As horse owners, we are presented with many nutritional products designed to help our horses maintain optimum health and performance. It can be extremely difficult to wade through all the information and recommendations related to these products. Occasionally, however, a product becomes available that does exactly what it claims to do, making it very simple to decide whether or not the product is useful.
“Michael Plumb’s Horse Journal” voted this product 1997 Nutritional Product of the Year, so it has been around for a long time. More importantly, many have been using this product in horse practice for many years and have had nothing but positive results with it. Ration Plus, a nutritional supplement designed to aid the digestive system, is an excellent product.
Ration Plus is a biological feed additive derived from bacteria found naturally within the horse’s digestive tract, including “Lactobacillus acidophilus.” The product is created through a multi-stage fermentation process. The end result is a unique concentrate that supplies a combination of nutrients to target specific beneficial bacteria found in the horse’s digestive system. By using Ration Plus, you are giving the normal flora of your horse’s digestive system a boost so they can do their job in a more efficient manner. The manufacturer, S.E. Monroe, Inc., lists the following as common results of Ration Plus supplementation:
1. Initiates weight gain in under weight horses or hard keepers within 10-20 days.
2. Maintains weight in horses under stress.
3. Increases feed efficiency as indicated when excess amounts of feed stuff commonly found in manure are considerably reduced or completely gone within 4-10 days.
4. Stops flatulence.
5. Increases appetite in anorexic animals.
6. Alleviates and prevents digestive disturbances such as diarrhea.
7. Decreases recovery time.
8. Improves hair coat quality and shine.
9. Improves hoof and skin condition.
I do not recommend Ration Plus be given to all horses all the time. However, if you have a hard keeper, an older horse that is losing weight, or horses that are placed in a variety of stressful situations on a regular basis (performance horses), Ration Plus may be of benefit. Of course, prior to administering Ration Plus, a thorough examination by your veterinarian must be performed to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be the root cause of the observed abnormal circumstances. After examination your veterinarian can determine whether use of Ration Plus is advantageous in your horse’s treatment plan.