How we feed our horses can affect reproduction, the development in the womb, the young foal, the developing athlete, competition horses, the older horse, indeed all horses.
Prevention is certainly better than cure! In a world where everything is perfect, even thoroughbred racehorses could thrive on roughage alone.
However, is it possible that forage in the diet could support their increased training level? Recent Swedish research shows that this is possible and can also be very beneficial for the horse. During these studies, the most important thing was to ensure that the hay and grass that was fed contained a lot of energy.
These are the comments made by Sara Ringmark, PhD, of the department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Biochemistry of the Swedish University of agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden. It seems that this research has shown that a high energy content can be achieved with a diet consisting only of roughage. An energy-rich diet is essential for high-performing Horses and it may be worth having a regular nutritional analysis of the roughage you are feeding or requesting this information from the hay or high roughage supplier.
“If the forage intake reaches the required energy level, these performance horses should theoretically perform exceptionally well. The performance level must be maintained as well as the condition of the horse.”
Researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences found that a diet that only contains feed is accompanied by a lower lactic acid content, which means that the horses are physically more resistant to the training regime than a mixed diet with concentrate feed.