The Equine Experts
Epol Equine

Dressage

KEY GENERAL FEEDING TIPS: Good management is directly related to success

  • Do not overfeed concentrates: Individual horse’s requirements vary, depending on work level.
  • Establish a regular feeding routine as horses are creatures of habit.
  • Feed small meals often – not more than 2.3 kg per meal.
  • Make any feed changes gradually over 10-14 days to allow the enzymes and gut bacterial flora to adjust to the new nutrient combinations.
  • Provide free access to high quality, palatable, dust free grass/legume hay.
  • Allow a cool-down period after exercise before watering.
  • Always provide ample clean, fresh water.
  • Remember horse’s dietary requirements differ from season to season: more feed, especially good quality hay, is necessary in the winter to maintain body condition and for heat generation.
  • Problems can be caused by fast growing grass in spring which has a very high sugar content , therefore gradually adapt horses to lush green pasture.
  • Remove weeds growing in paddocks and pastures as most of them are toxic and can cause colic and secondary side effects.
  • Free choice salt / adding salt to diet is advisable as each horse’s needs may differ.
  • The addition of extra minerals and vitamins should not be necessary when using Epol feeds, as a complete vitamin and mineral premix is an essential element in all the horse feeds.
  • Good quality hay should be the foundation of the diet for horses at rest, in light to medium work, and breeding stock:

 

 

Recommended ratios of roughage to concentrates:

Work level Hay    Concentrates
Resting / Maintenance 100 0
Light 75 25
Medium 60 40
Hard 40 60
Fast 30 (minimum) 70

 

DRESSAGE

Dressage and show horses/ponies need to be in excellent condition and well behaved. Although the dressage horse and show hack does not need to perform at high speeds and over long distances, they need to perform certain movements in a controlled manner. To achieve this they require regular work, combining and building strength, endurance, discipline and suppleness.

Correct nutrition must provide sufficient energy to perform this work, as well as nutrients to keep them well conditioned with muscled top lines, shiny coats and good hoof growth.

Choose an Epol ration that meets the needs of each individual horse, taking into account the horse’s breed, temperament as well as its work load. Highly strung horses might benefit from low grain, low energy content diets such as Cool Rider, while lazy horses will do better on higher grain and medium to high energy content diets, such as Competition Cubes, Gold Cup or SpeedMax, the latter highly suitable as an energy loader whilst competing at shows.
Overweight horses and horses at rest/recovering from injury will do well on ad lib good quality hay and Epol All Phase Balancer pellets which will supply necessary amino acids, vitamins and minerals lacking in all grass/ hay diet, but low energy to keep the horse calm and not gaining excess weight.

Most dressage and show horses are kept stabled for longer periods than hacks, so always provide good quality hay ad lib. This will not only keep the horse’s digestive system healthy, but also combat boredom that might lead to vices.

Recommended feeding rates:

The eye of the master remains the best judge – feed each horse as an individual according to body mass and workload.

Workload Energy level Concentrate as % of bodyweight Concentrate for a 500kg horse
Maintenance Low 0.2 - 0.5% 1.0 – 2.5 kg
Light work Low to medium 0.5 – 1% 2.5 – 5.0 kg
Moderate work Medium   0.8 – 1.5% 4.0 – 7.5 kg

 

 

 

Recommended Epol rations:

 

  Energy: Workload: Suitable for: Features & Benefits:
12% Cool Rider Cubes Low
  • Rest
  • Light
  • Leisure horses & ponies in Light work
  • High spirited horses
  • Stable resting horses
  • Good doers*
  • Non-heating
  • High digestible fibre
  • Slow release energy
12% Rider Cubes / Super Rider Meal Low - Medium
  • Rest
  • Light
  • Moderate
  • Riding school horses & ponies
  • Good doers
  • Competition horses
  • Non-heating ‘all-round’ performance feed**
  • Promotes condition
14% Competition Horse Cubes Medium
  • Moderate
  • Hard
  • Competition horses in all disciplines
  • Multiple day shows
  • Top line conditioning
  • Higher protein & energy for the performance horse
  • Supports muscle repair& energy replenishment 
12% Rider Muesli Medium
  • Moderate
  • Hard
  • Competition horses
  • Laid back horses needing extra sparkle
  • Superior vitamin and mineral profile
  • Micronized maize
  • Combination of energy sources incl fibre, oil & cereals
11% Endurance Cubes Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Hard
  • Endurance horses
  • Horses in other disciplines requiring lower starch & slow release energy
  • Advanced formula for stamina, strength & controlled slow release energy
  • High fibre, high oil
  • Combination of energy sources

 

 

*All the above can be topped up with All Phase Balancer Pellets to horses in harder work OR when less than recommended amounts are fed

**Feeding Advice: Cubes are generally less heating than a muesli mix with a similar Digestible Energy level, as they have lower starch content.

 


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