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The competition horse’s metabolism can be put under intense strain. In order to meet the dietary needs of this type of horse, it is important to adapt its ration so that it is balanced and can meet the high demands placed on it.
First of all, remember that the horse is a herbivore. The horse’s stomach is also relatively small, hence its need to eat regularly throughout the day. The horse’s dietary fibre requirements are therefore paramount and must be covered with a sufficient ration of hay, which is available for a large part of the day. Hay harvested early is richer in energy and protein and should therefore be preferred. To calculate the ideal hay ration for your competition horse, it should represent 1.5 to 2% of your horse’s live weight. This means that for a 500 kilo horse, the hay ration will be 8 to 10 kilos per day. On the other hand, the fibers allow to guarantee a regular transit and a balanced intestinal flora, but also a mental and psychic relaxation for your competition horse!
A show horse will need a high intake of carbohydrate energy. This comes from cereals and is stored in the liver. It enables the horse to make short and intense efforts. However, the intake of this energy must be limited. Cereals contain 50 to 70% starch, which is then transformed into glucose. For example, they are very present in the diet of race horses. However, starch is harmful to your horse’s digestive system and can cause diarrhoea, colic or gastric ulcers.
Part of the starch can be replaced by a ration based on lipids, i.e. polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega 3 or omega 6 type. The advantage of these fatty acids is that they are also energetic, but much more easily digested by your horse. On the other hand, the digestive enzymatic system of your competition horse requires an adaptation time to transform this fat into energy. This is why lipids must be incorporated into the horse’s diet before the competition season, so that the energy is released correctly at the time of the effort. Lipids are a very good source of energy to increase the horse’s endurance and will therefore be present in greater quantities in the diet of endurance racehorses.
The H range of Royal Horse horse food offers a balanced diet corresponding to the diet of your competition horse. These horse feeds are available in specialized stores but also for sale online. They contain antioxidants, omega 3 and 6, prebiotics, trace elements and vitamins necessary for your horse. These horse feeds come in granulated (H200) or flaked (H250, H350) form. For horses prone to muscular and gastric problems, H150 feed is recommended because it contains a low starch content.
Before a competition or intense effort, do not leave your horse sober. Conversely, avoid working your horse or competing immediately after eating concentrated feed. The ideal feed for your horse would be to give him a small ration of hay (about 2 kilos) before the effort. Keep in mind that horse nutrition also relies heavily on water, so make sure your horse has plenty to drink before and after competition. After exercise, you can give your competition horse electrolytes to help compensate for the amino acids lost through sweating, especially in hot weather.