Show season is here! With it begins the process of legging up our equine athletes! Over the slow winter months horses can lose muscle strength, tone, and experience tightening of tendons and decrease in blood flow. Equine athletes, and their human counterpart, take time to get in shape for the season. Ramp up slowly and stay consistent. It is a challenging time and takes much more energy to get in shape, than stay in shape. As you focus on conditioning, don’t lose sight of the nutrition required by your horse. Sore muscles, exhausted lungs, and mental fatigue all need rejuvenation.
The age-old saying of “junk in, junk out” is absolutely true! The proper blend of quality ingredients should balance both the diet and the amino acid profile of the horse. This aids in various processes, including building and repairing muscle, hoof health, regulating immune function, and nutrient absorption. A ration that slows hindgut digestion allows roughage (hay or pasture) to be fully processed and much needed calorie extraction boosted!
As you look at your nutrition program, pay special attention to the feed bag ingredient label. The first three to four ingredients listed typically account for sixty to eighty percent, or more, of the total ration. Look for high-quality sources of carbohydrates, proteins, oils/fats, vitamins, and minerals. Organic ingredients like alfalfa meal, flax seed, coconut, stabilized rice bran, peas, and sesame, to name a few; provide excellent all-around nutrition.
For example, alfalfa meal has highly digestible fiber, higher calories compared to grass hay, and a good source of calcium. Whole flax seed, high in omega-3 fatty acids, enhances overall animal health and reduces inflammation. Coconut, which is low in non-structural carbohydrates, provides cool energy and high-quality protein. All of these are critical for legging up your athletes!
Jen McFall of Dragonfire Farm in Wilton, CA says it best, “Nutrition plays a starring role in achieving peak physical fitness in your horse, by providing the necessary fuel for them to build and maintain muscle. As competition demands more energy and strength from our athletes, so must we demand a high-quality feed that will allow them to perform and maintain optimal body condition throughout the entire season.”
A high-quality nutrient diet is always important and becomes imperative during the legging up process and long season to maintain, repair, and build muscle. Keep them strong; keep them healthy; and keep positive, cool energy flowing through your equine athletes!
Pink Rose Organix Equine Boost & Balance is a USDA Certified Organic feed for an optimized digestive system and healthy hindgut. A delicious, prescriptive blend of organic proteins, oils, and fiber that works with your pasture or hay to boost digestive efficiency and balance the diet. Boost & Balance focuses on hindgut function; driving animal health, attitude, and positive, cool energy!