Choosing the right feed for your sport horse can be a real challenge. Because what is the “right feed’ and how can you easily determine if it meets the needs of your specific horse? In this blog article we discuss the most important nutrients for your sport horse’s health and performance.
A healthy horse starts with a healthy stomach and bowel. The most important ingredient for a well-functioning gastrointestinal tract is fibre. The foundation off a good diet for any horse begins with adequate roughage. And you get that with adequate amounts of quality roughage. However, sport horses need more nutrients than roughage alone can supply. They need extra carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals to cover their higher nutritional requirements and support muscle activity. In addition to meeting the basic nutritional needs, sport horses can also benefit from added functional ingredients, such as pre and probiotics also help to maintain a healthy gut.
Fibre: the all-rounder
Fibre is indispensable for many functions of the body. It keeps the gastrointestinal tract running smoothly and improves nutrient absorption. The gut flora plays a crucial role in the regulation of the immune system. The microorganisms in the gut also need roughage and a healthy balance of microflora depends on an adequate supply of fibre. Did you know that it’s not just fibre quantity, but also fibre length that’s important? The longer the fibre (> 2cm), the longer your horse must chew it. Longer chewing times slow down the absorption of nutrients and stimulate bowel activity for more efficient digestion. When a horse chews, it produces saliva. Saliva has a buffering effect and neutralises gastric acid, lowering the risk of gastric ulcers. Fibre also fills the gastrointestinal tract and is an important energy source for horses.
Energy for performance
All horses need energy. Energy is essential to keep a body functioning. Sport horses need extra energy to fuel their training and performance. Your horse gets this energy from sugar, starch, fat and fibre. We at Cavalor look at energy from two angles: 1) the energy that a horse needs for maintenance and work, and 2) temperament; horses don’t need energy for temperament. Nevertheless this is something that should be kept in mind when choosing energy sources for your horse. The Cavalor levels (1 to 5) make it easy to feed according to the specific needs of horse and rider.
Sport essential multi-vitamins
Alongside energy, vitamins and minerals are important ingrediënts. They take care of the transport and metabolism of energy and keep the energy system working. In other words, vitamins and minerals keep the body running. Horses can never get an adequate and balanced supply of vitamins and minerals through roughage alone, especially sport horses. To support their elevated needs for performance they need a complementary feed.
Which vitamins and minerals do we mean? While all vitamins and minerals are essential, there are some that are particularly important for performance. B vitamins, for example, are indispensable for the energy needed for performances. They act as catalysts for the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium protect the muscle cells from free radicals and support the immune system. And electrolytes (minerals) ensure a healthy water balance in the horse’s body and prevent muscle cramps. In short, vitamins and minerals are essential for the health and performance of your horse.
Proteins: nutrients and building blocks
Muscles are important, no matter which discipline you practice with your horse. Horses need protein to build and regenerate muscle tissue. Strong muscles help to support the horse’s skeleton. The more developed the muscles, the better they can support the spine and joints. Skeletal muscles consist of 75% protein, so it’s important that the horse’s diet contains a sufficient amount of protein.
The importance of pre and probiotics
As we said in the beginning of this article, a healthy gut and gut microbiome are the foundation for a healthy horse. The body acts as a host to many microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. Collectively, these are called the microbiome. An abundance of good microorganisms in the gut microbiome will have positive effects on the horse’s health. High-fibre feeds support the development of a stable and healthy microbiome. Prebiotics are fuel for healthy bacteria in the large intestine. Probiotics are bacteria that help to correct gut flora imbalances.
How do you know if your horse is getting enough nutrients and energy? By choosing a sport feed that contains everything your horse needs. Select the right Cavalor sport feed for your horse with the Cavalor levels.
- Cavalor Pianissimo
- Cavalor Strucomix Sport **NEW**
- Cavalor Perfomix
- Cavalor Endurix
- Cavalor Superforce
How do you choose the right entry level from the various options?
The Cavalor levels make it easy to adapt feed to the specific needs of horse and rider. You haven’t used Cavalor feeds before, but would like to? Then use the following guidelines to select your first feed:
- LEVEL 1: for horses in leisure to light work or for sensitive horses
- LEVEL 2: for horses that are trained regularly and actively
- LEVEL 3: for horses that are trained very regularly and intensively
- LEVEL 4 & 5: for horses that perform at top sport level
We proudly present: Cavalor Strucomix Sport. Everything your sport horse needs, is already inside!
Cavalor presents Strucomix Sport: the most complete muesli for sport horses. Cavalor Strucomix Sport is the first fibre-rich muesli in the Cavalor sport range. This muesli fully covers the extra energy, protein and vitamin requirements of sport horses. Additionally it contains pre- and probiotics for the maintenance of a healthy intestinal flora, providing the basis for natural resistance. Its puffed grains are highly palatable and easy to digest. Cavalor Strucomix Sport contains sport essential-multivitamins that supply the higher levels needed for horses that have to deliver serious performance. Cavalor Strucomix Sport is a Level 2 feed for horses that are trained regularly and actively.
Check out our sport feeds online at https://cavalordirect.co.uk/collections/horse-feed-for-sport-horses