I'm freshly back from my Puerto Rican honeymoon and thrilled to report that Dorado made it through the entire week without self-destructing…hooray! But now it's back to business for the old guy as we try to prepare for a fall horse trial. Our vet is coming out Saturday for a routine check up, and as long as he gives him the green light, it's full steam ahead. Now that I'm back, I'll also be adjusting Dorado's supplements pretty significantly and am seeking some input—good, bad, or indifferent—on a specific type of supplement I'm trying out.

With so many supplement options out there, I hope I made a good choice!

Photo: The Horse Staff

A couple weeks ago I noticed that my stash of Dorado's supplements was starting to run low. I made a mental note to hop online and order more when I got home and returned to setting up his daily rations. Not surprisingly, I'd forgotten all about the supplement order until I stopped at the mailbox: Staring back at me was a brand new tack shop catalog packed full of amazing items that I'd sure like to have, if only I could afford them.

Solely prepared to make a mental wish list of all the equine amenities that would look good in my tack locker or hanging in my closet, I sat down, started through the catalog, and paused when I hit the supplement section.

It's been a long time since I'd really been supplement shopping; Dorado's taken his current joint supplement almost since we moved to Kentucky, and our veterinarian recommended the other two products (both focused at helping his hooves grow better) by name—no shopping around required. And I was—and still am—quite happy with Dorado's current regimen. He's 17 this year and still bouncing around like a 5-year-old despite lots of racing-induced wear and tear on his joints, and his hooves are finally looking much better than they have in two years. But that day, I paused on the senior supplement page and looked at their offerings.

I've known for quite a while that several different companies offer supplements specifically designed for and marketed towards owners of senior horses. But it wasn't until then that I realized the vast number to senior-specific supplements available to consumers. Dorado is either just recently a senior horse or just on the verge of being considered an aged (depending on what age your "senior horse cut off" is), so I decided one of these targeted supplements might be worth a try.

I selected one—a combination joint and hoof supplement with some other additives that the reputable manufacturer says will help my senior horse's body continue functioning properly—to try for a few months and will be monitoring him very closely. If it doesn't appear to be working after that time span, I'll likely return him to his previous supplement regimen or try to find something else that might help him even more.

My question to you this week is about your experience with supplements designed specifically for older horses. Have you ever used a senior supplement? Were you happy with the results? Or would you recommend just sticking with regular supplements?

I'll let you know how the experiment goes!