Thursday, January 04, 2018

Should I Feed Alfalfa Between Endurance Races? - Full Article

I manage endurance horses. I have experience using alfalfa during races, but I have been told to not use it between races, when I’m training, as it could cause metabolic problems. Can you please tell me your thoughts?

Many performance horses benefit from alfalfa. The forage can be used successfully in endurance horses with some precautions.

At a competition, there is no better forage for endurance horses because of its palatability, high calorie content, and nutrient profile. However, it is not usually fed to endurance horses as the only forage on a day-to-day basis.

The concern with feeding alfalfa daily is thought to lie in its high calcium content. The mechanism is not completely understood, but researchers believe that daily high calcium intake may affect the body's ability to mobilize calcium during times of accelerated need, such as those associated with long-distance competition...

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