit it. For now, it is too painful and too much to communicate.

The Purina Feed Greatness Challenge.

Sure sounds great, doesn't it?

This came up with a post by Bruce Weary on the AERC Facebook page. He mentioned the Purina product Outlast, which is a gut supplement, and all the wonderful things it purports to do. Included was the statistic from studies which show up to 90% of horses have ulcers and just plain tummy trouble. He goes on to describe his journey from being a staunch opponent of the use of Omeprazole in competition, to a converted supporter of the practice encouraging all riders to so medicate their horses.

Now, I've read the studies, and seen all the arguments. I remain skeptical. I know in clinical practice many vets are seeing about a 20% incidence of ulcers in horses presented for scoping. These are horses who are believed to be suffering ulcers. Most of them are not. Additionally, I understand the potential complications of Omeprazole, and am reluctant to alter the gut function of my horses on a maybe. This is not to say I don't see the value of supplements for helping horses with what might be called acid reflux or indigestion in humans. I have fed competition-legal supplements to Hoss when he was competing heavily and having a hard time keeping weight on. How much it helped with his weight as a result of improving his gut function is not evident. Certainly he did better on it while he was competing heavily.

So now Purina has this Outlast supplement. After reading Bruce's post, I thought, well, what the heck? I get coupons and crap. So I got some. Up to now, only Demon has been getting the U-Gard supplement. Being a stallion, he's much more prone to stress and tummy aches, so I've kept him on it consistently for, oh, probably close to two years. DC and Hoss have not gotten any such supplement. I put all three horses on the Outlast, as something of a test.

Purina is providing all sorts of information and asking for data collection, including pictures. The images and data follow.


Age: 12
Start Weight: 840
Start BCS: 5
Activity Level: Endurance
Previous Feed: Beet pulp, rice bran, barley, alfalfa hay pellet
Purina Feed: Outlast (otherwise remains as above)
Supplements: Se-E, salt

DC (DemonChild)

Age: 9
Start Weight: 850
Start BCS: 5
Activity Level: Endurance
Previous Feed: Beet pulp, rice bran, alfalfa hay pellet
Purina Feed: Outlast (otherwise remains as above)
Supplements; Se-E, salt


Age: 13
Start Weight: 1010
Start BCS: 6
Activity Level: Endurance
Previous Feed: Beet pulp, ground flax seed, barley, alfalfa hay pellet
Purina Feed: Outlast (otherwise remains as above)
Supplements: Se-E, salt

So this is the start of the challenge. I started these 3 on the Outlast on December 9. Their weights were taken with a weight measure on the 16th, and I find them....suspect. More on that in the next post. Purina will send me information and such as the challenge progresses. This should be a very enlightening experience.


  1. Huh, I guess Blogger ate my 1st comment? (I decline to enter the fray on FB, thanks)
    But yes, weight tapes are notoriously inaccurate but the results **SHOULD** be reproducible - in other words, gains reflected on the tape may not be precise, but can be believed.
    Anyway, I’ll be following this w/interest, as my Baraq is a notoriously finicky eater all around, but most especially under the stress of hauling & competing. He has responded to prn treatment w/omeprazole (I’m glad it was approved for AERC competition) since symptoms have never been severe enough for me to scope him.
    I’ve often said if Baraq, w/as close to ideal equine living conditions as I can offer him (95% turnout & a very light training schedule since once he is fit, he is good to go, one of those metabolic miracles!) has ulcers, there must be no hope for any of ‘em!
    (As Scarlett consumes everything in her path like the Tazmanian Devil ;-)

    1. It is super weird your comment disappeared. I got an email with it and everything. Unless I inadvertently deleted it (doubtful) Blogger did indeed eat it.