Nancy Parrish, owner of “CAMEO” fencing in Valentines, Va., knows and appreciates quality. She and her late husband, Gary, started their fencing company 27 years ago with the innovative fencing system they developed. The company and product are named after their horse, Cameo, who was their inspiration (and product tester) for the safe and easy to install monofilament fencing.
Their dedication to quality is reflected in the company’s mission statement: “To make life better for horses and livestock with safer and kinder fencing—one pasture, one paddock at a time. While assisting their keepers with fencing that is affordable, easy to install and requires little to no maintenance. To provide products we trust that will enhance the management of your farm and the animals entrusted to your care.”
Two of those products they trust are EquiLix and EquiPride, developed by SweetPro. These two supplements came to the Parrish’s notice about 3 years ago when Gary was looking for a new supplement for his LowLine Angus cattle.
One of the main points that sold the Parrish’s on SweetPro was that, despite the name, the products are sugar- and starch-free. Gary had tried a number of molasses-based products for his cattle, but since sugar can drop the PH in the digestive tract, he wasn’t convinced these products were doing the best job for his livestock. According to Nancy, “All the sugar based products he tested also had other concerns; for example, the tubs filling up with water after a rain, which left a sticky mess, especially in the summer. Also, you end up with a pile of metal or plastic tubs that have to be dealt with. As well, in the cattle business you always seem to have a few boss cows. Because the animals are going to the tubs for the sugar, they will stay longer and not let another cow or calf lick the tub. I have not found this problem with SweetPro.”
“Within 6 weeks the improvement in our cattle was noticeable. Our business, “CAMEO” fencing, sells mainly to the horse owner, though our fencing is ideal for all livestock and farm fence needs. It was natural for us to add SweetPro products for horses as well as cattle, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, etc. We started as a dealer just after introducing it to our livestock [and] then took on the distribution for this part of the country in January 2013.”
According to Gary, “SweetPro products get their energy from the ProBiotein that they developed and patented…. all supplement products that distill grains, take the ethyl alcohol off and sell it. To achieve this, grains must be cooked at 130 degrees or higher. SweetPro cooks at a much lower temperature and the ethyl alcohol remains in the products. Ethyl alcohol improves palatability, enhances fiber digestion and adds another non-starch energy source. Cooking at a lower temperature keeps all the good bacteria that the horses and livestock need to keep their digestive system at the ideal PH.”
ProBiotein is a proprietary blend additive made of yeast culture, 3 prebiotic oligosaccharides, enzymes and protein isolates. The yeast in ProBiotein is cultured on a media of wheat, oats, barley malt and flax. This broadens the amino acid balance of the ration. It is also rich in biotin and other nutrients to aid digestion.
The dietary fibers are often called “prebiotics” because they preferentially feed beneficial digestive system “probiotic” bacteria. In so doing, the beneficial bacteria flourish, improving feed utilization and efficiency up to 25%, while “competitively excluding” pathogenic bacteria which can cause illness. The 3 classes of prebiotics help maintain good digestive health which in turn supports your horse’s immune system response and overall health. The products are also soy-free, which is a welcome benefit to owners of soy-sensitive horses.
Dawn Kennedy, a long-time SweetPro user, has seen the benefits in her own horses. She started using the products when she lived in Tennessee several years ago. Her Arabian gelding was easily distracted and tended to be flighty. Within just a few weeks, she saw a difference in his attitude and behavior. He became “more focused and better behaved, his coat improved” and her feed bills began to drop. She was so impressed with the results that she became a distributor covering many areas of the South. After moving to Virginia, she was initially able to get EquiPride at a local dealer. When they decided to stop carrying the product, Dawn decided to become a local dealer. She and her friend Wendy Crawford now sell the supplement to Lexington, Buena Vista and Staunton areas through their business, All is Well.
Dawn has seen some amazing success stories with EquiPride. One horse received chemical burns after getting onto property that had been treated with heavy amounts of herbicide. His skin was peeling off and he was in rough shape. She convinced the owner to try EquiPride to assist in the nutritional needs of the horse as he recovered by giving her a bag. The horse began healing so rapidly that even the veterinarian was impressed. The owner of a young Friesian cross who went trail riding with Dawn one day decided to try the supplements on Dawn’s recommendation to help calm the horse’s fractious behavior. She noticed a difference within just a few weeks, which according to Dawn, is typical with SweetPro. “Many supplements take months to show a difference. With SweetPro, it’s typically less than 30 days.” This is partly due to the horses’ being able to receive more of the benefits of the feed they’re already receiving.
Testimonials on the website echo Dawn’s sentiments. Owners stating improvements from everything to hoof and coat condition to better attitudes and clearing up of skin conditions. While all of these stories are anecdotal, there is research to back up many of the claims. Several studies have shown the benefits of probiotics in reducing the severity and duration of disease, weight gain, hind gut health, and even assisting with the management of fecal sand.
As with any supplement, it’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian before adding a new product to your horse’s diet, but digestive supplements have a high safety record.
If you’re interested in finding out more about SweetPro’s products, you can contact either Nancy Parrish at 800-822-5426 and www.CameoFencing.com or Dawn Kennedy at 540-817-1461. You can also contact SweetPro directly at 888-229-0475 or www.SweetPro.com.