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Nutrients for Endurance Horses

Endurance horse supplements

The nutritional needs of an endurance horse are different to that of horses used for other purposes. Endurance racing is a very demanding sport discipline that requires the horse to use up energy reserves to fuel body functions and muscles that it needs to perform.

The nutritional needs of an endurance horse are different to that of horses used for other purposes. Endurance racing is a very demanding sport discipline that requires the horse to use up energy reserves to fuel body functions and muscles that it needs to perform.
The fact that horses lose so much sweat during these endurance events means that one needs to have a good replacement strategy to ensure that your horse does not become dehydrated. Dehydration, depletion of energy reserves and electrolyte imbalances all cause fatigue and poor performance in endurance races.
The main nutrients that a horse needs for endurance events are energy, electrolytes, and water.
Energy required differs depending on the intensity of the exercise. The energy loss caused by carrying the rider should also be taken into consideration. Energy is provided by four things – starch, fat, fiber, and protein – an endurance horse needs all of these - with an emphasis on fat and fiber. These elements are found in different feeds and absorbed by the horse.
Water should be available to your horse at all times, and even during rides, water should be offered to the horse regularly.
Electrolytes are lost when a horse sweats and therefore need to be replaced. Electrolytes are essential for maintaining fluid balance, acid-base balance and nerve activity. Electrolytes are given for two reasons, first, to stimulate water intake, and secondly, to replace electrolytes lost in sweat. Electrolytes come in liquid or paste form with a syringe, or in a powder form that can be added to feed.
One can calculate exactly how much of each type of nutrients your horse needs based on its size and the type of exercise it will be doing.
Other beneficial nutritional supplements include joint supplements, natural calmatives, and other nutrition tonics such as omega 3 and other vitamins. 

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