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Feeding hard-working endurance horses is as much art as it is science. Our sources walk you through an endurance horse’s diet, from conditioning to post-race. Read an excerpt from this feature in our July 2018 issue.
By Heather Smith Thomas | Jul 16, 2018
Make sure your horse gets the energy, nutrients, and water he needs to tackle a long ride
Athletes need fuel to work. Endurance horses, in particular, need a nutrition strategy that will allow them to travel all day at moderate to high speeds without “running out of gas” or becoming dehydrated. They need adequate energy in a form that won’t produce excess body heat and will provide enough fluid and electrolytes to maintain hydration.
Julie Bullock, DVM, of Mount Sidney, Virginia, has been riding endurance horses for 25 years and competes in 100-mile races. She says the endurance community is growing fast, and it’s important for newcomers to the sport to understand these horses’ nutritional needs.
Kathleen Crandell, PhD, an equine nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research, in Versailles, has extensive background in nutrition science and has trained and competed endurance horses. “When feeding an endurance horse, we think about two programs—feeding the horse on a daily basis as we get the horse into fitness, and then a plan for what we’ll feed the horse on the day of competition,” she says.
In this article our sources will walk you through an endurance horse’s diet, from conditioning to post-race...
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