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BeetNote Building up condition
Building up condition through feeding
We all talk about the condition of our horses. Strictly speaking, the condition of a horse is the relationship between muscles and fat, in the context of general alertness, behaviour and stamina. The assumption that the condition of an underweight horse will improve solely by having him gain weight, is incorrect.
It is not easy to improve the condition of the horse while providing the correct feed, as many factors play a role in this process:
Simply increasing the energy intake will not necessarily improve the condition of the horse. By increasing the fat or carbohydrate intake in the diet, you increase the energy level. However, if the energy intake is higher than the energy consumption and the nutrients are not well balanced, this will result in fat deposits. A too high intake of protein will also lead to a fat horse.
The secret: feeding the right balance
The build-up of condition requires a balanced intake of nutrients, which enables the metabolism of the horse to use proteins as building blocks, to store fat for energy and to keep at the same time sufficient energy in order to maintain the biochemical systems. This means an increase of all nutrients in a form that the horse can easily absorb in the body.
Sometimes owners add small quantities of oil to the diet to increase energy reserves. This is better than some forms of carbohydrates, however, it should be regarded as a short term measure, unless the training activities are increased over a long period of time.
The secret: the right type of fibres
The best way of improving condition is to obtain more energy from natural feedstuffs. SpeediBeet offers the benefit of micronized (cooked) beet pulp.
However, no horse and no situation is the same. Furthermore, a situation can change again when horses are fed individually or in groups. This is why the term ‘build-up of condition’ in relation to feeding the horse, must be appreciated in its context. While we can give recommendations regarding the quantity of SpeediBeet in a particular diet, it is up to the owner to adjust the quantities to such an extent that they are right for his or her horse.
Dr Tom Shurlock