While Project Centerline is all about designing the next best dressage attire, we'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge that top-level equestrian athletes are more than the dressage attire they wear. In fact, preparing a top-level equestrian athlete starts with being fit on the inside. As equestrian athletes, we take care of ourselves with diet and exercise, and, for many, the addition of vitamins and supplements. And the same holds true for our equine partners—we prepare them through a well-planned diet and exercise routine, with supplements, such as those from HorseTech, that aid them in keeping healthy.
HorseTech manufactures and markets a proprietary line of equine supplements that are well established in the sport of dressage, working with competitors throughout the country, including many of today's top dressage riders. "When we work with those competing at the highest levels of competition, we generally see a demand for products that support the hoof, coat, attitude, digestive tract and joint health," says Rod Johnson, owner of HorseTech. "Joint products are particularly popular in the sport of dressage. The investment of time, money and effort it takes to compete—no matter the level—makes it important to provide support for joints and connective tissue. I am not aware of a single top-level rider we work with that doesn't incorporate a joint-support product into their supplement program."
HorseTech's most popular pro-ducts in the joint support category are the Original HylaSport and the new HylaSport CTS (connective tissue support). "We usually start with the basics—glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) and hyaluronic acid," says Johnson. "On occasion, we have requests for additional ingredients, but we are almost always starting with substantial levels of these four components."
Another product often found in a top-level competitor's program is a hoof supplement. "Typically these would include 20 to 30 milligrams of biotin per day, plus supplemental lysine, methionine and trace minerals," explains Johnson. "HorseTech's most popular hoof product, Glänzen 3—with a food-grade flax base—adds natural Omega-3 for a healthy skin and glossy coat."
Human athletes are able to adjust their diet and vitamin regime based on their activity level and end goal. The same should be true for the equine athlete, and HorseTech offers competitors the option to customize products to meet their horse's individual needs. "We often field requests for custom products—everything from built-to-specification to minor product tweaking. A horse owner may be looking for an ingredient or combination that is not readily available on the market. In this case, a custom product may do the trick. HorseTech has hundreds of custom blends on file and once in a while one of these custom products makes it into our line-up of products."
In the end, the most important part of caring for an athlete is being sure the things you do lead you to the best outcome. Johnson says to be sure that a supplier is a member of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC). "We always tell people to look for the NASC seal," he says. "HorseTech has been a NASC member since day one, and I can't say enough about the effort that the group has made to raise the collective quality, safety and effectiveness of NASC members' product offerings."
For more articles on equestrian fashion, go to Project Centerline's page.