Performance horses are defined as any horses that work five or more days out of the week. And they need plenty of energy, along with all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that horses need to look and function at their best. You can help your horse work at its best and recover well by making sure their electrolytes, food, and supplements are optimal. This guide will cover what you need to know.
All horses need water and electrolytes, particularly after sweating through a training session or a competition. Your horse should always have access to plenty of clean, fresh water, but that alone is not enough. To replace electrolytes, make sure the horse has food like grasses, clover, and alfalfa. These are all high in most of the necessary electrolytes.
Grain, on the other hand, does not have much in the way of electrolytes and is never the optimal feed for a performance horse. Your horse has everything it needs to properly digest grasses and legumes; it did not evolve to eat grain, after all. It is important to note that neither grain nor grass has much sodium, which is an essential electrolyte. Your horse needs access to plain salt as well.
Horses need both carbohydrates and fat to function at optimum levels. A horse does not have a gallbladder and can therefore only handle a diet of around 10 percent fat. Fat and carbohydrates should come packed with fiber for optimal digestion and energy storage, and because fiber itself provides energy that a horse can readily use.
An excellent way to get carbohydrates (and fiber in particular) is through green grasses and legumes. Whenever possible, use fresh hay. The fresher the hay, the better the quality of the fiber and carbohydrates.
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