Equinews.com - Full Article
By Dr. Joe Pagan · February 24, 2012
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding feeding performance horses is when to feed before a competition.
To answer this, three experiments were conducted by Kentucky Equine Research (KER) to evaluate if feeding hay with and without grain affects glycemic response and hematological responses in Thoroughbred horses at rest and during a simulated competition exercise test (CET) on a high-speed treadmill. The first experiment evaluated how feeding forage along with grain influences plasma variables and water intake. The second experiment was conducted to determine whether these changes affect exercise performance. The third experiment was performed to determine how forage alone affects exercise response.
Feeding hay either before or with grain significantly reduced the glycemic response of the grain meal. Insulin production post feeding was also reduced. In addition, when hay was fed, total plasma protein (TP) became significantly elevated within one hour. Interestingly, feeding only grain resulted in essentially no change in TP, even though the level of grain intake was the same that elicited a large change when hay alone was fed. Water intake was significantly influenced by time of hay feeding...
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