The quality and quantity of food you feed to your horse, and also timing of the meals, will greatly impact the performance and the health of that horse. Deficiency of some important nutrients can cause injuries in racehorses and sometimes even some serious health issues. This is why nutrition and feeding are as important as their training.
It Is Not All About The Food
Forming a real racehorse is not as easy as some might think. As with all the other regular pets, you will have to give your horse deworming and parasite control solutions, take them to routine check-up to the vet, take proper dental care and give them all the necessary vaccines.
Every living being needs “fuel” to keep us going. The same applies to horses. All the nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals are crucial for the well-being and proper functioning of racehorses.
Some of the necessary foods that have to be on your list are hay, chaff, grains, molasses, and let us not forget about the gallons and gallons of water.
Rations & Balance
Depending on the horse’s energy, rations with different nutrients should be included in its daily “menu”. Follow the performance of your horse, if they lack the energy to pull through the training, then you should probably consider changing their diet.
Carefully adjusting the rations will help you complete the feeding without any leftovers. Measure the amount of food you use to make feeds to help the horse maintain their perfect body weight and stay in good form.
Diet According To Horse’s Activity
When we are speaking about racehorse nutrition, the main goal will always be energy. This is why providing enough food is important, plus, the amount of daily food intake should greatly depend on the intensity and the amount of their training.
For example, a stabled horse should be given 1 percent of his own weight of food per day, while a high-performance racehorse should be provided twice that amount.
The ultimate goal is to feed your racehorse systematically in order to give its muscles all the nutrients they need for contraction and proper functioning even under great strain.
Here are some of the most important nutrients for the best performance of a racehorse:
- PROTEINS – they are responsible for muscle mass growth. Moreover, with high-intensity exercising come damaged muscles, and protein will help the muscles recover. The excess amount of protein should be avoided for many reasons.
- FIBER – horses are able to digest a great amount of fiber, and they can be a great source of energy. This is why a fiber-rich diet will be in favor of your racehorse’s performance.
- STARCH – extra calories and energy for a racehorse can be found in oats, corn, and barley. A certain amount of starch should be added to your horse’s daily food rations, but just like with proteins, great quantities should be avoided due to certain health reasons.
- FAT – why fat? well, it represents a great way for the intake of many calories in a concentrated form. This energy source is great for racehorses as they can digest vegetable oils easily.
- SWEET FEED – as the name suggests, this food contain sugar in the form of molasses. Be careful when purchasing any sweet feed for the nutrition of your racehorse. Some manufacturers have really low-quality ingredients they cover up by adding more molasses.