Eventing at all levels requires a horse that possesses athleticism, concentration, agility and stamina. It makes sense then that providing the right nutrition in his diet is key to help him perform at his best. Here’s our top tips covering the basics of feeding the event horse.
Top Tips for Feeding The Event Horse
- Feed your horse specifically for his level of work or competition and continually re-assess. This will help ensure he’s getting everything he needs to be successful – don’t overfeed.
- Eventers will still need a minimum of 1.5-2% of their total body weight in fibre. Eg ad-lib forage over a 24hr period. Maintaining and optimizing digestive health is key for any competition horse.
- Ensure your eventer is receiving a good quality source of protein. This is vital to help with muscle development and repair when training and competing at an event. However, don’t overfeed protein.
- Split high starch meals into several smaller meals. This avoids starch overload of the digestive system.
- On extra hard days at the competition, feed an electrolyte to replace the minerals lost through the sweat.
- Event horses should also be treated as non-event horses and be turned out for some time during the day.
Feeding the Event Horse Prone to Ulcers
EGUS (equine gastric ulcer syndrome) is common in eventers. Many are off-the-track TBs and have never been treated properly so problems can be ongoing. Flare-ups during the competition season due to stress is all too common. However, managing the diets of ulcer prone horses can be a little tricky. The main reason is that horses prone to ulcers should ideally be on a grain-free diet. This often leaves people scratching their heads as to what to feed. Especially at higher levels of competition when fast-release energy from carbohydrates is required. In this situation, you’ll need to look at alternative sources of energy. Find more info about feeding ulcer prone horses here…https://www.fibregenix.com.au/feeding-a-horse-with-ulcers/
The Benefits of Legumes (pulses)
Mention legumes and most people think of Lucerne. However, lupins are another legume or pulse that can be fed as a useful source of energy (calories) and protein. Lupins contain approximately 28 – 32% crude protein, 4 – 12% oil and up to 15% fibre. They’re generally used in the diet when extra protein is needed. However, they’re also a low starch/sugar feed (average starch level of 3.7% and water-soluble carbohydrate level of 8.5%). And this, therefore, makes them a safe energy and protein supplement.
The Benefits of Oil/Fats
Research has shown that feeding too much feed in one meal increases its rate of passage through the digestive tract. This in turn increases the risk of digestive upsets, so keeping volumes low is much better for the horse’s health. A horse’s natural diet doesn’t contain very much oil but the horse can utilise it relatively efficiently. Oil contains lots of calories – about 2.25 times more than carbohydrates provide. This is useful for the grain-intolerant event horse as only a small volume is required to provide lots of calories.
Oil is an energy source that can be utilised when the horse is working at low intensities. When a horse is working at low intensities he is said to be working aerobically. This means there’s enough oxygen available to break down energy. At high intensities, the horse moves into anaerobic respiration (without oxygen). In this instance, it can only use glucose or glycogen to produce adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP). ATP is the only form of energy that a cell can use for a process or activity that requires energy. However, if conditioned to use oil for energy, this spares the stores of glycogen (from cereals) for high-intensity work. This is referred to as a ‘glycogen sparing effect’ and is useful for improving stamina.
There are considerable differences between the efficiency of aerobic and anaerobic respiration. For example, anaerobic respiration provides energy rapidly, but only for a limited amount of time. It produces 3 molecules of ATP per molecule of glycogen, or 2 ATP from 1 molecule of glucose. By contrast, aerobic pathways produce about 13 times more ATP.
The Role of Fibregenix Balancer Supplements in Feeding the Event Horse
Fibregenix balancers supplement can play a valuable role in supplying top quality, absorbable nutrients to your event horse.
Recommended Fibregenix Products For An Event Horse
For The Beginner Eventer
Fibregenix Prime Original conditioning is the perfect balancer supplement for event horses up to Pre-novice level. With optimum level of vitamins, minerals and nutrients it’ll provide your eventer with the right amount of energy and strength.
Fibregenix Prime Original includes a high level of live yeast probiotic and added nucleotides. Studies have shown this specific yeast can double the digestibility of fibre in your event horse’s diet. Purified Nucleotides play a valuable role in ensuring optimum nutrient absorption and correct gut PH. This keeps the gut microbes happy and working effectively. Feeding Fibregenix Original alongside ad-lib forage means you should be able to reduce the amount of additional hard feed. So as well as benefiting the event horse’s digestive system, you can also potentially reduce your feed bills.
For The High Level Eventer
Fibregenix Platinum Pro performance balancer s ideal when work becomes more demanding. It incorporates a blood-building formula, a gut health package of FOS and MOS prebiotic, live yeast probiotic and Purified nucleotides. It additionally includes performance benefitting levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to support the higher level, equine athlete. You should also continue to feed Fibregenix Pro if your event horse is injured and needs stable confinement. This will help maintain muscle tone and condition and reduce the length of time taken to bring him back into full work.
Joint Protection For The Eventer
An event horse needs suppleness and joint and bone protection. Your event horse will be faced with jumping over fences during show jumping plus the arduous cross-country phase. A liquid joint supplement such as Fibregenix’s Liquid Joint & Bone RLF is a great long term insurance. It combines rosehip extract (Rosa canina), Hyaluronic acid (HLA), Organic MSM, glucosamine HCL, vitamin D3 and calcium chelate. These ingredients aid in protecting and conditioning the joints, ensuring optimum flexibility and promoting strong, dense bone.
The Spooky Eventer
Many eventers are TBs and can be quite highly strung. Travelling and arrival at a new venue can mean a spooky event horse. Not ideal when it comes to the time your event horse needs to perform! For better concentration and a calmer temperament, try the non-swabbable Fibregenix Liquid Karma. Karma contains a superior, water-soluble form of magnesium that can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. It’s combined with other beneficial natural nutrients noted for their anti-stress properties. Liquid Karma can help your event horse to focus and give you his very best.