Energy Needs of the Competition Horse

Regardless of the discipline, nutrition remains pivotal to achieving peak performance. Without a customized, nutritionally-balanced ration, a horse will be unable to develop the levels of fitness and muscle mass required to perform at its full potential. Energy deficits caused by inadequate nutrition represent the most significant detriment to performance. Energy Balance for Performance Horses When determining your horse’s ration, it is absolutely essential to establish the ideal energy (calorie) balance for your horse. It goes without saying that a horse’s energy needs are proportional to its level of exercise. The ration’s caloric content should allow your horse to maintain a body condition of between 5 and 6 on the Henneke scale, a universal evaluation method for assessing body condition with a ranking scale that ranges from 1 (emaciated) to 9 (obese). If your horse’s body condition falls outside of the optimal range, it is considered to be either underweight…

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