The Equine Experts
Epol Equine

Endurance

FEEDING ENDURANCE HORSES

Scientific research in endurance horse nutrition and metabolic processes have changed the practical feeding of endurance horses in the last few years. High fat and fibre and lower starch and protein diets are recommended to effectively supply readily available, slow release energy for long distance performance.

High fat diets reduce the volume of feed that horses have to consume to meet their energy needs for long distance exercise, and more good quality hay can be fed. Replacing some of the starch from cereals with fat and oil reduce the fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels and help make excitable horses manageable, as well as reducing the risk of tying up.

Fibre in roughage traps water in the hindgut, which acts as a reservoir during long distance rides and helps to combat dehydration from heavy sweat loss. Horses sweating a lot have higher replacement needs for lost electrolytes, so a balanced electrolyte supplement can be added during and after strenuous exercise, but note that pre-race it is best to add only coarse salt to the diet as hays are high in potassium and only sodium chloride needs should be addressed.

Examples of suitable endurance horse rations are 2/3 Epol Cool Rider or Epol Rider cubes/meal and 1/3 oats OR Epol Endurance Horse cubes which is specifically formulated for the endurance horse containing lower protein, higher fat and fibre, anti-oxidants to combat muscle fatigue, as well as electrolytes to replace sweat losses.

Coarse salt at 30-60g should be added to the daily feed when in full training and good quality hay as well as clean water supplied ad lib. Lucerne hay can be fed but not at more than 20% of total hay intake, as endurance horses need slightly lower calcium to phosphor ratios so that the metabolic system remains active to prevent ‘thumps’ and tying up. Lucerne is however a good source of calcium and magnesium to be fed at checkpoints to replace sweat losses naturally.


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
  • Young or resting racehorses
  • Non-heating ‘all-round’ performance feed**
  • Promotes condition
  • Appetising
  • Nutrient dense
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

Link Link Link Link Link Link Link Link