Discipline determines Diet
Whether equine or human, athletes need to keep an eye on their diet. You want your equine athlete to have enough energy to perform to the best of their ability but at the same time not be over-fed or temperamental. When it comes to horse conditioning it depends on what tasks you’re prepping your horse for. What methods you’d use for a thoroughbred aren’t the same methods as you’d use for a barrel racer employ the same principals as when it comes to what you feed your horse
Early on, you’ll want the diet to be mostly fiber such as hay and a low energy feed. As the workload and power requirements go up, so will energy needs. What type of feed your horse receives dictates what kind of energy they’ll receive. If you’re conditioning your horse for show jumping, for example, you’d want a cereal source such as oats to provide your horse with fast release energy. For stamina conditioning for your eventer or driver, you want a slow release energy such as fiber and oil.
Good Nutrition Pays
Of course, your horse is an individual, and you’ll have the usual balancing act of learning what works for your horse with their temperament. A naturally forward horse will need less energy from feed and more from forage and oil while a more laid back horse should have more grain. Be careful with concentrated feeds however and give them in small amounts over several feedings a day. Too much feed at one go can lead to hindgut fermenting and colonic ulcers. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Adding oil is a good way to give calories, particularly with lazier horses, as it provides a stable source of slow release energy.
The average adult horse doesn’t need a huge amount of protein, but horses that are working hard do need it for the repair and renewal of tissues, especially muscle tissue. A horse can make some of its proteins but essential amino acids, among others, are supplied by their food. Quality is far more important than quantity, alfalfa and soy both contain proteins similar to those that the horse creates for themselves.
When it comes to horse conditioning, don’t forget that they’ll need lots of clean, fresh, water! Your equine athlete should have access to water at all times. As little as two percent dehydration can affect your horse. If your horse is turning up their nose at water from a source that isn’t home, you can add a little bit of fruit juice to sweeten the deal.
A healthy horse is a happy horse!
At Abler we care about the well being of horses.Abler provides a range of Affordable Equine Medication and solutions for the horse owner,trainer,competitor.