Updated: Mar 29
I found it! The best app for improving equine health and nutrition that I will now be using and recommending! Whether we are problem solving a weight related laminitis issue, a muscle building performance issue, or a hay related allergy issue, journaling can be a powerful tool towards success. Journaling is the best way to take the guessing games out of real change. But up until this point, the journaling has not allowed photo attachments. Well, now I have one and allow me tell you how I'm enjoying it!
Compared to the million and one supplement products on the market today, we have shockingly few service products to help us make sense of equine nutrition and health. That's why I got very excited when I come across The Equestrian App. I've downloaded a few equestrian apps in the past, but quickly deleted them. Immediately upon downloading The Equestrian App, however, I knew that it was different. Like its founder and creator, Patrick Husting, noted, "It's made by a software guy turned horse owner, not the other way around". And you can tell! The app is quite intuitive and easy to use. I'm thoroughly impressed how Patrick has simplified very complex, interconnected elements of horse care into one piece of software. In this article, I'll share with you some of the elements I like most about this app and, more importantly, how you can use it to improve your horse's nutrition program.
Ideas for Utilizing The Equestrian App to Improve Nutrition
A lot of exceptional, above average horse feeding is what I call "stupid simple". The owners that are really ahead of the curve are those that do things like a) weighing their horse, b) weighing their average flake, c) marking yogurt containers at 1 pound of feed, and d) keeping track of it! When we are faced with tough problems such as allergies, myopathy, laminitis, weight loss or gain, it's nice to have tasks "to do" towards our goal- practical, realistic, and tangible steps help us relax around the situational problem. That's where journaling comes in. Journaling is an active problem solving skill that I have been incorporating more and more into my private consultations with clients and it has been very helpful! The Equestrian App is going to allow me to do this even better, and you can utilize it FREELY for better feeding too.
The Weight Tracker is AWESOME! Remember how I said that so much about equine nutrition is stupid simple- well so is using this feature inside the app. To chart a horse's weight (*see OCEN article about the 4 ways to take this weight measurement), go to "Journal About a Horse", then click HEALTHCARE and then scroll down to WEIGHT. The Silver Plan is necessary to graph the weights, otherwise you can just journal an entry under OTHER or OBSERVATION. Don't forget to upload photos of your horse- all 4 sides in natural light, no tack- at the same time that you note the weights. Remember to record their body condition score too!
Trial a New Supplement with Ease: Wondering if that new supplement is really working? Journaling feed or supplement changes is an excellent way to start taking the guesswork out of whether or not that new supplement is worth its monthly cost. Start by making a SUPPLEMENT journal entry under FEEDING with a list of your specific measurable goals for the supplement. Then, note any physical, behavioral, or symptom changes in your horse over a specific timeframe. Not seeing the changes? Then, ditch it! Follow OCEN's steps outlined in this article "How to Trial a New Supplement".
Track Inconsistencies in Hay Deliveries or Pasture Quality: Wondering how all those monthly hay deliveries are affecting horses? Journaling each hay delivery and noting cost, smell, color, quality, species, cutting, weeds, flake weight or even uploading a forage test file could be just the critical clue for future problem solving. If you horse starts having any respiratory issues, diarrhea, hives, laminitis, weight gain/loss, or behavioral changes you might be able to link it to forage changes if you track them over time. Another idea is to weigh the "average flake" when you get a new load of hay. Flake weights can vary considerably due to baling machinery, moisture content, species, 2 or 3 string, and so much more.
Note Product Descriptions and Changes in Real Time: Can't remember what bag of feed to get at the feed store? Well, now you can upload photos of the bag and/or label and have all of those details handy under each horses' FEED detail. You can even make changes in real time! Have you ever had an epiphany about your horse's health late at night and felt too bad to text the feeder to let them know! Well, now you can update the feeding regime on the app and allow employees access to the feed change details.
Track Forage, Feed, and Supplement Costs: Built inside the app is the option to insert the cost of any product or service. You could journal the cost of the hay delivery or note the cost and number of servings of that new feed. It's a place to upload receipts or even make a note of each products' cost per serving for future comparisons.
Find Discounts of Feeds & Supplements: I LOVE how the creator has compiled existing feed and supplement discounts and offers into the app. Under DISCOUNTS, click on the FEED button and you will find a list of brands that have perpetual offers. Find the link to Triple Crown's frequent purchase program or take advantage of Purina's Feed Greatness Challenge- these offers don't expire. I usually mention these sorts of offers in my consultations, but now they are all in one place. Also, don't miss out on the discounts offered by OCEN to The Equestrian App community!
Share Your Horse's Details with Your Nutritionist! Something that I'm very excited to start utilizing is the SHARE feature. The client who got me turned onto this app is an OCEN Farm Plan Member. We've linked our accounts, so that I can help facilitate better feeding and management during our monthly calls. Very cool!
The Equestrian App is a great tool for horse owners of every discipline, level, location, and budget. Most of the app features that I mentioned above are FREE, including many of the ways to improve nutrition and feeding for one horse or an entire herd. As you build history into this journal over time, you can start making better predictions for how forages, feed, and supplements are affecting your horse's health. My favorite part is that you can photo journal HOW your horse's body is responding at well. Download and start using now with the links below.
HOW TO GET IT
The app owner and creator, Patrick Husting, lives outside of Seattle with 3 Quarter Horses that he rides in both English and Western disciplines. His son was the first family member to catch the equestrian "bug", but when he went off to college, Patrick began pursuing his own riding more aggressively. He is an active leader in the Snohomish County 4H program and competes regularly in local and regional shows. Patrick's experience with Microsoft and the creation of many software companies gave him the expertise to build a user friendly equestrian app that lives up to its promises. The app is only 3 years old, and if anything stood out about my conversation with Patrick in March of 2022, it was his passion for improving the administration of horse ownership, showing, and building strong equestrian based businesses over-time. Join the club of 30,000 global users and 33,000 horses already using The Equestrian App.