Feed & Nutrition

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When you have finally found the perfect horse to take you to the winner’s circle, it’s tough to realize that he or she might be getting old. Many horses are now competing well into their late teens and early twenties, especially in certain disciplines such as dressage or show jumping where it takes many years of training to reach an elite level of competition. However, from a veterinary perspective, horses are considered geriatric as they reach the age of 15 to 20 years, which is when their physiological functions start to decline. The management of these horses becomes crucial to keep them competing at their best.

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Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that is an essential nutrient in equine diets. Vitamin E functions largely as a biological antioxidant in the equine body, protecting tissues from the oxidative effects of free radicals. Free radicals are a natural outcome of cell metabolism but they can become excessive during conditions of hard work or injury.

Regardless of the quality of the hay being provided, key nutrients are missing and must be supplemented to achieve optimal health and prevent deficiencies over time. Ration balancers, such as Equilizer and Optimal, offer a low-calorie, low-sugar and starch option, in a convenient, easy-to-measure pellet form, that will meet the vitamin and mineral needs of horses receiving only hay or pasture.

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Whether or not to give supplements to horses has always been the topic of lively and enduring conversation. But, there is a growing community of riders and horse owners who choose to provide their horses with the supplemental balance of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements to help with health issues and augment the well-being of their animals.

The energy requirements of the lactating mare increase by 75 percent in relation to those of the horse in maintenance, and by 43 percent in relation to the needs of the mare at the end of gestation. In fact, the energy requirements of lactating mares are roughly equivalent to those of horses in intense exercise, such as racehorses!

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Seeking greater muscle mass? Did you know that taking amino acids 45 minutes after exercise will allow your horse to maximize the use of these organic compounds? In addition, he will recover better from his workout.

Sooner or later, most horse owners have the unfortunate experience of dealing with an injured horse. It’s common sense to have a veterinarian assess what’s wrong as soon as your horse becomes injured, but a vet will also help create a rehabilitation plan, advise how long the recovery period will be, and provide post-recovery expectations.

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