The Equine Experts
Epol Equine

Polo

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

 

POLO

Polo ponies have, apart from racehorses, a more strenuous and intense working career than most other sport horses. They generally have to be kept fit for about 8 months of the year.

The major challenge when feeding polo ponies is to provide medium to high energy muscle fuel, but preventing ‘tying up’. Energy is needed to fuel and replace muscle glycogen, protein is all-important in rebuilding damaged muscles, and both nutrients in combination with fat are necessary to maintain well muscled, fit body condition as well as fuel muscle energy stores and reserves.  

During the season, polo ponies need a 14% protein feed. Choose an Epol ration that meets the needs of each individual horse, taking into account the horse’s body condition, temperament, age as well as its work load, e.g. Epol Competition or Gold Cup cubes. Blends such as Rider cubes/meal/muesli or Endurance cubes and Millard cubes can also be considered. For horses requiring more energy Epol Mdk SpeedMax can be fed as part of concentrate total intake.

Provide good quality hay ad lib as well as free access to clean water. This will not only keep the horse’s digestive system healthy, but also combat boredom that might lead to vices. In horses prone to stress and suffering from stomach ulcers, lucerne hay can be included in the hay mix for its gastric acid buffering effect.
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
Intense work High 1.4 - 2.0% 7.0 – 10 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
  • Young or resting racehorses
  • Non-heating ‘all-round’ performance feed**
  • Promotes condition
  • Appetising
  • Nutrient dense
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
14% Gold Cup Cubes High
  • Hard
  • Mature horses in hard work
  • High energy, lower protein ration to replace body stores and maintain muscle tone and overall condition
12.5% MdK SpeedMax High
  • Hard, Intense
  • Top performance horses needing extra energy for harder workouts and quicker recoveries
  • Horses with limited appetites
  • Pre-race energy loading
  • Also widely used in the feeding of eventers, showjumpers and other top class performance horses
  • Should be complemented only with good hay and fresh water

 

*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 a lower starch content.


Link Link Link Link Link Link Link Link