The Equine Experts
Epol Equine

Racing

FEEDING THE HORSE IN TRAINING: RACING

The horse in medium to hard, intense training is an athlete and, like athletes, each horse’s feeding needs differ, and horses therefore need to be managed and fed as individuals to attain their best performance.

A rule of thumb is that a horse in hard work should be fed 2.5-3% of bodyweight per day, which should be divided into 60-70% concentrates and 30-40% hay. To maintain gut health and relieve boredom, 1 kg per 100kg bodyweight roughage should be the minimum quantity of hay fed, and where possible roughage levels increased e.g. when feeding energy dense Epol MdK SpeedMax to race horses, less of the concentrate is required daily to fuel performance, and more good quality hay can be fed.

The concentrate part of the diet should be in the region of 6-10kg per day, depending on body size, condition, temperament and workload. This should be divided into 3 or 4 meals per day. Small frequent meals increase digestion and absorption and lessen the risk of starches flowing to the large intestine causing hindgut acidosis and discomfort.

Lucerne hay can be added / make out part of the daily hay intake, as the calcium and magnesium soaps in lucerne act as a natural gastric acid buffer and aids in relieving the incidence of gastric ulceration. Lucerne chaff fed 30 minutes prior to early morning workout or the first meal of the day further acts as a protective lining against gastric acid splash.

Pre-Training Backing Time: Feed a relatively high protein feed to provide nutrients and essential amino acids for growth, but lower energy to maintain calm behaviour during this time, e.g. Yearling, Pre-Training  or MdK Prep14 cubes. The latter is a premium feed aimed at increasing bone density, promoting optimal growth and enhancing muscle development in the young athlete.

If lucerne forms a major part of the hay portion to provide additional protein, Rider cubes can be fed.

Training: use a 13-16% protein feed, with moderate to high energy levels to provide sufficient nutrients for growth and sustainable work and performance energy. Starting the young racehorse on Millard cubes, and then progressing onto Gold Cup or a blend of Millard and SpeedMax is recommended.
On weekends or when the horse is having an ‘easy’, feed a basic work/maintenance feed such as Epol Rider cubes, and increase the hay intake to give the small intestine a break from high carbohydrate digestion, and enhancing the fibre digesting hindgut bacterial population.

MdK SpeedMax is an energy and nutrient dense premium race feed especially formulated to be used as a pre-race boost, or daily in combination with Millard cubes, or as the sole concentrate in hard working horses lacking energy and needing to gain condition. SpeedMax cubes should be fed in small meals often, and is also popular in the sporthorse industry during shows and events to maintain multiday performance levels.

Fillies in training showing high muscle enzymes can be fed Epol MdK Prep14 with lower starch levels, and SpeedMax given post morning workout only to replace muscle glycogen stores.

Feed intake recommendations according to Workload:

The eye of the trainer remains the best judge – feed each horse as an individual according to body mass, age 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

 

Epol RACING Range

 


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