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Friday 24 March 2017

Equine dietary essentials

Movement is a key factor in achieving success in the show ring. Pictured above is Jane Bradbury on a lap of honour after Bloomfield Executive won the hunter championship at the recent Gorey Agricultural Show
Movement is a key factor in achieving success in the show ring. Pictured above is Jane Bradbury on a lap of honour after Bloomfield Executive won the hunter championship at the recent Gorey Agricultural Show

Quality feed is very important to show horses.

Protein: Good quality protein is a must for topline. Soya is an example of a high protein feed ingredient and seeds containing a high percentage of soya will certainly help to add condition. Note that soya must be processed in a way to allow digestion within the horse.

Omega 3/6: While the grooming of the show horse is an art in itself, the best way to keep a shiny coat is from inside out. All horses planning to strut their stuff in the show rings this summer will benefit from having a good-quality flaxseed/linseed oil in the diet as the rich content of omega 3 and 6 is sure to add shine.

Hay and grass: any feed rooms across the country now are larder-like in the variety of supplements and additives available to add to the feed, but the keystones of the horse's diet are the hay and grass available.

A balanced feedstuff appropriate for the level of work being done should add sufficient feed value appropriate to the level of growth or work that the horse is at. For the purposes of showing, supplements which include amino acids such as lysine and proteins can aid the development of a well-muscled, healthy outline.

Electrolytes: The show day can often be long and tiring for horses of all ages, with considerable time spent travelling and waiting in a horsebox or lorry. Adding electrolytes, particularly on the morning of a show, will help to maintain some sparkle. After the show, they will ensure the horse has a quicker recovery time.


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