Feeding the racehorse is an art as well as a science. When it comes to nutritional requirements racehorses must be prepared for optimum performance and in peak health.
The horse’s lungs will inhale and exhale up to 2000 litres of air in a 5 furlong race. Around 70% of the energy production will be anaerobic, whereas in a horse running over a longer distance, up to 90% will be anaerobic.
Pre-digested essentially means cooked, this can be done in a small number of ways. We use steam extrusion extensively throughout our products which involves, grinding, adding steam to and gently cooking a mixture of ingredients. The process causes the mixture to expand and any starches and proteins to change structure. This increases the surface area of the molecule, allowing the horse’s digestive enzymes to more readily and thoroughly break them down in the small intestine. Think of a popcorn kernel after it’s popped, the surface area is increased making it easier to digest. Take a look at Key-Plus™ or Stay Cool™ for what our steam extruded feeds look like.
Horses are reliant on their diet to deliver proteins they cannot synthesise themselves, these are known as essential amino acids. EQ-Complete™ is a combination of high quality and carefully selected ingredients, which deliver specific essential proteins. Providing the perfect building blocks for outstanding muscle development while also supporting muscle recovery and repair. EQ-Complete™ features in the BlackType range of feeds.
Fundamentally, there are 3 major factors effecting a horses chances of winning. The horses ability (genetic potential/breeding), the trainers ability in training/fitten then placing the horse in the right race and the horses nutrition and nutritional management. In other words, nutrition is one of the most powerful tools at the trainers disposal. There are many, but two nutritional factors that sometimes get overlooked are adding long chain omega 3 (DHA and EPA) to the diet - and fibre (gut health). Long chain omega 3 is responsible for contributing to a myriad of biochemical and biomechanical functions in the body. One worthy of the astute trainers attention is its role in the elasticity of the lungs. When horses breath at gallop they take one stride per breath, this mechanical relationship between the lungs and the horses gait is called locomotive coupling. When supplemented with DHA and EPA the horse will tend to take a slightly deeper breath at gallop, this in turn allows a slightly longer stride. The net result is faster times and a better chance of winning. Lastly, modern racehorse hard feed diets don’t tend to leave the gut a lot of room for fibre. Two ways to increase fibre intake is to feed a ration that has a higher digestibility and therefore decreased volume of feed required (BlackType Power). The other is add in a concentrated fibre source such as Pink Mash. Doing either of these things will have a positive impact on the horses gut health and through that, we are most certain you will see an overall improvement in performance and therefore results. As ever please contact the team to discuss these concepts and others to find out how we can help you over the line in first place.