Thursday, September 03, 2009

Feeding the Endurance Horse
Feeding the endurance horse is critical to its success, health and longevity in
the sport. It can make all the difference. Read on to learn how to feed
an endurance horse.

Step 1

It is critical to the success of your endurance horse that you feed him properly. Endurance horses
are the equivalent of long-distance runners in humans, but their
metabolism works very differently. In order to make sure your endurance
horse is fed appropriately for his work, you need to know what and how
to feed. The basic platform for feeding an endurance horse is forage,
electrolytes and grain concentrates.

Step 2

Do not feed too much grain or feed concentrates. Too many carbohydrates
and starches will adversely effect your horse by causing him to go into
full blown low blood sugar once he has burned up the quick calories. If
you feel you must feed your horse concentrates/grain, feed a low
protein, high fat feed. Make sure the fat content is at least eight to
10 percent, and the top dress it with one cup of corn oil once a day.

Step 3

Too much protein demands more water intake, which can be devastating for an
endurance horse. Make sure that you stay away from alfalfa and other
hi-protein roughages and concentrates. Stick to quality forage that has
a lower protein content but is full of quality vitamins and minerals.

Step 4

Forage, forage and forage. It has been proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
that good quality forage is the best possible feed for endurance
horses. Make sure your horse has all he can eat, all the time. This
will cut down or negate any need for grain or concentrates. Also know
that there are “super-fibers”–beet pulp, soybean hulls, almond hulls
or oat hulls–that are excellent calorie sources with little to no
blood sugar boosters. Just be sure to follow instructions on how they
are fed.

Step 5

Make sure your horse’s electrolytes are primed and ready for the race. Put
electrolytes in his water, and give him an electrolyte boost before,
during, and after your competition. Feeding the endurance horse can be
tricky, but the results are a healthier horse and a fitter one.

[...full posting]

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