The significance of horse-keeping is increasing continually. Whether sport horse or leisure horse, young horse, stud horse or veteran enjoying retirement, the demands on feeding are high and very specific depending on the type of use. Horses with metabolic disorders also require special feeding.
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Here the focus is on muscle development and muscle regeneration in order that sport horses can achieve the desired performance. Essential amino acids play a significant role as grain feed alone cannot meet the requirements. Supplementation with carnitine (Carneon) has also proved successful. Carnitine is of central importance for lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, thus making an efficient utilization of feed energy possible in the first place. Trials have proved the positive influence on muscle development (less lactate and more glycogen in the muscle). As the energy supply of sport horses is covered to a great extent by high-quality oils, it is necessary to protect these fat components using antioxidants (Loxidan). Antioxidants prevent lipid oxidation and ensure that the horse is not unnecessarily stressed by free radicals.
Brood mares should give birth to a healthy, well-developed foal every year if possible. In order to achieve this, the mare must be fed according to her specific needs. As the mare should get pregnant as early on in the year as possible, earlier than would be the case when left to nature, specific supplementation is necessary. It is particularly important to supplement β-carotene, vitamin A, and E as the content in roughage is relatively low and is not available from other sources as the animals have no or only limited access to pasture. Supplementation with carnitine (Carneon) also has a positive effect on fertility in mares and in stallions. After foaling the mare has high demands on the energy and protein content of the diet. In addition adequate supplementation with minerals and trace elements is important to compensate excretion via the milk. Plant-derived polyphenols can help to reduce the metabolic load during lactation.
For ideal development foals demand high-quality protein which is initially obtained from mother's milk. Later on this can be supplemented via a suitable foal started feed containing essential amino acids. Carnitin (Carneon) supports the metabolism of young animals and can have a positive influence on skeletal development due to its specific role in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
Old horses often have problems maintaining their weight. Due to dental problems the feed can often no longer be digested ideally. Nutrient digestibility also decreases. This demands high-energy supplementation with additional protein that is easy to digest or targeted supplementation with the required amino acids to avoid unnecessary metabolic load. It is generally advisable to stabilize the digestive system through supplementation with specific plant extracts and essential oils (Spicemaster GH). In old age horses often have trouble changing coat and their skin becomes increasingly sensitive. Supplementation with zinc methionine and biotin can help here. The use of plant-derived polyphenols is recommendable in the event of Arthritis. If the horse has respiratory problems supplementation with specific essential oils (Lovit Breeze) is advisable to facilitate breathing and suppress the need to cough.
Horses with metabolic disorders
Horses with metabolic diseases, such as equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) and Cushing, often pose a particular challenge. Feeding must take the insulin resistance of these horses into consideration and steer the derailed metabolism back on track. It is also important to control associated inflammation. Of outstanding importance here are carnitine and plant-derived polyphenols.