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Feeding the hot competition horse

For many competition horses, there is a fine line between having enough energy to train and perform successfully and having a horse where control is lost at vital times of an event.

Research has shown that horses fed diets where most of the energy comes from fat and fibre will be more controllable, but they equally need some starch and sugar in the diet to replenish muscle glycogen stores that are required for anaerobic energy production. Horses required to perform on successive days or several times a day may deplete glycogen levels, and as horses are slow to replenish glycogen this can leave them with reduced glycogen stores, and hence energy for performance.


Barastoc Command - © Snaffle-it Snap Shots

 © Snaffle-it Snap Shots

This means a feed with a balance of energy from starch, fat and fibre is desirable for many competition horses.

Key energy sources are steam flaked barley, lupins, sunflower seeds, canola oil and beet pulp. Barley is a moderate energy grain that is renowned as a calm energy source, especially in contrast to Oats.

Steam flaking ensures that the starch is digested in the small intestine rather than passing to the large intestine. Calm fat based energy is can be supplied by canola oil, sunflower seeds and to some extent lupins.

A horse feed can only deliver its nutrient content if the horse eats it readily and Barastoc Command is one of the most palatable feeds around, with its ingredient make up, molasses content and beet pulp inclusion all favouring a tasty feed that horses love to eat.

Watch Peter’s YouTube segment for more information.

Get your horses diet assessed here.

Peter Huntington, B.V.Sc., M.A.C.V.Sc.Director of Nutrition, Australia

Learn more about Barastoc Command.

This article was written in conjunction with Barastoc.



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