What to expect with Hay Balancer®
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What to expect with Hay Balancer®

What Should I Expect when Using Dr. Thornley’s Hay Balancer® Supplement for my Horse? 

When people start using Dr. Thornley’s Hay Balancer® horse supplement, they often ask me what changes they should notice and how soon. The answer, of course, all depends on the specific horse and a lot of variables that make every situation unique. Nevertheless, I think it’s a fair question, and it is possible for new users of Hay Balancer to watch for specific changes in their horses and have a common set of expectations.

When starting any supplementing program, horse owners should always remember that there is no magic solution for any problem. As much as we want to believe otherwise, and as much as a good portion of the horse supplement industry wants us to believe otherwise, the best way to keep a horse strong and healthy is with good, consistent nutrition, not gimmicks. And good nutrition is a long-term effort that yields results over time, not all at once.

Many common problems people see in their horse are a result of poor nutrition. Therefore, the improvements people usually notice first when adding a good quality supplement to their feeding program are things they can see. When I first started using Dr. Thornley’s Hay Balancer many years ago, the first thing I noticed was a marked improvement in the coats of my horses. They were slicker, shinier and had that healthy glow everyone is looking for. I also saw better length in their manes and tails, which I have since learned is probably not extra growth, but simply stronger, more flexible hair that is not as susceptible to breakage as it was before.

Another change that Hay Balancer users often notice quite early is improved temperament in their horse. This can occur for a variety of reasons, but is usually a combination of a horse finally having proper amounts of trace minerals, and simply feeling better based on improving gut health. Improved temperament can also come about because people choosing to use Hay Balancer are, at the same time, moving their horses away from grain-based feeds and onto more forage. This, by itself, is known to take some the “heat” off a horse and promote increased feelings of calm and well-being.

Hay BalancerOne of the other outward signs of improved health that comes from adding Hay Balancer to the forage diet is improved body condition. And this doesn’t just mean a “fatter” horse. In a horse that has struggled with a poor topline, poor shoulders or hips, “ribiness” or other muscle condition problems, users will often begin to see improvement in these areas within a few months of using Hay Balancer. This is usually a result of the horse finally getting adequate amounts of essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and improved feed utilization from a healthier gut. For a horse in very poor body condition, these improvements may be noticeable quite soon, but in others can take more time so begin to show itself.

The other side of that coin is where a horse owner is working on a horse that is overweight. These weight problems can be from a known condition like Equine Metabolic Syndrome or simply because the particular horse is an “easy keeper.” In any case, Hay Balancer ensures that horses who need to lose excess weight by cutting back on feed while still receiving proper nutrition. Many Dr. Thornley’s Hay Balancer users report great success in helping overweight horses get in much better shape by adding Hay Balancer to the ration when decreasing the amount of forage given.

Supplement for horse hoofsFor horses that suffer from poor hoof quality due to nutritional deficiencies, hoof quality will begin to show improvement after a few months of use. Remember, no matter what anyone tries to tell you, it takes about a year for a hoof to entirely regrow. New hoof grows from the coronary band at the top of the hoof, so better hoof strength and pliability that come from the appropriate amounts of trace minerals and types of amino acids that Hay Balancer provides may take some time to manifest itself. The farrier may be the first to notice the improvements, but owners will, too.

horse digestive aidOver these weeks and months, there are a lot of good things happening to the horse from the inside out that cannot necessarily be readily seen, but they will manifest themselves to the observant horse owner in a variety of ways. These include better feed utilization and improved gut health. Both may show up as the horse maintaining good body condition on less feed than before, fewer bouts of stomach upset, and fewer viral infections and allergies. In addition, the improved nutrition provided by Hay Balancer may also result in less soreness and better recovery after work, as well as more stamina.

Over the long run, and we are talking years here, not weeks, balanced nutrition has been shown to improve the health and well-being of the horse in almost every way as it progresses through the different stages of life. Most of the quick-fix gimmicks we see are just that, gimmicks, and provide no real benefit to a horse’s overall health. Like most things in life, if product claims seem too good to be true, they probably are. From a growing weanling to an aged horse, animals given consistent, high-quality, science-based nutrition such as that found in a ration made up of the best quality forage available and Dr. Thornley’s Hay Balancer, will grow more efficiently, perform at a higher levels, and live a longer, healthier and happier lives.

Some examples of improvements new users of Dr. Thornley’s Hay Balancer report in their horses:

0-30 days

• Improving coat, mane and tail quality
• Calmer temperament
• Better water consumption

30-60 days

• Improving body condition, as seen in the topline, ribs, shoulders and hips
• More muscle, less fat

60-90 days

• Better feed utilization, maintaining body condition with less feed
• Improved immunity, less illness

90-180 days

• Decreased soreness after work, better stamina, better overall performance
• Beginning to see hoof improvement from the coronary band down


horse bone and joint supplementAs mentioned above, there are a number of other health issues that will improve when a horse finally has the balanced nutrition it needs. These range from stronger bones, joints and soft tissue like ligaments and tendons, to improved fertility and breeding, and everything in between. As a horse owner, you may not see some of the improvements outwardly, but you will recognize them over the lifetime of your horse.

We cut through the noise and hype of today’s horse supplement market. Show your horse you truly care by joining the thousands of Dr. Thornley’s Hay Balancer users, and make your supplementing routine simpler, more economical and truly effective.