5 top tips will help your horse or pony to look, feel and perform at their best:
1. Make sure that your horse is at the correct bodyweight:
Horses carrying too much weight have to work a lot harder during exercise, so it is no surprise that they will feel lazy or lethargic.
Energy content in feed can be measured in calories, or in megajoules. Unfortunately when it comes to feeding your horse - calories for weight gain and calories for the horses' energy levels are the same thing, and so feeding more feed can just lead to weight gain meaning your horse could feel even lazier. The first step is to put in place a diet plan to ensure that your horse reaches a healthy bodyweight. If you would like any tips or advice on this please contact us.
2. Choose a suitable type of energy:
Different types of feeds are metabolized and digested differently by the horse. Feeds that are higher in starches and sugars tend to be digested more quickly, providing faster release energy which can be beneficial for your horse’s energy levels. Feeds containing more oils, or digestible fibres are digested more slowly, providing slower release energy for stamina or sustained performance. Really it depends on what you want from your horse! Just be careful feeding a high oil feed, as oils provide a dense source of calories so are not always ideal for good-doers. Our Nutritional Helpline team will be happy to help you find the best feed for your horse.
3. Feed a fully balanced diet:
To ensure that your horse is feeling at their best it is important to make sure that they are getting all the vitamins and minerals that they need to support their health and workload. Balancers are a great way to do this, as they provide quality protein, and additional support such as antioxidants, digestive support, hoof support or joint support, all without too many calories.
4. Supplement with salt and electrolytes:
Often dehydration or electrolyte imbalances can make your horse feel lethargic. If the weather is hot, or your horse works hard and sweats a lot then supplementation with electrolytes could be necessary, and you should always provide constant access to clean, fresh water.
You know how much better exercise and improving fitness can make us feel. It is exactly the same for your horse. Working on fitness will mean that they will be able to exercise harder for longer. This really is the key to helping increase your horse’s energy levels.
If you have any more questions, if you would like specific advice for your horse or for samples of our feeds please give me a call on the Dodson and Horrell Nutritional Helpline, using the contact details below