Stressed About Supplements? Platinum Performance Debunks How To Make The Right Nutritional Choices For Your Horse

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nderstanding and effectively meeting the health and nutritional needs of your horse is so important but that responsibility can often cause horse owners a great deal of stress and frustration to make sure that it's right. 

Japanese Show Jumper Karen Polle was on a similar mission to make sure that her horses were happy, healthy, and powered by the best nutritional supplements in the industry for each of her horse's high-performance needs. One of the many products Karen discovered in her research and partnership with Platinum Performance was The Platinum Bar EQ® that you'll find in your second NF.edit.

"They’re packed with lots of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients to support my horses after exercise (I’ve been giving them after they jump at shows). My horses go crazy for them!" 

We tapped Platinum Performance Equine Nutritionist Emily Smith, MS for insight on how to get started on your nutrition journey, debunking the common mistakes in the process and how Platinum Performance just might be the perfect match of science, research, and results for your horse's health.

1. What do you think is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to using supplements?

Overlooking the importance of forage in the diet is a common issue that affects

supplementation, as well as nutrition in general. Pasture is the best food for any
horse; hay being the next best thing.

When horses don’t have 24-7 access to pasture, like the majority of our show horses, they miss out on valuable nutrients that may be depleted in hay once it is cut and cured that need to be supplemented back into the diet to support health. It’s easy to forget the fact that horses are designed to thrive on forage and that that should make up the majority of the diet.

Feeding grains and concentrates have become so commonplace that it takes
center stage in a lot of feeding programs where quality hay should be used
instead. When the horse has free choice access to quality hay, supplementation
should be simple. Use a comprehensive supplement to fill in nutritional gaps from
the forage, and then use targeted nutrition as needed to support specific health

Once quality forage is exhausted, then it’s time to ask what else the horse
needs. Is my horse maintaining weight? Does my horse have ulcers? Does my
horse have poor quality hooves? Does my horse need more muscle tone? etc.
Targeted supplementation hones in on the needs of the individual. Optimizing
forage can dramatically simplify a feeding program, including supplementation.

2. If someone is just starting to research supplements for their horse, what advice would you give them to give them direction in this process?

Ask your veterinarian. Ask them for guidance, and ask them to recommend a
reputable company. There are so, so many options when looking for nutritional
supplements. It’s dizzying. Any horse owner can quickly feel overwhelmed with all
the different companies that sell them, all the options within any given health
topic, and every peer has a different opinion for what may have helped (or didn’t
help) their horse.

It is very important when choosing supplements to find a company that chooses quality and efficacy first as the quality of ingredients is directly correlated with the impact on health. Veterinarians are asked daily for recommendations and have seen results that they trust to recommend to horse owners.

The veterinarian is also an objective opinion. We work closely with our
horses, and it’s easy to think they need something that they don’t, but also miss
something that might help. Food is medicine, and the veterinarian should be
considered a valued resource for nutrition and supplementation.

3. Platinum Performance has established a culture of research for over 20 years, working shoulder-to-shoulder with veterinarians to ensure that all products and services under the PP umbrella are supported by best practices and advancements in new technology and ingredients.

When new formulas are being developed, walk us through the process from inception to production? When do you consult with your Veterinary Advisory Board?

Everything at Platinum begins and ends with our clients, their horses, and their

veterinarians. Platinum’s Advisor Team responds to emails and answers phone
calls, and has real-time fingers on the pulse of our client’s wants, needs, concerns, and suggestions. They are a big part of initiating new products as they are a direct liaison to hearing the needs of our people.

Our Research and Development Team brings ideas to life. They do the hard research to figure out what ingredients will help solve a problem or offer support for wellness based on sound science and clinical need. They seek out the highest
quality sources, test new formulas and operate several research studies and
feeding trials at any given time. They are also instrumental in organizing
university studies and trials with veterinary schools across the country.

Our Veterinary Advisory Board is very involved with many areas of Platinum and
definitely with new products. We heavily rely on their opinions and suggestions
from a scientific and medical standpoint. Every formula we develop needs to be
impactful, and we count on their expertise and personal experience as to what will
make a difference and what won’t.

The Quality Assurance team operates with unrelenting quality standards and is
continuously searching for the most efficacious raw ingredients. Platinum does
testing in-house and at a third party laboratory to check quality, potency, purity,
and tests for over 200 banned substances.

Platinum’s Production Team then makes the product. The Marketing Team makes
sure that you hear about it, and lastly, the Shipping Team sends it from California
to the barn with love.

4. How does Platinum Performance see the company continuing to advance in the vision of late founder, Dr. Doug Herthel?

Dr. Herthel was so special and is greatly missed. He was a trailblazer, a visionary
and, above all else, an advocate of the horse. He had an acute passion for
nutrition and brought that passion to life through the founding of Platinum
Performance in 1996.

Dr. Herthel co-founded Platinum Performance with his son,
Mark, who has been running the company since its beginning and is very active in all aspects of the company. He still reads every single Client Comment card that is sent in.

Dr. Herthel inspired Platinum’s focus on a nutritional paradigm shift that goes
beyond basic textbook nutrition and explores ways that use the diet to heal and
prevent to truly impact health and performance from the inside out. Dr. Herthel
was one of the original veterinarians to use food as medicine, and we will
continue to advance that innovative standard of care using nutrition to influence
health and wellness at the cellular level.

There are so many different lasting legacies from Dr. Herthel. And I think that every healthy Platinum horse is a continuing tribute to his deep love of the animal.

5. For some subscribers of the NF.edit, this is the first that they are being introduced to Platinum Performance products. What benefits can they expect for their horses from the Platinum EQ Bar included in our subscription box?

The Platinum Bar EQ® is essentially one scoop of Platinum Performance® Equine in a convenient bar form. Platinum Performance® Equine is our original
foundation formula and the cornerstone to who we are as a company. Created out
of clinical necessity over 20 years ago, Platinum Performance® Equine is
a comprehensive omega-3 formula developed to transform health at the cellular

The high level of omega-3 fatty acids provide an anti-inflammatory source of calories and is combined with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and
glucosamine. For all types of horses, the ingredients work synergistically to
support every aspect of health and performance, including joints, muscles,
hooves, skin and coat, digestion and more.

The Platinum Bars EQ® are great to have on the road, at the ring, on the trail…anytime the horse could use an anti-inflammatory source of calories and a healthy dose of nutrients.

6. Should they want to explore more with Platinum Performance after treating their horse to the Platinum EQ Bar, what’s the next step?

We love welcoming new clients and answering any questions! The Platinum
Advisor Team is available by phone Monday-Friday 6am-5pm PST and Saturday
6am-1pm PST.

Anyone can email anytime to and expect a response within hours. Our website also has lots of information about the products, links to our magazine articles, our Platinum Team Rider pages and information about our programs like Platinum Rewards and Platinum Colic Coverage TM.

Our Mission Statement is to provide superior nutrition and unmatched personal service, and that’s what can be expected from Platinum Performance.

Many thanks to Emily Smith and the Platinum Performance team!

Photography by Danica Taylor.