If you use Purina feeds, by now you’ve noticed the pink bags. About a month ago we noticed the first batch and ended up coming back from the feed store with a trunk full of pink (we primarily use Purina Strategy and Equine Senior). I was surprised and impressed at how big a commitment they made – all of their livestock feeds at the feed store are pink right now in support of breast cancer awareness and in support of breast cancer research as part of their Pink 50 campaign in September and October this year.
You can get some really good information from infomercials. You just have to exercise self control when it comes to the signing on the dotted line (or picking up the phone to order) part. We’ve attended Purina Mills’ Horse Owners Workshop events twice in the past, and enjoyed them very much. They presented good information about horse ownership in general, had a great guest speaker (Sam Powell both times), had free samples of various products (not just Purina), and fed us dinner for free!
The event coming up is slightly different. (Here’s a link to Purina’s site.) It’s a live video feed, so I guess there won’t be a guest speaker; I don’t know if there will be samples or not, but I hope so; and since it starts at 7:30 p.m. – and there’s no mention in the flyer – I suspect there will be no free dinner. All the same, we hope to learn some new things. Check out this link to find the Horse Health Fair near you, and if you’re anywhere near Lenoir City, Tennessee on October 18, we’ll be attending the event at Critter Country there that night at 7:30. Come on out!
And yes, the soft sell works pretty well on us…we feed our horses Purina Strategy. Darn infomercials. 🙁
As I’ve mentioned before, Moonshine has a wood-chewing habit. She’ll nibble on our fence, especially after a meal or a snack and then she’d latch on and suck in air. Weird. One theory on why she was doing this was that maybe she was bored. Our horses spend several hours a day in a stall in the barn, after all. So we got her some horse toys, which she entirely ignored. We cut down on how much time she was in the barn and nothing changed. Eventually I had to protect her stall door with some stainless steel just to keep her from chewing on it. That worked really well (I’ll post an update about that soon) but she was still chewing on our wood fence. Another reason horses chew wood is because they’re lacking in minerals. Some horses will even eat dirt, though I haven’t ever seen her doing that. But I think we may have found the cause for Moonshine’s bad habit. For about a month now we’ve been feeding our horses Purina Strategy. For about $12 per 50 pound bag, it’s more expensive than the local feed store’s sweet oat blend but we had a coupon from the last Purina Horse Owner’s Workshop and decided to give it a try. Purina doesn’t pay us anything (we’re not connected with them in any way) so this is our honest observation. Since we started Moonshine on Strategy, I haven’t noticed her chewing wood. She’ll still lick it some but I don’t see her chewing or sucking air anymore. Purina claims Strategy provides all the necessary nutrients pleasure horses need and maybe our local feed store’s blend was missing some things. There have been some other benefits but I’ll cover those in another post.
I’ll keep an eye on her but at the moment, it seems we’ve mostly licked (haha!) this bad horse habit. If your horse has a similar habit, I suggest trying some changes to its feed mix to make sure it’s consuming a good blend of minerals.
Last week we attended a Purina Horse Owners Workshop presentation at one of our local feed stores here in east Tennessee. Purina seems to put these on annually and we attended a similar presentation last year at a different feed store. The objective for Purina is obvious: convince us to buy Purina brand horse feed. Even though we expected part of the event to be a sales presentation, we were interested in the opportunity to listen in on a question-and-answer session by cowboy and “horse whisperer” Sam Powell.
Sam has been the speaker for both presentations we’ve been to so far and I’m always impressed with his common-sense approach to horses. He advocates observing how horses deal with leadership in nature as an effective means of communicating to your horse that you are the herd leader. His most important point is that with horses, there is always a leader. Every time you meet, a leader is decided. If it’s just you and your horse, and you don’t take the leadership role, he will. There are many ways to subtly show him you’re in charge. For example, Sam suggests that you never just let your horses in and out of the barn – as we do (he says “they’re not cows”). He says to halter your horse each time and lead him in and out. When you’re letting him out, lead him out, remove the halter, then walk away. Your horse should not walk away until you do. When you let him in, lead him to the stall, stop at the door and allow him to walk in while still holding the lead rope. He will turn around to face you; then you can remove the halter and lead rope. (An added benefit to this method is that it makes it much easier to trailer a horse if he’s used to entering a space alone after you’ve stopped in the doorway.)
Sam offers lots of good advice every year. If you have the opportunity to hear him speak, we highly advise it. Check out his schedule at www.asksampowell.com (2019 EDIT: that website is dead so I removed the link. Here is a nice Sam Powell biography, though.).
Oh, and an excellent barbecue dinner was provided at no charge to participants but you have to RSVP. This year supper included barbecued chicken and all the fixings, as well as a delicious desert. Tasty and filling (thanks Purina, Critter Country and other sponsors!). Product samples and literature were available and enough door prizes were given out that it seems almost everyone won something. Purina handed out special buy-two-get-one-free coupons and other discounts to entice us to buy their brand of feed. So when next year rolls around, if we get news of another Horse Owners Workshop, we’ll definitely be signing up again. It was time well spent.
We’ll write later about how we’ve been using Omolene 100, Purina’s sweet oat blend for “active pleasure horses”. For now, I’ll say we’ve been very pleased with it, even though it is a tad more expensive than the feed store mix. More about all that later.
Have you been to one of these presentations yet? What was your impression?
By the way, we have no connection with Purina or Critter Country and were not paid anything to say nice things about them.
For more information and to see if they have a Horse Owners Workshop near you, visit the Purina website.
Tonight we attended a workshop presented by Purina (Purina Horse Owner’s Workshop: http://horse.purinamills.com/). We were pretty sure it was going to be a live infomercial for Purina Horse Chow – and they pushed their horse feed pretty hard – but we got a lot of good information from the presentation. The best part was at the end, when they had a guest speaker to talk about horse behavior and answer our questions about horses. He was a guy who has been around horses all his life and now makes his living by using his experience with horses to show corporations how to apply the principles of horse leadership to people leadership. It sounds kind of crazy, I admit, but it sounds like it might work. He was really common-sense and down to earth, and gave us some really good advice. His name is Sam Powell (www.asksampowell.com). They also gave out free samples of horse treats, which Valentine loves. Unfortunately, they chose to call them “NickerMakers.” Do real horse people buy things called NickerMakers, or will we have to sneak into the feed store to buy them without being seen?