A Guide to Equine Feeding and Maintenance

Horse nutrition

The right type of nourishment acts as a base for all activities carried out by horses, so a proper nourishment plan is a must for both a horse’s health and performance. In other words, you can aid a horse to reach peak performance by taking care of the necessary forage, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Non-racing horses can get by on a simpler diet than horses trained to compete

Finding the right kind balance in both the diet and training regime of each horse separately requires a special skillset. A horse needs different dietary mix depending on their age, level of activity and other factors, with racing horses you must ensure that they are receiving sufficient amounts of energy. On the other hand too much energy in the wrong form or poor quality grains can cause muscle and behavioural issues. An unwillingness to comply often premeditates the lack of a certain supplement or illness.

The muscles of racing horses require different supplements than their non-racing equivalents. Often they also require supplements in higher quantities. Blood samples can be taken from racing horses in order to find out any potential nutritional deficiencies and other issues precisely. A horse’s diet needs to be planned out carefully in order for the horse to prepare for and recover from races and for the horse to develop in between. Horses are elite athletes just like human beings. A horse and its needs must be tended to in order to get the best possible performance at exactly the right moment. A racing coach has once said that a happy horse runs faster. In any equine sport, a healthy and interactive relationship between a horse and human is a precondition when going for peak performance. The ability to perform is of course a prerequisite, but a horse’s mental health is just as important. Mental health issues may cause a horse to refuse to perform.

Is your horse receiving the right concentrated feed, roughages and complimentary feed?

What can be done in cases of stomach problems and irritable bowels?

Is your horse experiencing problems with their joints?

Is your horse stressed before racing or during long distance travel?

Is your horse receiving enough amino acids for the daily strain and growth?

Horse reading is one of the key attributes in the stables

Equine sports are a way of life for many. Some people raise horses purely for their own leisure as a hobby while for others a horse is a tool. No matter the reason for owning or caring for them, horses need to be treated well, which adds up to a healthy diet and physical and mental well-being. Horses are individuals just like people. What is suitable for one may not be suitable for the other.

A horse has its own way to communicate its needs. Horse reading is extremely important, but other details may be needed to get the whole picture. The horse’s manure may provide many clues of any nutrient deficiencies. In addition to feces, clues to deficiencies may also show up in a horse’s hair coat.

Tip: The next time you are cleaning the stables, have a look at your horse’s manure. Visible grains in the dung mean that they have passed through the horse’s digestive system without any nutrients being absorbed from them.

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