- Best Trait = the carrier is flaxseed
- Worst Trait = extremely high cost for low trace mineral content
Consider this product if…
- You know that your forage is meeting your horse’s trace mineral requirement
- You would like to support your vet’s business
- Feeding flax makes you feel good
Why Review this Product?
Platinum Performance® Equine is one of the most common vitamin and trace mineral supplements on the market today, so I have found myself reviewing and comparing their products hundreds of times over the last decade. In each one of those comparisons I’ve found their formulas to fall short in value. The trace mineral density to cost ratio is poor compared to many vitamin-mineral formulas hitting the market today. I wanted to be thorough and clear for this review, so I’m going to compare this product to three other common vitamin and trace mineral products; namely Cal Trace Plus, Vermont Blend Pro, and MVP Mega-Cell Vitamin and Mineral. *See reviews on those products under the Vitamin-Mineral category.
The Actual Review in 5 Parts
Company Information & Communication
Platinum Performance® Equine has been on the market for over 20 years. Their original marketing strategy was to only sell through veterinarians which is a really good marketing strategy considering the unique vet-horse owner relationship. Today, you can purchase their products online as well, but their commitment to the veterinary industry remains strong. However, I find that this isn’t always beneficial to the horse owner.
Their research timeline advertised at platinumperformance.com shows a commitment to the scientific method. I have to applaud any modern supplement company for putting their money where the horse’s mouth is year after year. Equine nutrition research is very expensive, so even though the science is often privately funded, it does help drive our equine nutrition research forward.
The FAQ page on their website has a couple answers that grate on my nerves (Use of the word “fillers” is an automatic strike in my book. CLICK HERE TO READ WHY.). Like so many other trace mineral company marketing claims, they demonize the performance and complete feeds as if they do not understand those feed categories. I bet the nutritionists behind Platinum Performance know perfectly well why ingredients like wheat middlings, corn and distillers dried grains are put into horse feeds (i.e. senior feeds) yet feel like they have to keep up with marketing trends of their competition.
To compare Platinum Performance to other vitamin-mineral products on the market, I’m going to use an 1,100 lb horse in moderate work as my standard horse. I’m going to take the recommended feeding amount stated by each company and compare trace mineral, amino acid and vitamin E density in the guaranteed analysis section of the review. But first, let’s start at the feeding directions.
Recommendations for a 1,000 lb horse is 2 servings (scoops) which is 132 grams or 4.7 ounces. They recommend up to 6 servings (396 g/14 oz) per day for horses in heavy exercise, so I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and use 4 servings (264 g) to compare though I suspect that most owners are going to read the 2 servings per day and stop there. Notes say not to exceed 2 lbs per day (907g/32 oz) unless directed by your veterinarian. Yikes, 2 lbs per day is 5.5 mg of selenium ! I certainly hope that no veterinarian ever recommends more than 6 servings per day as recommending >3mg per day is not allowed by the FDA/USDA as stated in CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21!
Since they do detail unique serving sizes for age, breed and discipline, but suggest that >3mg of selenium is allowable, I give them 3 stars for feeding directions.
The first few ingredients in this product list include flax, flaxseed oil, and rice bran which is where the oils and omega-3’s are coming from. The fourth ingredient is whey protein which is indication that they are trying to add proteins to the product. The ingredients list includes technologies like organic minerals, selenium yeast, natural vitamin E, and biotin which are all pluses for modern vitamin-mineral products. However, in my opinion, they go overboard when they also try to be a glucosamine and omega-3 supplement on top of everything else. It’s just not physically possible to be a robust vitamin-mineral, joint, omega-3 and amino acids supplement in only 132-262 grams. I’ll explain further in the guaranteed analysis section.
The nutrient guarantee is where I find the Platinum Performance Equine consistently falters compared to other trace mineral products as well as ration balancers. Here is a breakdown of their nutrient guarantees from the feed label per 4 scoop serving.
Copper- 28 mg, Zinc 240 mg, Selenium 1.6 mg, vitamin E 1,240 IUs, Lysine 2.8 g, Threonine, 1.56 g, Methionine, 0.68 g.
Let’s start with the trace minerals as Platinum Performance called their product a trace mineral supplement. Considering that an average 1,100 lb horse in moderate work needs a bare-bones minimum of 120mg of copper each day and that most forages across the county only provide about 40-60% of horse’s copper requirement, an additional 28 mg isn’t going to get horses close to their need. Example: Forage meeting 60% of 120 mg need is 72 mg plus 28 mg from PPE is 100 mg.
Now let’s look at the three limiting amino acids Lysine, Threonine, and Methionine. The latest Nutrient Requirements of Horses (National Research Council, 2007) says that a 1,100 lb horse in moderate work needs a minimum of 33 grams of lysine. If you’re feeding a typical local grass hay at 9-11% crude protein, this ain’t cuttin’ it!
Cost is where this product breaks down for me. I used the 10 lb bucket size as several of the other products that I wanted to compare have this size. A ten pound bucket will only have 17 days worth of 4 servings. If you add the $7.50 in shipping to the $64/10 lb container, that breaks down to $4.21 per day just for a weak vitamin-mineral supplement!
I’d love to understand the rational behind this product’s low trace mineral inclusion. I realize they are selling across the country to supplement horses of every size, activity level and regional location, but the cost is outstanding. Yes, we’re probably paying for their research which is admirable, but I just can’t recommend this product for active performance horses considering the quantity and quality of alternatives.
National Research Council. 2007. Nutrient Requirements of Horses: Sixth Revised Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/11653.