Two years ago Gem and Pete moved to the first barn where I had freedom to pick my own feed. The owner fed a grain I didn’t feel was a good fit for the Dynamic Duo and so I went on an epic research binge reading dozens of articles and speaking with the top nutritionists in the sport of endurance trying to understand what I was looking for in a feed. I wrote a big post about it on my old blog and if anyone is interested I can dig up the link. It is less pertinent to eventing where the demands are different and the horse requires more short term energy versus the long sustained energy of endurance, but the basics still remain true.
After all that research I landed on Triple Crown and began Gem on senior first then switched to complete when the senior just wasn’t giving her enough energy on our long conditioning rides. She is now back on senior due to her reduced work load. Pete has been on Lite since the start.
I love this feed. Or rather I loved this feed, but more on that in a bit. Both horses responded really well to the diet with blossoming shiny coats, strong hoof growth and enough energy for their individual life styles. The only issue I had was access. The only place around here that carries it is a feed store about 10 minutes from that barn which was easy at the time I boarded there. Now it is a 45 minute trip to get there and the only day I can do it is on Saturday. The feed was worth it though and at the amount we feed I can stock up and buy 6 bags total (3 of each) and be good for a long time.
Triple Crown Senior now sucks.
About a month ago Triple Crown announced that its East Coast mill and distributor, Southern States, would no longer be making it and that Purina bought the recipe. There was a lot of chatter and apparently a lot of people hate Purina, but I didn’t get worked up about it since they promised their fixed ingredients would remain the same.
Well, they lied.
Last weekend I made the trek to get my grain and all seemed ok until I opened the bag at home and out poured a rock hard dried out mess that is basically inedible.
Ok…maybe it was just one bad bag.
Nope. The other is the same and when I took to the internet I saw similar complaints across the board with TC replying that they are aware of the issue and that reps in the field were working on fixing the issue with the local mills. Same recipe and quality my butt. TC hammered the nail into their own coffin when they told people that they have found that getting on your knees on the unopened bag will break up the food.
Um…no thanks. I don’t want a grain that I need to beat up in order to feed my horses.
Of course this now leaves me with what to do. There is a Tractor Supply 1/4 mile from my work and I need to see what all they offer. I know they carry Purina (TC originally stated that the change to Purina would open doors to more suppliers but then yesterday said that they won’t ever be offered at TSC so um??) but I’m not big on jumping to that. There are a ton of endurance riders in the upper levels of the sport that love Purina Ultium and swear by it and there are a few options similar in texture to the TC Senior, but I hate that they don’t post ingredients online.
Southern States is now making a Horse Pro Elite feed that mimics the Triple Crown products they used to make and my feed store gave me a sample. It was moist and pretty much identical to the Senior I used to get. However if I’m going to change I might as well try to change to something only 5 minutes away versus 45 minutes.
Anyway all that to say buyer beware with the new Triple Crown products being made by Purina. The Lite seemed unchanged in texture at least, but both my bags of Senior were awful and that seems to be the new norm for now at least. Back to the drawing board for me regarding feed options.